Models of the new product adoption process have traditionally assumed that consumers move directly from product trial to adoption. Such an assumption essentially equates product purchase with adoption. Is it advisable for the manager to assume that consumers who purchase a new product for the first time are adopters of the innovation? This article argues that viewing the adoption process in this manner not only may be misleading, but could be incorrect. It is proposed that the addition of two variables — direct product experience and product evaluation—between trial and adoption will more accurately reflect the consumer's new product decision process. Empirical results from an energy‐related innovation provide support for the suggested modifications.
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