4 Product Testing Tips For Today
June 2, 2021 Qualitative Research

4 Product Testing Tips For Today

Be it controlled environments like an in-person focus group or a hybrid model, respondents’ product testing experience and views are necessary to get you the valuable insight needed. Product tests have so many moving parts–finding the respondents, shipping out products, collecting data, and ensuring that respondents are doing their role can be a lot to manage.

#1. Embrace the In-Home Use Test

Product tests were conducted many ways before the pandemic and will continue to utilize multiple testing options as research moves forward into the future. Still, while options are more limited today, as in maybe intercepts are not as common, the In-Home Test has picked up in popularity. Markets are opening across the nation, but the overall feeling of uncertainty is not likely to go away anytime soon. Shipping products directly to the respondent’s home will keep your research going through times like these.

#2. Create Really Specific Instructions

As the test will be self-administered, the instructions are a key to success. The better the instructions, the stronger the potential of correct compliance. When instructions are written, test them out on a few individuals from your office to see how well they are followed, especially if your firm is new to this type of research. Everyone wants the best and most accurate results. How the instructions are perceived is a key point in the research.

#3. Blend Quant & Qual

Interviewer engagement is still possible!  Respondents can be screened electronically, and appointments automatically set for the researcher to have that face time with the respondent, if needed for the project. Results can be given back by survey only or there can be some qualitative time built in as well. Mix methodologies are common at Focus Forward, and with other suppliers as well. While hybrid product-testing setups are gaining popularity, for those virtual components, Video chatting that allows you to see participants’ faces and expressions, as well as their hands to see how they physically use the product, can all become part of the research, if desired.

#4. Shipping & Incentives

Whether your project is by survey, hybrid, or perhaps fully in-person focus groups, consider a few factors when deciding how to ship and how to pay.

Keeping as many of these parts with one vendor will take project management off your plate and place it on the vendor. When this is not possible, if the product is temperature-controlled or very large, you may need multiple vendors to handle specific parts of your project. When using multiple vendors, build in some extra time or consider overlap, such as the shipping company sends the product, and the recruiter or survey firm verifies that the product was received. A percentage of the recruits will never receive the product and that needs to be tracked, as they cannot be part of the follow-ups. Figuring this out early will save the cost of a moderator’s time or of sending successive shipments.

The demands of the “new normal” have complicated many facets of life, and product testing is no exception. But, with all of the demands of research, you don’t need to handle the process alone. Choose a product testing team with a history of success. The skilled team will be able to not only help you troubleshoot complications, but will also aid you in respondent recruitments, moderator needs, and the goals of the study. Focus Forward will handle it all seamlessly.

Remember, we’re all in this together! Let Focus Forward ease your mind.

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