The nature of personal care, cosmetic and homecare product evaluation makes it immensely difficult to capture real-time data during product evaluation. Many products require consumers to use their hands to apply the product, often in a kitchen or bathroom environment, creating difficulty when completing traditional surveys during product use.
Shaping product testing protocol to overcome these environment challenges has traditionally considered one of two methods:
1 – Conduct the product evaluation in full, with subsequent completion of the written assessment afterwards.
2 – Pause product usage to answer questions during evaluation, disrupting the consumer experience. For this, consumers must use paper questionnaire or smart devices sometimes in a wet and humid environment.
Both practises result in a degree of recall bias, skewing the assessment results. Voice technology is tackling these issues: Voice enabled surveys read out each question to the consumer before waiting to capture verbal responses.
SAM conducted a study to assess the efficiency of this methodology. 32 consumers were recruited for a HUT to evaluate 3 samples of cosmetic cleanser (premium, budget and own brand) completing the product evaluation in-context across 2 user groups, both users of cosmetic cleansers:
- Group 1: voice enabled data collection with consumers familiar with voice-technology
- Group 2: traditional questionnaire data collection
Voice enabled technology provided in-context evaluation making product assessment easier for the home user, improving data collection.
Consumers who completed the test using the traditional questionnaire format, expressed the expected issues; the experience was quite messy and difficult to complete whilst using the product on their hands. Additionally, consumers who wore glasses experienced difficultly performing the test without support.
The data output for both methodologies was identical. Additional data collection from the voice technology software could provide overall sentiment analysis.
The biggest difference between results came from the depth of responses in the open comments. Voice technology data provided real access to the user experience capturing consumers unfiltered thoughts and opinions. Typed responses from the traditional questionnaires were shorter, with just a simple statement or summary.
Our research validates that voice optimised technologies offer a viable alternative to traditional data collection. This technology provides in-context product evaluation and demonstrates advantages with product discrimination and quantifying subtle differences in challenging assessment conditions.
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