Unless you’ve been living under a rock (lucky you) for the past few months, you must have had your fair share of confusion upon noticing the changes in how people behave every day. By that, we don’t mean the people who started wearing masks and gloves to reduce virus transmission, which is the responsible thing to do, but the strange urge for people to buy and hoard items. Case in point: toilet paper. It doesn’t cure anything; we’ve never had a shortage of it, and yet, people have started stocking up on it so much that it got media coverage.
Many psychological factors impact how we make purchase decisions, and one of them is known as scarcity or the fear that we won’t be able to purchase something available in limited amounts. Suddenly, toilet paper seemed much more valuable and useful than it genuinely is. At one point, people noticed other people buying tremendous quantities of toilet paper, so they rushed to buy some for themselves, and the rest is history. Well, not just yet.
In the world of eCommerce, it’s more than possible to use this behavioral trait as a way to market your products to attract more attention to it and to inspire people to make a purchase sooner rather than later. To achieve that, you need a few trusted marketing strategies that use scarcity at its core, so let’s dive right in and find out how you can use them to grow your eCommerce business.
Emphasize your “limited edition” options
When a brand creates a limited series of products, such as a beauty brand selling a line of body butters with an exotic ingredient just during the summer months, the interest for the track will skyrocket among your existing, loyal customers. However, you can use that “limited” approach to the pricing, too, and offer a time-bound starting price, or a limited combination of “buy one, get one free.”
Using scarcity in this form allows customers a glimpse into a unique, time-limited experience of a particular product, or it grants them a chance to enjoy something that will soon no longer be produced at all. If you indicate the exact number of those exclusive products you’ve created, your customers will feel all the more inclined to buy it for its exclusivity.
Showcase demand to urge more sales.
Natural shifts in demand and supply lead to more people rushing to your webstore. Due to the ongoing pandemic, more people are purchasing surgical masks to prevent the spread of the virus and stay safe, which has led to an increased need for that particular product. So, when your store sells hundreds of different products, at a time like this, you should push forward the product categories that are the most valuable for your customers.
Such an approach lets you leverage market trends and combines them with the growing demand for a specific product you sell online. Just let your customers know how much you have in stock, and the chances are that they will make a purchase, just in case.
Timers on the site help entice buyers.
Emphasizing your ongoing sales allows customers to notice the lack of time they have to make a purchase. Pair it up with the limited number of items you have in stock, and the doubled scarcity effect will surely get them to your site quickly.
To make the notion more “tangible,” you can add a countdown timer on your product pages that show precisely how much time your customers have to make a purchase, and that alone is often enough to motivate them to buy your product, knowing that in addition to limited access to the product itself, they know the time will run out, too.
Utilize email marketing
Tapping into your pool of existing customers helps you improve the reach of your scarcity tactics. In the case of email marketing, you can send personalized emails to customers notifying them of limited stocks for their favorite products – of related items they might like. Start with a compelling CTA that indicates scarcity, such as “final boot sale ends today,” and they’re bound to get interested.
On-site notifications to boost FOMO
Scarcity is a great tactic, but it’s best when working hand in hand with another human behavioral quirk: the fear of missing out, also known as FOMO. It’s relatively simple to evoke this emotion when a customer walks into a store filled with other customers, all rushing to get that advertised t-shirt. The beehive of people surrounding a single shelf is bound to attract attention.
Online, however, you need to mimic that interest by notifying your customers when others buy your product with a simple, seamless pop-up. It will briefly get their attention and show them how popular your product is, and the sign “only five left in stock” will do the rest.
Marketing is riddled with smart, behavior-driven strategies that help push your products to the forefront, especially for relevant audiences when you’ve done your research well and know exactly how to appeal to your ideal customer. Scarcity tactics should have their place in your marketing ensemble, just make sure you use them in enticing ways that will further strengthen the trust your customers have for your brand. That way, you’ll not only work towards a temporary increase in revenue but customer loyalty, as well.