6 Ways Boost E-Commerce Conversions with Scarcity & Urgency

Human beings naturally give more value to scarce things compared to those available abundantly all year round. That’s because their choices are primarily driven by two principles of persuasion – scarcity and urgency.

As an online retailer, you can leverage the power of these principles to maximize your e-commerce conversions and ultimately boost your sales and profits.

Let’s look at 6 creative ways to use the principles of scarcity and urgency to boost your e-commerce conversions.

1. Make Customers See How Many Other Buyers are Checking Out the Same Product

This is one of the tricks you can use to create a sense of urgency in your customers’ minds and help increase overall sales.

When you indicate the exact number of people desiring the same product or service in real-time, it drives them into impulse buying because they fear the product might run out at any moment.

2. Offer Special Discounts for a Limited Period

Another way to use the principles of scarcity and urgency to your advantage is by offering special discounts on certain products for a limited time.

If you can run a countdown timer beside the products telling customers the exact time left before the discount ends, it will compel them to buy in high numbers because no one wants to miss out on a great opportunity.

3. Offer Free Delivery for a Limited Period

Many online distractions can make a customer postpone buying the product or service they need from your website.

This is why it’s important to provide them with something they can’t resist, but only for a limited time. Free delivery is one of those things that many online shoppers will gladly take advantage of.

If, for instance, you’re offering free delivery to customers between 10 am and 12 pm on Saturdays only, you should expect an increase in your sales volume within the designated 2-hour period.

4. Display a “Sold Out” Message on Products No Longer Available

Sold-Out Products
Announcing or displaying sold-out products can create a sense of scarcity and urgency.

This is another persuasion trick you can use to create a sense of urgency in the minds of online shoppers.

Seeing some of their selected items disappearing from the available items will compel them to buy the remaining ones quickly before they run out.

Why? Because they know that many other customers are considering buying the same items, any delay in making a purchase decision could cause them to miss their favorite products.

5. Offer Limited-Period Discounts on Abandoned Products

Customers abandon their shopping carts for a variety of reasons. These reasons include concerns over the security of their credit card information, slow website speed, better prices on other websites, as well as limited shipping and payment methods.

However, an abandoned cart shouldn’t be the end of your business relationship with customers. You can still persuade them to return to your site and complete their purchases.

One way of doing so is by giving them discounts on those products they abandoned for a limited period. This will prompt them to take advantage of the discount within the specified period, leading to more sales.

6. Offer Customers Time-Bound Purchases to Qualify for the Next Day Shipping

This last persuasion trick won’t cost you any extra resources to implement if you’re already providing next-day delivery in your business.

You only need to have a banner on your homepage and landing pages informing customers to place their orders by a specific time if they want to qualify for next-day delivery.

You can even opt to show them the exact hours, minutes, and seconds remaining so they can place their orders faster to get them delivered the following day.

Now that you’re conversant with the different ways to use the principles of scarcity and urgency to increase sales, you may be tempted to use all of these tricks on your customers at once to make as many sales as possible.

However, if you do so, you’ll not only overwhelm them with multiple flashing banners and countdowns but will also come across as very pushy and untrustworthy.

So, don’t go overboard, no matter how tempted you feel. It’s better to A/B test each trick to find the ones that work best with target consumers and produce the highest conversion rate for your e-commerce site.

Final Thoughts on Using Scarcity & Urgency

Scarcity and urgency are two essential tools you can use in your e-commerce business to maximize conversions. However, they can backfire on you and even cause irreparable damage to your brand if you overuse them.

This is why you’re strongly advised to A/B test the suggested ideas before implementing them. This will help you know what works and doesn’t for your customers and business.