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What Are The Advantages Of Home Use Testing?

Home use testing (HUT), or in-home use testing (iHUT) as it’s often referred to, describes the process of using a product in a target consumer’s home and gathering feedback concerning a product’s performance in its intended setting.

Home use tests are conducted at all stages of product development, from concept and design testing to pre-launch and even after a product has hit store shelves, as was the case with Febreze. This type of consumer research is commonly used for products like cosmetics, fragrances, haircare, skincare, and cleaning supplies.

Home use testing has several advantages that make it an attractive option for companies looking to gather insights into their products. So without further ado, let’s quickly run through them.

1. Home Use Testing is More Intimate and Realistic than Laboratory or Focus Group Testing

While consumer research under lab conditions is vital for many products, home use testing provides a more intimate, realistic setting in which to test products. This is because people interact with and use products differently at home than they would in a lab or focus group setting.

For example, they are more likely to use products as intended, in the context of their daily routines, and perhaps in conjunction with other products with which they would typically use them. This provides companies with valuable insights into how their products are actually being used by their target audience.

2. Home Use Testing Can Help You Address Consumer Pain Points

Sometimes you can only find potentially disastrous flaws with your product after consumers have spent weeks using them rather than a few hours in a neutral setting.

By committing to prolonged periods of home use testing, brands can better identify consumer pain points that may have otherwise gone unnoticed. Companies can then use these insights to improve the product before it hits store shelves or, in some cases, make necessary changes after the product has already been released.

3. Home Use Testing Can Facilitate Long-Term and Ongoing Feedback

Another benefit of home use testing is that it can help facilitate long-term and ongoing feedback. This is extremely valuable for companies as it allows them to track changes in consumer sentiment over time, rather than just getting a one-time snapshot.

This type of feedback can be used to assess the effectiveness of product changes, monitor trends, and predict future consumer behaviour. Home use tests can also be used to gauge consumer reaction to packaging changes or new marketing campaigns.

4. Home Use Testing Provides Extensive Qualitative Feedback

While quantitative feedback has its place in consumer research, sometimes brands need to uncover the “why” behind consumer behaviour. Home use testing can be beneficial in this regard as it provides brands with extensive qualitative feedback.

This research method allows companies to not only track how often and for how long their products are being used but also to understand the emotions and motivations driving these behaviours. Home use testing can also help brands uncover unanticipated uses for their products.

5. Home Use Testing Is Often More Cost-Effective

While home use testing is not always the cheapest option, it can be much more cost-effective than other types of consumer research, especially if you commit to longer testing periods.

This is because you can avoid the costs associated with renting space, setting up and breaking down equipment, and hiring professional staff. Feedback for home use testing can often be collected using cost-effective tools such as online surveys.

Conduct Highly Effective Home Use Testing with WSS Today

Home use testing is a powerful consumer research tool that can provide brands with valuable insights into how their products are actually being used.

At WSS, we have over 25 years of experience conducting home use tests for some of the world’s leading brands. Our team of expert researchers will work with you to design and implement a custom home use test that meets your specific needs and objectives. Once complete, our team will distil all of the data and feedback collected into actionable insights that you can use to improve your product and better meet the needs of your target audience.

Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you carry out a home use testing research project. We are available by phone at +44 (0)151 346 2999 or via email at info@wssintl.com.