Exploring Ways to Encourage Technology Adoption

Since using the “scan and pay” at the super market, I’ve become obsessed with it. It is a use case for “tech adoption.”

I count myself as an “early adopter.” I joined LinkedIn circa 15 years ago, Facebook 12 years ago, was on Twitter from day one, have hue lighting, have Hive heating occasionally shout at Alexa, have been swiping right to buy for too long. BUT “scan and pay” has been around for over a decade and I’ve only just got into it.

All you need is a club card (been around for decades) or the app – you walk in – pick up a scanner and off you go – zap, zap, zap – pay and walk out – it really couldn’t be easier!

But why isn’t everyone doing it and why has it taken me an age to get into it.

At the old fashioned checkout, EVERYONE has a club card .. The majority look capable of scanning and going… but very few of the scanners are being used – 10’years later you’d expect there to be as many scanners as trollies, but oh no.

And in the store you have three options:

  1. Shop and pay, the old fashioned way … looks like the majority
  2. Shop, self scan and pay growing in popularity, especially for the basket shoppers
  3. Scan and pay… the minority .. (common sense would at least say those in option two would be better off selecting option three. But why don’t they?)

In the last decade I guess you also have a couple of other methods competing with the scan and pay option:

  1. Click and collect
  2. Online shop

For those opting for click and collect and online shop, would they have been the ones who zapped and paid, leap frogging that time saving step and going straight for the Uber time saving solution.

But for those still shopping in the store why is the scan and pay not being adopted – why did it take me so long?

Honestly …

  1. It looked daunting and complicated to “unlock” the scanner – I’ve just grabbed my trolley, got out my list and am charging into the shop. The thought of stopping to pick up a gadget before I can get going was not on the top of my list.
  2. I can run around the store, throw stuff in the trolley and not have to worry about the “zapping” that when I look at the people doing it around me and it seems to take time – I’ve thrown two things into the trolley before they’ve zapped one.
  3. Not many other people are doing it – why not – if it’s there and no one is giving it a go – must be a nightmare – the other ways must be easier I’ll stick with them.
  4. And then at the root of the reason why – I’ve always done my shopping the shop, pack and pay way. It’s not a hassle really. I’ve found the time to come to the supermarket. Why change?

And there you have it just like that maybe at the root of the adoption challenge is …I’ve always done it this way and I’m cool with it. Why change? Everyone else I can see is still doing it the same old way, so why should I change.

It’s a wake up call to remember that tech is often replacing the ways we are used to working and shopping and living.

We can carry on with the old ways. We know them. They work. Not enough people have changed and embraced it. Why should I change?

Change means I need to change, change means I need to learn how to use the tech, change means the tech will force me to work in an efficient way, change and adoption of tech means I may lose the human aspect of the way I live today.

So, with all this in mind – what does it tell me about change adoption …

  1. You have to make it attractive and easy for people to give it a try and for the early adopters to be quickly followed by the mainstream. Yes it has to go viral with everyone hearing about it and wanting to give it a go.
  2. You have to consider how many other options you really want to entertain. Keeping the old ways is going to enable the laggards to catch up may mean they never have the need to change. It’s a fine balance but the tipping point needs to come and the old ways need to be managed in a way to accelerate the tipping point.
  3. If you “turn off” the old ways you need a “gang” of “meet and greeters” to model and show the way. Imagine if the supermarket had greeted me 10 years ago with a scanner, had thrown it into my capable hands and said go zap – give it a go – you’ll never go back once you’ve given it a go. People need encouragement. Just having the tech on display is not enough.
  4. That other ideas will come along before full adoption happens – the click and collect and home delivery has no doubt given the “happy scanners” a better way out. I guess we are all only a few months or a year away from the next best thing if it can’t be adopted before the next thing comes along then is it really worth the effort.

It’s REALLY about “ADOPTION” and making the “adoption” and the change process engaging; allowing people to give it a go as well as tackling the hidden assumptions and showing them the way. Uless the early adopters are shouting from the rooftops and the tech goes viral you have to focus on adoption – and watch, listen and sense what is going on and how to help get that adoption up!