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The Pros & Cons of Home Use Product Testing

product testing

If your brand is on the cusp of launching a new consumer product, then there is perhaps no better way to ensure everything is in order than conducting in-home product testing. Not only do you gain crucial feedback from your target market, but you also understand how your product performs in its future environment, as opposed to a lab or factory. 

However, there are a few potential drawbacks to consider before diving into this kind of testing, and it’s certainly not a product research solution suitable for all brands. So with that in mind, we will evaluate the pros and cons of this popular consumer research methodology

But first, it’s worth spending a moment explaining home use product testing. 

What is Home Use Testing (HUT)? 

As the name suggests, home use testing (HUT) refers to a consumer market research methodology that takes place within the home of typical members of a brand’s target audience. Sometimes this methodology is referred to as in-home use testing (IHUT).

Home use testing is popular with brands looking to launch products primarily used at home (e.g., cleaning products or canned soups). The participants of this research method use the product in question in the manner intended before analysts follow up for feedback either in-person or increasingly online due to the knock-on effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

What Are the Advantages of Home Use Product Testing? 

There are several reasons you might want to pursue in-home use testing. It’s often used for prototype products to gather real-world feedback and iron out any kinks. 

By having your ideal customers spend significant periods with your product, they can give you invaluable insights into issues that you might not have even thought about, saving you from having to develop a new version after launch that addresses major issues. 

It’s also a method for gaining qualitative feedback regarding your product(s). You can record a potential customer’s first impressions and understand whether your target market is likely to accept your product upon launch to the masses. You can also use their feedback for claim support.  

Lastly, it’s an incredibly flexible research method. You can gain feedback via telephone, video call, online questionnaire, or even in person if you wish. Tools such as online questionnaires are excellent if you are only looking to solicit feedback on specific attributes of your product.

What Are the Drawbacks of Home Use Product Testing? 

Although there are many advantages to using home use testing, there are a few slight drawbacks. For instance, by testing products in the home environment, you do lose a degree of objectivity. 

Unlike central location testing, where conditions are the same for all participants, home use tests are usually biased to some degree. This isn’t necessarily an issue, as long as the biases of the specific home use tests have been taken into account.

Similarly, the feedback you receive could be influenced by extraneous factors of specific home environments instead of your product’s actual performance. So that’s something else that should be taken into account when testing products within a home environment. 

Choose Wirral Sensory Services for High-Quality Home Use Product Testing 

Here at Wirral Sensory Services, we are proud of our industry-leading reputation in the field of consumer product research. With over 20 years of industry experience, we have already built up extensive participant lists for home use testing – spanning all types of demographics. 

This allows us to move quickly and set up your testing much quicker than similar research firms. We have worked with market-leading companies to determine the appropriate participant demographic, design research materials that will result in valuable, actionable feedback, and we can do the same for your brand.

Our home use product testing continues during the pandemic after devising and implementing stringent COVID-19 protocols to ensure participant and researcher safety, including remote feedback methodologies.  

You can learn more about home use testing here, or if you are ready to discuss your home use testing project, you can email to get the ball rolling.