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  • Best Urgency and Scarcity Marketing Tactics to Boost Sales

    Urgency marketing

    Too often you’ll see a number of customers who won’t convert immediately. They could be just browsing, researching for a future purchase, or even comparing prices.

    The bitter pill is all eCommerce stores have procrastinating customers. Research revealed that customers with high procrastination tendencies have a 73% chance to delay their purchase. While you cannot force them to purchase, you still can definitely turn around their stalling tactics by firing up their sense of urgency.

    Today, you’ll learn a blend of scarcity marketing + urgency marketing tactics to prompt your visitors towards conversion and prevent them from chronically delaying their purchases.

    The psychology of urgency and scarcity marketing

    The law of supply and demand tells us that a product’s availability (supply) and the desire (demand) for that product both have an effect on the price. Usually, low supply and high demand mean a higher price. In contrast, high supply and low demand tend to lower the price.

    This is also the same kind of psychology that explains the theory of scarcity marketing and urgency marketing. Scarcity can be translated on the supply side while urgency leverages on the demand aspect.

    The scarcer a supply for a product is, the more anxious people will feel. This phenomenon is called fear of missing out (FOMO). FOMO is people’s desire to also do what others are doing. If people know that a product has a low inventory, they’ll start to consider buying it before it’s too late.

    As for urgency, people are highly drawn to products that are extremely demanded or notably popular to others. Usually, popular items have that limited-time fear because they are more likely to sell out faster. So, this also touches the FOMO psychology because people tend to act more quickly on popular or trending products.

    Basic elements of urgency and scarcity marketing

    Before you proceed with our list of urgency and scarcity marketing tactics, let’s begin by understanding the basic elements that you need to pay attention to.

    These elements play a crucial role to make a more compelling and effective scarcity and urgency marketing strategy for your online store:


    Time is one of the most essential elements of a successful urgency and scarcity marketing strategy. Your end goal is to prevent the delay of conversion so without a deadline or time limit, you’re just slowing down your customers’ path to purchase. The more time you allow your customers to think and look for other options, it will be more difficult for you to close the sale.


    The right color, typography, and design for your call-to-action, layout, and copy will also affect the overall effectiveness of your tactics. For example, a study found out that using red CTA button instead of green has increased conversion rate by 21%.


    How you place your scarcity and marketing tactics will also impact whether or not your visitors will notice them. For instance, if a CTA is positioned just right below the product description, visitors are more focused. This is echoed by the eye-tracking A/B test, revealing that the natural pattern of the eye would be the best position for the CTA button.


    The words you use in your copy will also help you drive people to conversion more quickly. Avoid sounding technical or distant. You want to be clear and warm to get people to make a swift action. You can add power words to give more edge on your copywriting.

    The above elements are crucial considerations that you have to keep in mind before crafting your next scarcity and urgency marketing strategies. Conducting an A/B test on these elements to understand how you can better optimize your campaigns should always be practiced.

    How to apply urgency and scarcity marketing tactics for more sales

    Now that you understand the basics, we have gathered some best practices and real-life examples to help you run your own scarcity marketing + urgency marketing tactics:

    1. Show supply’s scarcity

    It’s important that you take advantage of the FOMO psychology we’ve discussed earlier to display your inventory level. If your visitors see that the supply for a product is limited or low, they will likely start their purchase decision because they don’t want to miss out on a product that will sell out anytime soon.

    A great example of using a supply’s scarcity into an advantage is the call-to-action used by Sugarcane Market at its homepage. It displayed CTAs like “Only a few lefts” and “Out of stock” right below the product name and price to get visitors to check them out.


    Only a few left - Urgency and Scarcity


    You can also display your inventory level on the product page to remind shoppers of the scarcity of the supply. For example, you can use the Stock Countdown feature of the Boost Convert app to show the number of stocks left for a specific product.

    Stock countdown - Boost Convert

    The Stock Countdown allows you to display how many items are left in stock to stir scarcity and elicit purchase urgency from shoppers.

    2. Stir urgency with size scarcity

    Aside from the total inventory level, you can be more granular to take advantage of the scarcity marketing tactic. For online retail stores, size is one of the most important aspects that customers consider when buying. Who would want shoes that won’t fit, right? In short, size does matter.

    Giving your shoppers the knowledge of whether the size is in-stock can benefit them because they’ll know that you still have the right side. Now, if they see that their size is almost about to sell out, this will stir their interest to act on buying the product immediately or else they won’t get a perfect size.

    A perfect example is how Zappos shows the number of items left in stock for specific shoe size and color.


    Zappos product pages


    3. Include a countdown timer to your promotions

    Time is always of the essence — the more time you let your visitors explore, the more likely you’ll lose them from the competition. Shoppers do comparison shopping all the time. This is corroborated by a study revealing that 94% of online customers won’t make a purchase until they find the lowest price.

    What does this mean to you? Even if you offer a huge discount, your visitors will still be indecisive because, at the back of their minds, they might still stumble upon a better deal somewhere else. This is why adding a countdown timer to your promos or deals will have a positive impact on your customers’ sense of urgency trigger.

    If people know that they only have a limited time to take advantage of a discount, they will be more receptive to your deal — driving them more closely and a lot faster to conversion. You can instantly add a countdown timer using the Boost Convert.

    Coutdown Timers - Increase Urgency and Scarcity

    A powerful headline like ‘Hurry up! Sales End in’ plus a countdown timer will catch your shoppers’ attention and drive them urgently to conversion.

    4. Display social proof

    The theory of social proof explains that people always seek other people’s opinions and recommendations prior to making a purchase. They want to know if a product is legitimate or worth it to buy. The higher the number of people attesting a product’s quality, the higher the chances that potential buyers will trust it enough to purchase.

    There are many ways you can display social proof to your product. Just by showing the number of demand for a specific product can already be considered a social proof. Remember earlier about the law of supply and demand? People are drawn for popular products because it shows that there’s a huge number of happy customers. People don’t want to miss out on a most-talked-about product.

    You can blend scarcity marketing + urgency marketing tactics easily with social proof. Take advantage of that popular demand for a product, then add the scarcity factor to the supply. If people know that a high demand product is selling out fast, they will act on purchasing it as soon as possible.

    For example, Sales Notifications of Boost Convert allows you to automatically sync your online store’s data to let you display recent sales of your highly demanded products and help undecided buyers to purchase from your store with trust and confidence.


    Sale Notifications

    5. Offer last-minute exit intent deals

    Almost 7 in every 10 visitors will abandon their shopping carts and leave your site with empty hands. Now, that’s a lot of wasted opportunities if you don’t pay attention to your cart abandonment rate. It’s hard enough for you to drive visitors to add an item to their cart. But it’s even harder to get them back again to your site once they leave their carts.

    One of the reasons for cart abandonment is that people are just researching and not ready to buy. In fact, 37% of customers said they were just browsing. If you don’t want to see your traffic go to waste and prevent cart abandonment, then you can still salvage your slipping away customers with exit-intent offers.

    An exit-intent offer will pop up before visitors close the exit button. This will momentarily catch their attention to look at the popup message. Now, instead of just a popup message to remind them of the items on their cart, you can offer a last-minute deal to get them more enticed to continue their purchase immediately.

    The exit-intent technology of Checkout Boost can help you display captivating last-minute deals or discounts to motivate your abandoning visitors not to leave your site without buying their added items.


    Checkout Boost - Best Shopify app


    One of Checkout Boost’s best features is a countdown timer’s inclusion to the last-minute exit intent popup deal. This will help heighten your store’s scarcity marketing + urgency marketing tactics.

    6. Throw a flash sale

    A flash sale is any kind of promotion, such as discounts, offered for a limited period of time. Usually, the quantity for the promotional deals are just limited and often the discounts are significantly higher than run-of-the-mill sales.

    What entices buyers to flash sales is its limited-time element and the scarce availability of discounted items. This drives customers to buy on the spot or act on the promotion as soon as possible because they know that at any moment the sale will soon be gone.

    There are a variety of scarcity marketing + urgency marketing tactics that you can do by hosting a flash sale. You can easily have a daily flash sale for a week with every single day. This way, customers will have something new to look forward to for the duration of your flash sale.

    There are many ways you can implement a flash sale. For instance, you can have a daily flash sale to showcase one product per day for an hour. This helps your customers have something different to look forward to every single day. In order to make it work, provide a jaw-dropping discount to really entice your customers to buy.

    You can also partner up to host a flash deal. A great example is Snapdeal’s flash sale partnership with Maggi to re-introduce its 2-minute noodle kit. This flash sale resulted in selling out 60,000 items in just 5 minutes.


    The Hindu - Marketing with urgency and scarcity

    Source: The Hindu

    Drive your visitors to conversions

    Procrastinating customers are inevitable. Sometimes, your potential customers aren’t just ready to buy. When this happens you can use the psychology of supply and demand to heighten your customers’ sense of urgency.

    Engineering your store’s perception of supply and demand works because there’s always that sense of fear of missing out. You can use this psychology as urgency and scarcity triggers to push your visitors to act quickly.

    Our real-life practices of scarcity marketing + urgency marketing tactics will help you prevent your delaying visitors and drive your visitors to buy immediately.