An In-Home Usage Test (IHUT) is used to conduct market research on a specific target audience. Learn more about how you can utilize and conduct this testing method with the help of Slice MR, our full-service online market research company.

A group of professionals prepares to review IHUT market research results during a meeting.

What is an In-Home Usage Test?

In-Home Usage Testing is a unique research technique used by companies to evaluate their products in a real-life setting. A focus group is sent test products to try in their own homes. IHUT product testing can involve any new product. It can be a food item, a household appliance, or even an electronic gadget. During the in-home use test, the product tester’s goal is to use it as they would in daily life and provide detailed feedback for the research project.

Feedback is vital for companies to improve their products or develop new iterations that meet customer needs and preferences before a product launch. Data collection regarding the product experience can help companies gain valuable insights regarding anything from the unboxing experience to product satisfaction. As you can see, there is a lot to the IHUT research process that helps companies learn more about product usage from focus groups made up of their target customers.

How does IHUT market research work

First, companies typically select a target group of consumers who match their ideal demographic to conduct a home use test. The respondents are given the new product that needs to be tested. They are also encouraged to use these products as they would in everyday life. The company typically provides other instructions regarding test concepts as well as detailed information about the duration of the testing period. Respondents can document their thoughts, opinions, and any other issues.

This experience research can help businesses gather contextual insights. Their feedback is crucial to identify any potential flaws or areas for improvement before the product launch. During the IHUT, participants can also take part in follow-up surveys or interviews after the testing period has concluded. This allows them to elaborate on their experiences and add a layer of qualitative and quantitative data.

Because this research methodology utilizes real consumers, companies can gain deeper insights into how their product is perceived and used. After the data is collected, the company can then make informed decisions about modifying the product, marketing it, and whether to proceed with the launch.

Are product testers legitimate?

Yes, market research companies like Slice MR utilize an effective way to recruit participants within your desired target audience. The respondent selection for IHUT testing is a key factor in gaining insights into consumer behavior. Real consumers must be chosen for the sample size to gather the most valuable feedback.

Thankfully, Slice MR has built a robust network of participants in over 30 countries. In fact, we’re capable of finding both easy and hard-to-reach consumers and respondents. We understand that delivering insights is necessary to inform the most critical of business decisions. Our team is ready to assist you with gathering high-quality data. By helping you learn whether your product meets consumer expectations, you can gain a competitive edge against other brands in your industry.

What are the benefits of IHUT market research?

There are many reasons why businesses should consider utilizing product testing projects. Here are some of the best reasons to consider utilizing this research solution.

Convenience and Flexibility

One of the most significant benefits of product testing is the convenience that it offers. rather than having to visit a specific location or attend a focus group session, IHUTs allow consumers to test products in the comfort of their own homes. The flexibility allows companies to send products directly to potential consumers to gather vital information and gauge consumer attitudes.

Valuable Insights

This type of testing allows for product usage in a natural environment which goes beyond laboratory-based studies. The products can be evaluated in the actual environment where they are meant to be used. The in-home product testing results in more valuable insights.


IHUT offers a cost-effective solution for market research and actively engages consumers. It accelerates the product development lifecycle by obtaining reviews from a diverse pool of respondents.

Quicker Decision-Making

This type of market research facilitates quicker business decisions. It allows them to make necessary adjustments to their product early on, saving both time and resources.

Competitive Advantage

With more data gathered through the in-home user test, companies can gain a competitive advantage over others in the same industry. Respondents can provide valuable data regarding competitive product preferences.

Improved Customer Satisfaction

Thanks to user testing, target consumers are more likely to be more satisfied with the products after they’re launched. Market research methodologies allow companies to gain a deeper level of insight into product performance and how they perform in the consumer’s home.

What are some product types that could benefit from in-home testing?

Several types of products could greatly benefit from in-home testing. One product type is home appliances. This can include vacuum cleaners, refrigerators, or even small appliances such as hair dryers. Wellness products and furniture are also great options for testing.

Through the IHUT, consumers are given the freedom to explore a product thoroughly. They can assess functionality, durability, and usability. These observations carry significant weight in the research process and shape future consumer experiences. Honest feedback contributes to product development that will truly meet consumer needs.

Choosing Slice MR for IHUT Tests

A business team utilizes Slice MR's IHUT market research services.

IHUT is a valuable tool for research where consumers use products at home and provide all kinds of feedback about their experience. If you plan to use this powerful research tool, you’ll want to choose a company with years of experience in the field. Conducting this type of testing must be done with precision to gather high-quality data.

That’s why Slice MR offers IHUT services. Planning to get started? Here are some of the initial requirements for a home-usage test:

  • Defining the target audience and sample size, including an over-recruit strategy
  • Defining product and usage requirements
  • Define the testing period and incentive for target consumers
  • Define shipping logistics for respondents
  • Define support and respondent verification roles

Check out the steps involved in conducting the IHUT:

  1. First, Slice MR programs an initial screener online survey. The screener will include clear language explaining the IHUT, such as the who, what, where, when, why, and how. The respondents must agree to participate in the IHUT and provide their personal identifiable information (PII), including addresses.
  2. Slice typically over-recruits and provides a small incentive for completing the survey (50 to 150% over-collection). We’ll contact the respondents to confirm participant recruitment (optional).
  3. Then, we’ll send the client screener data along with PII (typically no banners). The client can then ship out the product to IHUT participants. The shipment will include the product plus a letter with specific usage instructions and a follow-up survey entry key.
  4. The client will handle the shipping logistics and support queries (some people may still reach out to Slice).
  5. Participants can begin to test products and record their consumer feedback during the discussed testing period.
  6. Slice will then program post-survey and invite all participants coinciding with the delivered package dates. The first page of the post-survey requires a code key entry that’s provided in the package to ensure efficacy testing.
  7. We provide a large incentive for completing the post-study, and this amount is known to the client. The survey includes all questions required for final reporting.
  8. The final sample size is fluid. There are no quotas, but timelines may be defined. Typically, there is no bad data, and everyone is paid. The PII is double-confirmed in a unique design setup to ensure high-quality data.

Slice MR only utilizes the best practices for IHUT research. If you’re interested in our services, you’ll want to contact our market research firm and make the most of your quantitative data collection engagement.

Consider IHUT Product Testing for Your Market Research Needs

Slice MR is a market research company that can help you simplify your research process. We only utilize a renowned panel for our online questionnaires to gather the best data and the most relevant results possible. When it comes to IHUT projects, there’s no better choice than our market research firm.

Together, we can optimize a defined panel of target consumers and help you program questionnaires for either quantitative or qualitative research. We understand that a majority of companies want to hear about participants’ first impressions in a real-world setting through in-home tests. These first insights into the product experience can overall affect consumer levels of satisfaction once the product is launched.

Consumer testing is a key aspect of optimization, helping to identify potential areas of improvement as well as specific product features that are most important to the desired audience. From the initial online questionnaire to the follow-up study, Slice MR can help clients every step of the way. Contact our research team today to find the best research solution for you.