Urgency and Scarcity in eCommerce – How to Use Them

How many times have you clicked on that “ONLY TODAY” offer? Or “Only a few items left” without knowing it was a hack? Maybe you knew it was just a marketing trick, but it still triggered your attention. In this article, we will not try to reinvent the wheel, but to make sure that you are using the full potential of urgency and scarcity.

Urgency and Scarcity

Scarcity is the feeling that a product or service is about to run out. Feeling that you are going to miss some generous offer. The thing about scarcity is that when something begins to run low, people’s desire rises. To make it simple, it looks like this:

Plenty of products— no one wants them, not many products – everyone finds them attractive.

Or as the economy taught us: Low supply creates high demand.

Like scarcity, urgency compels action. Urgency is when a buyer feels like they need to act quickly. By creating urgency, you don’t just want people to convert. You want them to convert now. A delayed conversion is called a lost conversion.

Do It Right

If you’ve been in the eCommerce game, you’ve probably familiar with these terms. Most eShop owners have an idea of what they mean and probably know to recognize them.

But, are these techniques guaranteed to boost your sales?

If it is done correctly, urgency can build engagement, boost conversion rates, and even positively impact customer loyalty bringing you lots of new sales. Done poorly, you might risk losing your customers forever. So if you are not sure how to do it, better skip it – or read this blog to learn more about it!

This post will show you some of our favorite techniques for creating more urgency on your eCommerce website. By following only a few of these you can significantly increase your sales. So, prepare to take notes!

The “Perfect-Crime Weapon” for Increasing Your eCommerce Sales

Studies show that on a fundamental level, humans fear loss more than they desire gain. People often place a higher value on a scarce object and a lower one on those available in abundance. Along with urgency, the two make “perfect crime weapons” for increasing your e-Sales.

With a decent amount of repetitive buyers, your game can begin. We suggest you combine more of these tactics, and you will see some dramatic changes in your income!

1. Time limit – a specific discounted price

This one is classic. The problem is many retailers run sales all the time, and it is a mistake. This approach will limit the scarcity building potential because clients will expect discounts to wait for them anytime they come. If you want to offer a discount now and there, always add a specific end date. If you decide to have promotions all the time anyway, work on your copy and write something like: “Due to popular demand”.

2. X people are looking at this offer right now

Show your clients how many other people are on the same page as they are. Write something like:” X people are seeing this product right now” or “X more people think about this.” The fear that someone might grab the products in front of their eyes if they don’t act quickly will make them want to buy NOW. It’s big tactic companies like Airbnb rely on.

3. Provide low stock warnings

“Hurry up, only x more to go.”

By stating that there is limited stock, you will create the illusion that others highly value your product. Do this by using low stock warnings. Have a little pop-up that will say how many products are left. The closer the number comes to zero, the greater the urgency will become. You can add options like notifying them about future restock via mail.

4. Increase price after X sales

Create those early bird offers and make buyers act even before launching a product. For example, you can offer them to sign in for a lower price for those few first customers. If you limit the number of sales at this stage, you will ensure they take swift action.

When increasing the price, start slowly. Using this tactic you ensure customers feel your product is limited and in high demand.

5. Show big numbers and urgent colors

Some bright intense colors, like red or orange, increase our blood pressure so we act more impulsive. That is why you will see sales marks always labeled red and written in big fonts.

20 Other Tactics You Should Try

  1. Limited-time discount on abandoned cart items
  2. Shopping cart item sold out
  3. Limited-time free delivery
  4. Special discount hours
  5. Offer free shipping for a limited number of buyers
  6. Provide free shipping for a “Limited time”
  7. Offer a limited stock of products
  8. Ensure that you have unique stock that is hard to find
  9. Provide low stock warnings
  10. Show low stock warning in shopping cart
  11. Reward your first X buyers
  12. Offer today-only deals
  13. Offer clearance prices
  14. Use popups to remind shoppers of limited time promotions
  15. Display popularity through the number of purchases
  16. Show what other customers are buying in real-time
  17. Run “Coming soon” sales
  18. Show others interested in the product
  19. Offer discounts on abandoned cart items
  20. Display when a sale ends

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