If you own an ecommerce site, your ultimate goal is to sell. But you don’t want your customers to dilly-dally in between one site to another, browsing through products or services, getting distracted, and eventually bouncing off before they’ve followed through on a purchase. You want to offer the right products, with the best deals, and be remembered for reliable service—and that’s why they have to get it NOW.

The trick to getting customers getting to this point is to let them feel a sense of urgency on your site. This sense of urgency creates a sense exclusivity that plays on their “fear of missing out,” ultimately allowing you to see an increase in your revenue.

There are numerous ways to create urgency on your site, but here are some that have been proven most effective for us—

1. Limited-time only sales

In the real world, nothing spells out urgency more than Black Friday sales. On this single day, shoppers are treated to major discounts and deals; and if you weren’t willing to get up and brave the Black Friday crowds, then you’ll just have to deal with the fact that you could’ve gotten items for a fraction of the price then.

This is the kind of enthusiasm you want to build for your own ecomerce site. And it doesn’t have to be a special shopping holiday for you to legitimately build urgency.

Incentives for making a purchase now moves customers along your conversion funnel effectively.

Incentives for making a purchase now moves customers along your conversion funnel effectively.

 

Here are a few ideas—

  • Use pop-ups to announce exclusive, limited-time only deals—it’s not as disruptive as you might think. In fact, if you’re offering something that adds value, it’s more likely that you’ll prompt them to move through your conversion funnel.
  • Don’t limit yourself to discounts—bundling promos or even free shipping offers if they make a purchase within a given time period also work.
  • Space out your offers. The idea is to build a sense of scarcity. While consistency in your limited-time only offers is great, doing so too often doesn’t support the idea that they have a small window of opportunity to avail of it. Instead, make sure that you change up your offers and promos.

2. Build excitement around new product launches

If you have a particular product that’s about to launch, tap on your social media to generate buzz for it.

Retailers often turn to social media to create buzz for new collections.

Retailers often turn to social media to create buzz for new collections.

Try the following techniques—

  • Teasing the arrival of a the product using Facebook, Twitter or Instagram—even before it is made available on your site to spur discussion and pique curiosity.
  • Once you finally announce what your new product is, put the focus on the demand for the product by creating a waitlist for it.
  • Be sure to answer all inquiries that start coming in for your product—whether on your website or your social media accounts—to start building credibility and interest for it.

3. Use visuals that help that hype urgency

Key elements that you use on your product page can spur your potential customers to act quickly and make a purchase.

Build the sense of urgency by adding a timeline or a deadline for your products.

Build the sense of urgency by adding a timeline or a deadline for your products.

Try—

  • Adding a countdown clock that ticks down as customers place items on reserve on their shopping carts to remind them of the limited discount that comes with their purchase.
  • Using visual elements such as counters that show availability of products also helps highlight the scarcity and demand for your product.
  • Countdown clocks that highlight how much time is left for a specific promotion has also been proven to convert better versus product pages that don’t have this visual element.

 

Now, before we end this post—keep in mind that building trust among your customers as you try to build urgency for your products is also a big part of them following through on their purchase.

  • Be honest about your offer. If you’re offering a limited-time only discount, and that sale continues way past your deadline, you end up lowering your credibility.
  • Test to see what works best for your audience.
  • Don’t go overboard with the urgency tactics—strike a good balance between scarcity and demand. Stirring too much anxiety for urgency might actually promt users to bounce off your site instead.
  • Creating urgency on your site is a combination of good visuals and well written copy that basically communicates one message–act now before you miss out.

If you have any more tactics or ideas that you can add to this list, be sure to tell us all about it and leave a message in the comment section below.

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