In-Home Usage Tests (IHUTs) Research Company | How Do They Work?

Our In-Home Usage Test (IHUT) research company is here to explain the process in this post. You might have found this post because you want to embark on an IHUT study? You likely have a lot of questions, particularly if you've never done this type of market research before. Have no fear, Drive Research will walk you through the IHUT process step-by-step to give you all of the information you need to get started.

In-Home Usage Tests IHUTs Research Company | How Do They Work

In-Home Usage Tests (IHUTs) can be a fun project for participants and market research firms alike.

But first...

IHUT market research studies are an excellent way for retail companies or CPG companies to have consumers test their products in their natural environment. Testing in-home eliminates any location bias that may exist with a focus group facility or interview room. Even staged kitchens or living areas are difficult to replicate consumer feelings and behaviors at home. IHUTs offer the ability to provide realistic feedback on a product.

Let's take a closer look at the IHUT process at Drive Research.

Step 1: Proposal

After we talk to our client about their needs and objectives from the IHUT market research, our team puts together a full proposal. This proposal highlights the full process, steps in recruitment, how participants will be recruited, how many, how the follow-up surveys will work, timeline and cost.

Here are 7 components of a market research proposal.

Step 2: Kickoff

If you choose to move forward with a market research firm for your IHUTs, the next step is holding a kickoff meeting. In this meeting the market research firm will lay out an agenda and cover all of the specifics for your IHUT project. Ultimately, they will want to dive into specific questions to ask on the recall survey, what products will be mailed to participants, and other instructions.

Step 3: Recruitment

This is when the recruitment of your participants for the IHUTs begins. Keep in mind, not everyone recruited will follow-through and complete the survey, so you will need to over budget additional participants. This completion ratio can range anywhere from 65% to 90%. The recruit confirms the market research firm found the right individuals and instructions are given on next steps. Recruitment can be completed through phone calls, online panels, or social media.

Step 4: Mailing

Once you have a list of participants, either the IHUT research company can mail the products to participants or the CPG or retail company can mail these out directly. Mailing directly may save you on costs, and the market research firm can pass you contact information for participants. Here you need to offer a small window for the products to arrive and be used.

Step 5: Recall Surveys

Once that window has passed, the market research firm will email a recall survey to participant testers. In some cases this may be a more in-depth phone call. These recall surveys can range in length and number of questions. The recall surveys may ask about likes, dislikes, suggested improvements, satisfaction with the product, likelihood to purchase, etc.

One of the approaches Drive Research recommends is an online survey follow-up. This is the most cost-effective and timely. The last question in the online survey can ask the participant if they would like to participate in a follow-up phone conversation, if needed. This gives the client the opportunity to follow-up up on a case if needed for more clarification.

Once these recall surveys are completed, participants receive their reward. Incentives vary depending on the level of commitment and time needed for the IHUT.

Step 6: Analysis & Reporting

Now the fun really begins, although with IHUTs, I feel the fun starts with the proposal and designing the project. The IHUT research company reviews all of the data that came in through the recall survey and begins analysis. The report includes an executive summary with key findings, recommendations, an infographic, customer persona, and a question-by-question breakdown of results in the appendix.

Contact Us

Drive Research is an IHUT research company located in Syracuse, NY. Our market research firm works with companies and industries across Upstate NY and across the country.

Interested in receiving a quote on an IHUT project? Contact us using this form.

Or give us a call at 315-303-2040 or send our team an email at