Adoption process is a series of stages by which a consumer might adopt a NEW product or service. Whether it be Services or Products, in today’s competitive world, a consumer is faced with a lot of choices. How does he make a decision to ADOPT a new product is the Adoption process.
There are numerous stages of adoption which a consumer goes through. These stages may happen before or even after the actual adoption.
Philip Kotler considers five steps in consumer adoption process, such as awareness, interest, evaluation, trial, and adoption. On the other hand, William Stanton considers six steps, such as awareness stage, interest and information stage, evaluation stage, trial stage, adoption stage, and post-adoption stage. We will follow six steps.
Individual consumer becomes aware of the innovation. He is exposed to innovation but knows very little regarding the innovation. He has only limited information about it. He is aware of either by discussion with friends, relatives, salesmen, or dealers. He gets idea about a new product from various means of advertising like newspapers, magazines, Internet, television, outdoor media, etc. At this stage, he doesn’t give much attention to the new product.
Interest and Information Stage
In this stage, the consumer becomes interested in innovation and tries to collect more information. He collects information from advertising media, salesmen, dealers, current users, or directly from company. He tries to know about qualities, features, functions, risk, producers, brand, colour, shape, price, incentives, availability, services, and other relevant aspects. Simply, he collects as much information as he can.
Now, accumulated information is used to evaluate the innovation. The consumer considers all the significant aspects to judge the worth of innovation. He compares different aspects of innovation like qualities, features, performance, price, after-sales services, etc., with the existing products to arrive at the decision whether the innovation should be tried out.
Consumer is ready to try or test the new product. He practically examines it. He tries out the innovation in a small scale to get self-experience. He can buy the product, or can use free samples. This is an important stage as it determines whether to buy it.
If trial produces satisfactory results, finally the consumer decides to adopt/buy the innovation. He decides on quantity, type, model, dealer, payment, and other issues. He purchases the product and consumes individually or jointly with other members.
Post Adoption Behavior Stage
This is the last stage of consumer adoption. If a consumer satisfies with a new product and related services, he continues buying it frequently, and vice-versa. He becomes a regular user of innovation and also talks favorable to others. This is a crucial step for a marketer.
In every stage of consumer adoption, a marketer is required to facilitate consumers. He must take all possible actions to make them try, buy, and repeat buy the innovation. Be clear that every type of consumer (innovators, early adopters, early majority, late majority, or laggards) follows all the stages of adoption process, but takes different amount of time to adopt the innovation.