6 Benefits of In-Home Testing

There are several types of market research that are great for measuring in-depth consumer feedback on your products and services.

Perhaps the most effective is in-home usage tests (IHUTS).

The benefits of in-home testing are many and can be utilized by both national and local brands.

Plus, they can be utilized regardless of what industry you serve.

From consumer packaged goods to skincare products, to outdoor power tools – IHUT market research provides the most realistic analysis of how customers interact with your products. 

For a quick rundown of IHUT benefits, check out this short video by Drive Research. Or keep reading for our in-depth analysis.

1. In-Home Testing is Ideal for Evaluating Prototypes

A strong advantage of IHUTs is that they give participants hands-on experience with your product in their natural environments.

With this type of market research, participants can provide brands with the following details:

  • Does the product smell/taste good?
  • Are the instructions user-friendly?
  • Does the product live up to its claim?
  • Is the packaging visually appealing?
  • Where in their homes do they use the product most?

Getting early answers to key questions like this can help you adjust your product before it enters the market.

The feedback assists with data-driven decision-making that in the long run will save you time, money, and unnecessary stress! 

💡 The Key Takeaway: Companies can get one-of-a-kind feedback from consumers. Through this, critiques of a product can be used to improve faults before a prototype moves on to development.

2. In-Home Testing Provides Feedback in Real-Time

Gathering in-the-moment feedback is an important benefit of IHUTS

When utilizing in-the-moment feedback, you’re really getting the good stuff.

Since this type of market research takes place in a participant’s home (not a focus group room or other testing facilities) there’s no lapse between product usage and opinion. 

For example, if you are selling a skincare product that should be used morning and night, it is not possible to effectively provide feedback through a focus group that lasts an hour.

To see the full value of the product, participants must use the skincare product at home as it is intended for their target audience.

To accomplish this, an in-home usage market research firm can either monitor use in-person at a consumer’s home or via regular online surveys. 

Through an online survey, the consumer can answer questions and provide additional information as soon as they use the product. As a result, the data collected becomes more authentic.

💡 The Key Takeaways: An advantage of in-home testing includes real-time, in-the-moment feedback about a product. Since consumers are providing feedback as they use a said product, results become more authentic than those gathered at a testing facility.

3. The World of Customer Feedback is Your Oyster 

Our IHUT research company offers a variety of feedback collection options. 

Some of these avenues include:

  1. Phone surveys
  2. Online surveys 
  3. Video chats 
  4. In-person sessions

The time in between product use and when feedback is gathered depends on the brand and the product.

Interviews may be conducted just one week after the IHUT, or it could be up to six weeks. 

Typically, time spent in the “in-between” is due to the complexity of the product in question. 

💡 The Key Takeaway: Customer feedback in IHUT market research can come in a variety of forms, often based on what item is being tested. From phone to in-person evaluations, obtaining feedback as close to the time your product is used matters. 

4. Know Your Market Prior to Launch

IHUTs give you insight into the whole picture, not just a little snapshot. Your whole product will have gone through a thorough review before it’s sold to the public. 

You’ll want to evaluate just how user-friendly your item is. Or what consumers expect from the product, service, and brand when making a purchase.

A recent study showed that 54% of consumers across the globe have even higher expectations for customer service than they did in 2020.

Important elements to measure before launching your product: 

  1. First impressions
  2. Appeal and interest
  3. Satisfaction 
  4. Product improvements
  5. Estimated price
  6. Purchase intent
  7. Competition

If you decide to go ahead with a full-on product launch, gaining these insights will let you know whether or not your target audience will come running to buy said product. 

At this point, you will have had the chance to evaluate and tweak your item based on what the feedback was. You can feel confident in the elements that were enjoyed by consumers, and you’ll have had enough time to do away with the cons. 

And hey, why not add to your product? If consumer feedback revealed the need for an additional part or feature on the item, make that a priority. 

💡 The Key Takeaway: Understand who you’re marketing your product to. After receiving feedback, you’ll be able to make the necessary adjustments to send your product to the top. 

5. Keep Tabs On Your Product’s Progress

The benefits of IHUTs don’t only apply to the initial stages of new product development but through its entire lifecycle.

They give you the ability to track the progress of your item from pre to post-launch.

For instance, some companies may want to conduct more than one study on their product. This is completely reasonable, as user opinions can evolve over the lifespan of a product. 

Comparing data from when the item was just a baby (er, prototype) to when it’s been on the market for a bit can be helpful. Through this, you’ll know why it’s getting ripped off the shelves or on the contrary, collecting dust. 

💡 The Key Takeaway: The more consumer feedback, the merrier. Some companies choose to track their item’s success and progress with continued IHUTs. Comparing results from prototype testing to when it’s spent some time in-market provides the whole picture.

6. Finding Participants for IHUTs is Easier Than Other Studies

Last but not least, the ease of finding participants is a big benefit of in-home testing.

People are often happy and excited to try something new, especially if it isn’t even on the market yet.

They think of it as a VIP experience. 

Yet another thing to add to the list of why IHUTs are is awesome is the fact that location doesn’t matter.

In-person focus groups, for instance, are limited because participants have to be near the research facility to attend. Since everything is done from home, location isn’t an issue. 

Another bonus is the fact that participants are usually able to keep the product being tested. Not only will they often receive benefits like gift cards, but they are able to hang onto a fresh, new product–for free. 

In short, because there is less work involved for participants it makes recruiting for in-home interviews a lot easier (and sometimes cheaper) than other methodologies.

💡 The Key Takeaway: Geography isn’t an issue for in-home use tests participants, since everything is done from home. This means zero time spent on commute. Additionally, participants often get to keep the item in question, along with a gift card for their cooperation. 

Recommended Reading: How to Increase Participation in an In-Home Usage Test Study

Experience the Benefits of In-Home Testing with Drive Research

Drive Research is a full-service market research company specializing in in-home testing to make our business dreams tangible. With us, you’ll experience quality care, communication, and reliable data to take you to the next level in your business ventures. 

Drive Research specializes in qualitative recruiting, survey design, reporting, and more. We can handle the entirety of your IHUT market research project.

For more insight into IHUTs, check out this food product development study Drive Research conducted. 

Want to conduct in-home testing? We’re here to get you started. 

  1. Message us on our website
  2. Email us at [email protected]
  3. Call us at 888-725-DATA
  4. Text us at 315-303-2040


Lark Allen

As a Content Marketing Specialist, Lark has a strong background and passion for creative, professional, and journalistic writing. She is also a self-proclaimed music freak and 90s enthusiast.

Learn more about Lark, here.

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In-Home Usage Tests