At-Home Product Testing Market Research

If your brand is on the brink of entering a full-fledged product launch, you may want to consider at-home product testing market research. As part of the testing, your product is shipped to a variety of participants where they can use it in their home as they normally would in its natural environment.

Also crucial to the testing is customer feedback, which is usually garnered over the phone, via an online feedback survey, or in person. The length of time that passes from the point in which the participants receive the product and provide feedback will vary. Some brands may wait one week while others may choose to wait six weeks or longer. It depends on the type of product being tested. For example, a vacuum may be tested over the course of a month (allowing multiple uses) versus a new brand a coffee that may only need a day or 2 of testing.

At-home product testing market research can involve anything from a new paint, new kitchen utensil, new food item, or new outdoor tool.

Market research via in-home product testing can be of benefit to any business regardless of the industry it operates in. Whether you are a national brand looking to test a new food product or outdoor power equipment, the feedback you collect from participants can fuel your company to the next level of success.

At-Home Product Testing Market Research

What Is At-Home Product Testing?

At-home product testing is used for a variety of reasons. This type of testing can be labeled according to various names including:

  • HUT (Home Use Test)
  • IHUT (In Home Use Test)
  • Home-Usage Test
  • In-Home User Test

The data collected from at-home product testing is pivotal to market research in that it allows brands to see the full potential of their products. It also allows them to pinpoint drawbacks of the products. Much of the time, at-home product testing helps brands create remedies to those drawbacks to improve the overall functionality of the products.

At-home product testing allows brands to acquire real-life feedback regarding their products without actually launching the products nationally. In most cases, the products are referred to as prototypes since they are have not been officially launched. The prototypes are improved upon according to the feedback gathered during the testing phase to make the final product more robust and useful to the intended end user.

What Does At-Home Product Testing Involve?

If you want to conduct an at-home product test, you will first need to decide how many participants you would like to test out your prototype. Ideally, you will have anywhere from 10 to 100 participants. You can work with an at-home product testing market research company who can assist with recruiting participants. It should come at no expense to them. You should be willing to provide the product and ship it to them free of charge. In many of the cases, they are either provided the product as a reward or paid an additional gift card.

As part of the at-home product testing and the free use of the product, the participants must provide feedback within a certain number of days or months. The sponsor or market research company will decide how long the testing phase lasts, and this is again, mostly influenced by the type of product.

For example, if you are sending out beauty products to be tested, you will want your participants to have at least 30 days of using the beauty product before collecting feedback. If you are sending out a kitchen appliance, such as a new toaster, you can gather feedback after a week of usage of the product.

Before you ship out the products, make sure you have clearly outlined to the participants the method you want them to use to provide their feedback: online survey, in person, or over-the-phone survey. Some of the at-home usage tests include follow-up in-person interviews with a visit from the market research company and/or sponsor at your home.

In many scenarios, your participants must meet certain criteria and qualify for the study. A market research company can build an online panel management system allowing participants to sign up and go through verification to ensure they meet criteria. Participants can also provide comments, thoughts, and suggestions at different times throughout the testing.

At-Home Product Testing Process

(1) Prototype is designed, built, and ready for testing.

(2) Participants are recruited for the at-home product testing.

(3) Prototype is shipped to participant homes.

(4) After a pre-determined period of time, participants provide feedback.

(5) Feedback is analyzed to make adjustments to prototype to build a final product.

(6) Product goes into a full product launch and is made available to the general public.

Benefits of At-Home Product Testing

The benefits of at-home product testing are numerous. First and foremost, you will be able to gather valuable feedback relating to the following aspects around your product or service:

First impressions

Appeal and interest


Product improvements

Estimated price

Purchase intent

The results you gather from the feedback the participants provide can be used to track the performance of the product. This allows you to determine if the product is meeting, exceeding, or under-performing in regards to consumer expectations.

Furthermore, it gives you a clear picture as to whether or not your intended audience will easily accept your product if it was to go into a full product launch. The feedback allows you to pinpoint barriers and challenges to using the product. You will also be able to see which product features are proving to be of benefit to the end user and which ones are not. You may find you need to add additional features to the prototype before pushing it into a full product launch.

Contact Drive Research

The benefits of at-home product testing are numerous. First and foremost, you will be able to gather valuable feedback relating to the following aspects around your product or service:

At-home product testing gives you the ability to check your prototype against real consumer usage before pushing into a full product launch. When used correctly, at-home product testing can save enormous amounts of money by allowing you to tweak your product prior to a full launch or make estimations on market potential.

Drive Research is an at-home product testing company located in the U.S. Our team is ready to assist you with your market research needs.

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In-Home Usage Tests