People are afraid that if they wait they will miss out on something great. They could be afraid that if they don’t order a product now, don’t book their hotel rooms now or don’t buy tickets for a concert featuring their favorite musician now, they will miss out on these experiences.
In Dr. Robert Cialdini’s research into what persuades people to say “Yes”, scarcity is the second principle of persuasion. When you are eager to influence and persuade your customers to take action when they visit your shop, you should think about creating a sense of urgency by creating initiatives that make them want to act now instead of later.
Let your eyes glide down the page to read about specific examples from brands that include “scarcity” in their marketing initiatives to persuade customers to say “Yes”.
Booking.com — Only XX rooms left
Booking.com is playing the scarcity card when they want to persuade customers to book their hotel stay immediately instead of waiting. They are telling visitors on their site that this hotel is popular by showing how many rooms there are left by showing a pop-up box saying “only 5 rooms left”.on the screen.
Show how many products you have left to persuade your customers to take action now so they make sure that they order before it’s too late. Show only this number when the products are in high demand on your shop.
2trendy — Order today before XX.XX
If customers want to get their order from 2trendy next day, they have to order their product today before their deadline. 2trendy is using the scarcity tactic when they inform their customers about how many minutes they have left to order if they expect to receive their order the next day.
Set a timer on your shop, so your customers know when they have to order to receive their order the next day. Instead of a timer, you can just write “order before 4 pm today to get your order tomorrow.”
You can also use scarcity in campaigns on your shop with a countdown timer, for instance, if you have a 20% discount on popular items for 48 hours. Instead of a timer, you can just write “30% sale this week from the 22nd to the 24th of March.”
Dressforsucces.dk — Limited number of products in stock
Some of dressforsucces.dks products are limited. That means that they only order a small number of an item. When customers see that this product is limited, they will be more eager to buy it before other customers buy it — and before it’s too late to buy it. When a product is limited it’s also more exclusive to your customers, and everybody likes to have something that others don’t have or do something that others haven’t done.
Dressforsucces.dk has ordered 16 of a particular yellow dress, and if customers don’t act quickly enough, other customers will buy it, and those customers who didn’t make it will have to wait 3 weeks to get another opportunity to buy this dress.
Limited products is another way of suggesting scarcity and persuading customers to act before they regret leaving it too late to buy what they wanted.
Consider making some of your products limited. Instead of buying 150 items of the same product, you should buy less — maybe 25 of an item. This will make your item exclusive to your customers and persuade them to buy it now instead of later.
Stylepit — X people are looking at this item now
There is more than one person interested in the new black dress from Mila. Stylepit is showing that there are other customers who are interested in this product by showing the numbers of people looking at the dress at the same time.
Stylepit is using the scarcity tactic when they tell their customers how many people are looking at the same product simultaneously. Customers will understand that there are others who are interested in the same products as them, and if one customer wants to give it a bit more thought before making a purchase, she needs to think fast, because there are others who are interested as well and may beat her to it.
Instead of writing “X people are looking at the product now”, you could also write “X people have viewed this product today”. Another way of showing that another customer s like a certain product is to write “This product has been purchased X times in the last hour?”
NA-KD — XX people have liked this product
NA-DK gives its customers an opportunity to like products with a heart emoji. New visitors to their site are able to see how many likes each product has and get an idea of how popular it is with other visitors.
These likes create a sense of urgency among NA-DKs customers because they can see how popular a product is and see how many people have liked it. Therefore, customers are more likely to buy it straight away because they know that others are interested in the product (social proof). Customers are also afraid that if they don’t buy the product now, it will be too late if they visit the shop another day as the products will be out of stock.
NA-KD is using the scarcity principle by showing how popular each of their products is and exactly how many other people are interested in these products.
Girlfriends Collective — Free gifts to the first XX people
Girlfriends Collective practiced the principle of persuasion tactics in two ways when they were launching their leggings. They were giving a limited number of their leggings away for free, all they asked was that the recipients paid for the delivery of the leggings.
By offering a limited number of leggings for free, they were using the scarcity tactic, and by giving their leggings away for free, they were using the principle of reciprocity. A limited offer persuades customers to buy now because if they decide to wait, there is a risk that the products will be sold out.
Only new sign-ups get a free gift or discount
Trendhim is giving their new sign-ups special offers that aren’t available to others. Customers see the offer as exclusive because it’s only available to selected customers, i.e. the customers who decide to sign-up to Trendhim’s newsletter.
Persuade your customers by using the scarcity principle. People will act if the offer is limited, the products seems popular or if there is countdown-timer. To create a sense of scarcity using the following initiatives:
- Next day shipping countdowns
- Run campaigns for a short period of time
- Tell how other customers have behaved
- Add real-time numbers from views, likes, and purchases to indicate how popular a product is, and to show how other customers have behaved
- Show the limited number of products left in stock
- Let your customers know that this product is a limited edition
- Make your offers exclusive so they are only available to a limited number of people.