There is only one way to get customers to act right away, and that is to emphasize the sense of urgency. The hesitation on the part of customers is the single most effective way to reduce conversion rates in eCommerce. When a customer entertains the thought of purchasing something “maybe later,” the door is left open for a sale-killing distraction, such as an offer from a rival company, a phone notification, or even a change of heart.
What are some ways to generate a sense of urgency without coming across as pushy or putting people off? In this article, we will show you five different ways that you can use urgency to increase the number of conversions on your eCommerce site.
Offer free shipping for a “limited period.”
Customers are more accustomed to shopping in traditional brick-and-mortar stores than they are online.
When they make the decision to buy something online, the last thing they want is to be “surprised” during the checkout process by an unexpected cost (like the cost of shipping). One way to get around this issue is to provide customers with up-front information regarding the cost of shipping. This prevents customers from experiencing “sticker shock” and helps reduce the number of abandoned carts.
But what if you were able to use shipping as a means of creating a sense of urgency?
Try this out: offer free delivery, but stipulate that it will only be available for a limited time. Make sure that this offer is front and center on your website, and impose a stringent time limit on it (say, 4 hours).
This strategy is effective because:
According to a study, free shipping is the factor that most strongly influences consumers’ decisions regarding whether or not to make an online purchase. Customers are prompted to take action when a product or service that they truly desire is made available to them.
Limit on time: The limited amount of time available creates a sense of urgency, which in turn makes it more important to take action. Customers might forget about your free shipping offer if they have 24 hours to think about it. However, setting a time limit of two hours helps create focus.
Provide free shipping for a certain number of customers.
Instead of tying free shipping to a specific amount of time, you can link it to a certain quantity.
You might, for instance, choose to offer free shipping on all purchases made during your sale promotion to only the first one thousand customers who make those purchases. Customers who intend to shop will be able to do so immediately as a result of this.
Customers are going to be more concerned about the possibility of the limit being exceeded in a short period of time than they would be about time-based limits, in which they would still have the option to delay their purchase for a few days.
Customers have no way of knowing how soon the limit of one hundred buyers will be reached if you limit the promotion to the first one hundred people who make a purchase (whereas a time-based limit is always calculable). Because of this, the urgency is increased.
Advertise free shipping for a “limited time.”
Free shipping for an extended “period” (which could be an entire season) is not always successful as a marketing strategy. Customers will continue to put off making a purchase decision if they are aware that they can return to the store at a later time and still receive the benefit of free shipping on their purchase.
As a potential solution, you could try limiting the amount of time that free shipping is available in order to generate a sense of urgency. To generate a stronger impression of immediacy and urgency, include specific time limits (for example, “free shipping until March 15” rather than “free shipping for a limited time”).
This is effective because:
- Customers will appreciate that you are providing something they value—free shipping.
- Your promotion has a more stringent and frequently inflexible time limit attached to it.
- In most cases, a few days to a week is an appropriate time frame for achieving optimal results.
A strategy for creating a sense of urgency in online commerce is to offer free shipping for a “limited time.”
Keep in mind that you don’t need to incur a loss in order to offer free shipping.
You have the option of establishing a minimum order value before the free shipping promotion takes effect. The majority of customers will purchase additional items in order to get to the required level.
A countdown timer is a great way to drive more sales. It’s simple, but it works! Create your sales page and add the countdown timer. KILATECH Apps provides one of the most popular Shopify countdown timers out there. Installing the Countdown Timer Ultimate on your Shopify store will allow your customers to complete their purchases more quickly while also increasing your overall number of sales. There is a Vast Selection from Which to Pick!
Offer products in limited quantities.
It is very effective to create a sense of urgency by implying that there is a limited supply of the product.
One approach to conveying a sense of scarcity is to say that there is a restricted supply. When you do this, it creates the impression that other people place a high value on your product. This, in turn, prompts customers to make immediate purchases in their haste to avoid missing out on the deal (i.e. FOMO – Fear of Missing Out).
This strategy is frequently used by mobile device manufacturers to generate buzz for their newest product releases by selling them in batches of ‘limited stocks.’
Provide unique inventory that is difficult to source
There is a correlation between the quantity of an item and its value, and this correlation is strengthened when the supply remains constant (why do you think diamonds are so expensive?).
Consider, for instance, the lengths that comic book and baseball card collectors go to in order to acquire limited-edition issues so that they can complete their collections.
In a similar vein, creating a one-time release or a customized version of your product that is limited in quantity will make customers feel as though they need to act quickly. This is something that happens all the time in the video game industry (looking at you, Assassin’s Creed!). You can usually find “Special Edition” consoles in stores right around the time that a significant new video game is released.
Because people have an innate desire for things they can’t have, a one-of-a-kind item serves as a constant reminder to them that this opportunity will only present itself once. The concern that one will be left behind is a potent driver of behavior change.
Alert customers when stock is running low
You can avoid limiting yourself to a small number of sales by displaying the total stock of a product instead of drawing the attention of your customers to the quantity of the product that is still available for purchase.
Include on the product page a sentence along the lines of “There are only X more available,” for example (or email). The closer the number is to zero, the higher the level of urgency that they have. When you do this, you ensure that customers not only take immediate action but also continue to show interest in your product even though it is currently unavailable.
You might, for instance, give them the option to be notified by email when the item they ordered is back in stock.