A Thoughtful Approach to Quality Control in Home Use Tests

MarketVison has a long history of conducting home use tests, routinely conducting more than 100 each year.  We understand the nuances around product testing, leveraging our experience to ensure sensitive product is properly handled, data is accurate and actionable, and findings are reported in a way that is easily digestible for all audiences, including sensory scientists, marketers, and executives.

We understand the costs and risks associated with testing prototype product, further heightening the need for effective and thorough QC measures for Home Use Tests (HUTs). Rising costs of developing prototype products and the finite number of prototypes available leaves no room for error.

Quality control is essential in every step of our process. Every study is assigned a lead researcher who oversees all steps of the process. Summarized below are the actions MarketVision takes to ensure accurate and reliable data in all Home Use Tests we conduct.

Product Handling

We are equipped to handle all types of products, including personal care, laundry care, food and beverage, etc. We maintain our own temperature-controlled shipping warehouse with a staff of product handling and shipping experts. Clients ship products directly to MarketVision and then we ship directly to participants. Our warehouse team ensures product is securely received and handled, counting all product in by hand upon receipt, and uploading photos of each prototype product for client review, to ensure any packing and labeling instructions that were completed prior to delivery to MarketVision have been accurately followed. We also follow up with any damage or product concerns as soon as product is received. 


Our experts will handle all unique packing and storing protocol required for each product. From printing and affixing customized labels to storing product in the appropriate temperature, we offer clients a partner who can help with all aspects of product handling. Packing and shipping materials are custom ordered for each study, to minimize any potential damage while product is enroute from our warehouse to each consumer. Products are packed one at a time, by cell, with all prototypes stored separately to eliminate any cross contamination concerns and ensure the packing process is well-organized. Our team maintains high standards for packing and checking all packages, develop specific in-depth measures by study to minimize potential for shipping mix ups.

Daily ‘QC’

We partner with our clients to create a screener and questionnaire that addresses each objective and desired outcome. Once both documents are approved, we will carefully review all screening questions to create a customized checklist of quality control methodologies to utilize while in field, ensuring that our client’s product is only placed with the best possible participants. These methodologies will range from simple practices like checking survey length to complex, logic based exercises to uncover contradictory data. Each day in field, we will manually run through the ‘QC’ measures, allowing for total control of which participants are removed. 
We will also monitor participant communication and verbatims responses for Adverse Events (AE). If an AE occurs, MarketVision will report all AEs in a client-requested format within a 24 hour period.

Shipping File

In addition to the ‘QC’ measures created from the screener, a daily address check is done. We will look for duplicate and incomplete addresses, P.O. boxes (which can be difficult to deliver some types of products to), and fake/nonsensical text.

Once all addresses have been properly vetted, we will create one of the most important pieces to a Home Use Test, the shipping file. This file is created manually and is cross-checked by multiple team members across departments to confirm there are no errors. If the Home Use Test involves multiple cells of different products, we will balance the sample in each cell with a customized list of demographic and usage behavior questions.

Customer Support

During usage, participants will always be able to communicate directly with MarketVision through an avenue that suits them best (phone or email) to ask any questions that will help them have the most worthwhile experience with the product. These questions are relayed to those leading the research in order for them to have control and insight on what is communicated to the participant. If a confirmation is needed, we will send a participant’s question to our clients to make sure our response is correct. 


When the usage period concludes and participants are ready to give their feedback, they must first complete a short portion of the survey called the ‘re-screener’. ‘Re-screeners’ are carefully structured set of questions that we use to ensure the data captured is assigned to the correct product.


Our experience with Home Use Tests has allowed us to develop quality control strategies that provide:

  • Customizable product handling and shipping plans
  • Less wasted product
  • Stringent product security measures
  • Vetted, high quality respondents
  • Actionable and accurate data

By using these strategies, we will continue to strengthen our ability and commitment to deliver worthwhile insights to our clients and aid in driving action in current product development and future strategies.


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