Key Takeaways:

Testing products in their natural setting is an important complement to more controlled central location testing. However, traditional in-context methods (such as home-use tests) may not capture the consumer’s in-the-moment experience. Typically, online questionnaires are completed retrospectively, and this delayed response can fail to accurately reflect the top-of-mind reactions at the time of use.

P&K Research, in partnership with Aigora (a technology partner), is exploring the benefits of smart speaker surveys for in-context research. Understanding in-the-moment experiences can be critical to assessing personal care products (e.g. while shaving, applying makeup), or evaluating a consumers’ experience while cooking a meal, feeding an infant, or interacting with a kitchen appliance. Smart speaker surveys are well suited for capturing reactions in the moment and hands-free while respondents are engaged in a task.

In a recent study on a skin care product, we found that respondents answering questions at the moment of applying the product discriminated more among three product variants than respondents answering similar questions from memory several hours later (as is typical for a traditional online survey). The research demonstrates the potential for smart speaker surveys to aiding product development.

Go Deeper:

Another interesting finding was that having answered question in the moment, respondents’ recall of the product experience (in a post-usage questionnaire) showed the same discrimination as their in-the-moment answers. In other words, having reacted to products in the moment, their recall reflected their in-the-moment experience. By virtue of having answered questions about the experience in the moment, we obtain a different, and we believe more accurate, recall of their experience.

There are still many research questions to be answered regarding the use of smart speaker technology in product research, which we are currently pursuing in order to develop sound guidance on the best use of the technology and its potential limitations.