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The Pros & Cons Of Central Location Testing

central location testing

Central location testing is often referred to as hall testing, as the research is usually conducted in supermarket aisles, community centres, and other public spaces. Although consumers often participate in central location tests, some brands are still unaware of the many benefits of this type of consumer research.

Few brands would dare to launch their product onto the market without conducting thorough market research. However, choosing the right research methodology can be challenging.

The right research methodology for your brand will depend on factors such as the nature of your product and your target audience. So, how can central location testing benefit your brand?

Below we consider the advantages and disadvantages of central location testing and explain why you need to find an accredited market research company to conduct your consumer research.

What are the Advantages of Central Location Testing?

Controlled Testing Environment

During central location tests, researchers have full control over the testing environment. All participants are tested under the same circumstances and stimulus, which allows for consistent feedback. The more consistent the testing environment is for all participants, the greater the chances of unbiased and objective feedback.

Objective Feedback

Objective feedback is essential for effective market research. Central location testing allows researchers to gain insight into participant’s subjective views in an objective and unbiased manner. Researchers can record verbal and non-verbal feedback, such as body language, which allows for frank feedback.

Economical Testing Option

Research costs are one of the highest costs associated with consumer testing. Central tests often occur in public or community settings, which drastically reduces research costs. If most respondents are already at the location, you won’t have to budget for any additional transportation or accommodation costs to conduct your market research.

What are the Disadvantages of Central Location Testing?

Limited Scope

One of the main disadvantages to central location testing is that it can limit the scope of your research. Hall tests are generally conducted with random respondents who voluntarily agree to participate in the consumer research. The number of people who volunteer in person is generally fewer than those willing to participate using online, postal, or telephonic platforms.  

To overcome this disadvantage, you can conduct central location tests in different locations at different times. Increasing your consumer pool will ensure that you get diverse feedback and more participants.

High Dependency on the Conduct of Researchers

The quality of a central location test is primarily influenced by the researcher(s) conducting it. Some interviewers can inadvertently or deliberately try to influence participants to give specific answers. Sadly, brands are unlikely to find out about these transgressions until it is too late.

However, the good news is that poor research conduct and etiquette can easily be avoided by working with a reputable research company, such as Wirral Sensory Services.

How Does Wirral Sensory Services Conduct Industry-Leading Consumer Research?

Central location testing is only effective if it is conducted by experienced market researchers. Hall tests require a lot more than presenting consumers with samples of your product. There are different types of central location testing, including monadic tests, paired comparison tests, and much more. That’s why you need a research team experienced and competent in operating all of these tests. 

At Wirral Sensory Services, we understand how crucial consumer testing is for the success of your brand. As a reputable sensory and consumer research company, we do not believe in cutting corners. Our clients in the food, beverage, and household product industries have relied on our research methodologies for over 25 years.

Whether you’re a start-up entering the market or an established brand looking to expand your market share, we can help. Contact us today, and one of our experienced team members will walk you through your research options.