Consumer Product Testing

Consumer product testing is the most common process of obtaining consumer feedback for the performance of products. Consumer testing is completed during the research and development stage in many businesses to ensure that consumers fully understand their product and its properties. During the product testing phase, the end user uses the product and then reports any reactions that occur, as well as their experience with the product.

Why Conduct Product Testing?

Whether you are looking to test variations of a product, tweak a current product, test an existing product with new a consumer group or evaluating how a product is marketed, you need to gather insight to base your decisions on.

That is why you need to conduct consumer product testing.

Conducting product testing can help you understand if your product has the features, use cases, or is simply strong and flexible enough to thrive in real-world conditions. 

You can use both quantitative and qualitative data to help you make your business decisions.

Understanding Your Product

One of the initial steps in new product development or a product restage is to obtain consumer feedback. Some of the items that are integral for a brand to know include:

  • Where the product is going to be marketed
  • The target customer demographic
  • Pricing expectations
  • Purchase frequency


There are different product research designs and environments that can be utilized to gather the insights you need.

Different Types of Product Testing Designs

There are a variety of different product testing research designs that you could utilize. The design you use will depend on a combination of the number of products you plan on testing, your budget, your research objective, and timing.

Monadic testing is where research participants are shown a single product in isolation. The product is then evaluated alone, separate from any other products.

The benefit is using this design is that it allows the feedback to be given free of the potential bias of other products or stimuli. It also removes the ability to compare to other products, variations, or designs.

Sequential monadic testing is where respondents are shown two or more products to evaluate.

If you are looking to understand small differences or variations in a product, this is an excellent design option. But be aware that since you are showing more than one product to respondents, there is a risk that you could introduce order bias into your research.

Paired-comparison testing is when a respondent is shown two products at the same time and asked to choose their preference between the two.

Protomonadic testing is a combination of monadic and sequential testing designs.  A respondent is asked to evaluate two products, but one at a time. The preference of each product is only measured after both products have been evaluated by the respondent.

Consumer Product Testing Environments

When conducting consumer product testing, the environment in which you choose to conduct your testing can be just as important as the research design. There are three main environments to conduct product testing.

Central Location Testing (CLT)

Central location testing is a qualitative research method where respondents are invited to a facility to participate in testing. This follows the same idea as a focus group.

A few benefits of central location testing include:

  • Controlled environment/conditions
  • Ensure confidentiality (if applicable)
  • Manage liability for products that could cause adverse reactions with respondents

Street Intercept Testing (SIT)

Street intercept testing is another qualitative research method where people are identified and asked to participate from public areas, i.e., busy streets, malls, etc. This kind of research environment is great for simple research.

A few benefits of street intercept testing include:

  • Capturing insights within a specific use location
  • Targeting a specific type of participant

In-Home Usage Testing (IHUT)

In-home usage testing is when respondents test products in the comfort of their own home. Products are sent to respondents’ homes for them to evaluate, then follow-up either utilizing an online methodology (online survey, message board, diaries, or focus group), telephone, or a face-to-face follow-up is conducted.

A few benefits of in-home usage testing include:

  • Ideal for products needing sustained testing
  • Testing occurs in respondent’s real-world and/or daily lives
  • See how product interacts with others

Get Started Today

Connect with one of our expert sample consultants to learn how your studies can benefit from strategic sample blending.

Why EMI for your Consumer Product Testing Solutions

EMI Research Solutions is here to help you with consumer product testing so that you can be certain that the products you are developing meet consumer expectations in terms of appeal, brand image, and pricing. It is crucial to make sure that all of these objectives are met to ensure that you are providing the best possible customer service, so products perform as expected in the marketplace.

Our Approach

Our approach to consumer product testing is rooted in our knowledge and expertise in the online sample industry, combined with our transparent approach of strategically blending sample to create the right solution for our clients.

Our knowledge of the online sample industry is unparalleled. We have been conducting in-depth research-on-research for more than a decade to best understand the differences between panels, how they change over time, and what makes each unique. We craft strategic sample blends for our clients that best fit their research goals and needs rather than make them fit a specific panel.

EMI’s Consumer Panel Network

We build our custom sample blends from our global network of consumer sample partners. It gives you access to one of the highest-quality pools of consumer respondents of varying demographic, socio-economic, geographical, behavioral, and psychographic characteristics that give us the ability to create custom strategic sample blends that best fit the target of your study, and provide you high-quality, in-depth insights.

Every sample partner in our network has passed our rigorous Partner Assessment Process so we can best understand the recruiting methods, validation process, and other data quality measures they have in place, as well as the ins-and-outs of their panel. Our strict vetting process ensures we only allow the best sample providers into our network, and that we maintain a high level of data quality for our clients.

EMI’s In-Home Usage Test (iHUTS)

We leverage our network of high-quality consumer respondents and our best-in-class strategic sample blending approach to craft you a custom research solution of product testers for evaluating the in-home experience of your product. We craft your custom blend of respondents based on your study objectives to ensure we deliver the insights you need to make the best decisions possible. Our expert team can handle everything from the strategic blend development to respondent recruitment/placement, and provide all facets needed—we’re your partner in delivering what your clients are looking for.

Ready to take that next step?