HURRY! Time is running out!
How many times have you seen something to that effect? And how does it make you feel? Does it make your heart beat just a little bit faster? Maybe even make your palms sweat? And in some cases…encourage you to buy whatever is being advertised?
Turns out, there’s a reason for that. It’s called urgency. Urgency is the idea that people are more likely to purchase when they feel like the situation is (yup, you guessed it) urgent.
So how can you create urgency on your product pages…and use it to increase your conversions? In this blog post, I’m going to tell you five ways that you can do that.
1. Show Stock Levels
You ever notice that when something is running out or low in supply, you want it even more?
This is because, according to the scarcity principle, human beings place a higher value on things that are scarce in supply and a lower value on things that are of great abundance.
It’s one of the reasons why diamonds are so popular and why (assuming you don’t live in a tropical or subtropical region), you probably get really excited when you see a parrot, but not so excited when you see a pigeon.
Scarcity also creates a feeling of urgency, making shoppers feel like they have to buy something before it runs out.
One way to use the scarcity principle to your advantage is to show stock levels on your product page. Once your supply gets below a certain number, you could trigger a message to appear next to or below the item quantity stating the number of items left.
See how the department store company, House of Fraser, does it here:
If you decide to state the stock levels, just make sure that you are as specific as possible. Stating something vague like “Just a few left,” like Victoria’s Secret does (below), is not going to have the same impact and if anything, might even make your customers lose trust in you.
2. Have a Countdown
There’s just something about a ticking clock that creates a sense of urgency and makes people want to take action. I think it’s probably one of the reasons why New Year’s Eve (and finding a midnight kiss) is so popular.
Why not take advantage of this and have a countdown on your product page? You could have a countdown that counts down the time until when shoppers must order by in order to receive their product by a certain time, like Amazon does:
Prime members get free delivery no matter when they order. But Amazon stresses the point that members have to order within seven hours and 45 minutes if they want the product to arrive by Thursday.
Expedia does something similar:
Like Expedia does, you could offer a sale or special offer on one of your products and then show a countdown for when that offer ends.
And on that note…
3. Hold a Flash Sale
A flash sale is a discount offered for a short time on a limited quantity of products. Due to both the time limit and limited product availability, flash sales often create a feeling of urgency in buyers. Why do you think Black Friday and Cyber Monday are so effective?
Flash sales are not a good idea for every business, but if you have excess inventory that you’re trying to get rid of or if you’re trying to gain brand awareness, they can work wonders.
If you hold a flash sale, just make sure that you do it right. Don’t make your customers wait several weeks for their products to arrive. Make sure that you have enough inventory in stock to meet the demands of your customers. And test beforehand to make sure that your website is actually prepared to handle a flash sale (since otherwise, it can cause your website to crash).
Side note: Want someone to handle this for you? Our team can do it! We’re an eCommerce web design agency with experience in not only designing and building websites, but also maintaining them (and making sure that they don’t crash during flash sales).
Now…one last word about flash sales: As mentioned, they can be very effective, but if you hold a flash sale for the wrong reasons or if it isn’t executed correctly, the results can be disastrous. So if you go this route, just proceed with caution.
4. Use Certain Words
As you know by now, the words that you use on your product pages can have a powerful impact on your conversions. So when crafting the copy on your product page, be intentional about your word choice.
Here are just a few words and phrases that you might want to consider using to instill that sense of urgency:
- Last chance
- Only today
- Never again
- Don’t miss
Think about loss aversion, which is the idea that people would prefer to not lose something than to gain something. And remind your shoppers what they will be missing out by not purchasing from you.
Note also that there is a difference between real and implied urgency. Real urgency is when something is actually running out. Implied urgency is when there is no real urgency, but you slightly nudge your customers to make a purchase by using suggestive words or phrases, like “Shop now”:
You obviously can’t (or shouldn’t) create real urgency all the time; but you can create implied urgency whenever possible by using subtle words throughout your copy and in your calls-to-action.
5. Use Certain Colors
Believe it or not, but even the colors that you use on your product pages can increase your conversions (or decrease them). Red is one color that has been found to create urgency. Other bright colors, like orange and yellow, can also have a similar effect.
But perhaps more importantly than the colors you choose, make sure you select contrasting colors that make your product and calls-to-action stand out. Get a little inspiration from Athletic Greens:
Since their colors are green and blue, it probably wouldn’t make much sense for them to have a bright red CTA. But the important thing is that the page is designed so that the CTAs really stand out.
Final Words: Using Urgency to Increase Your Conversions
If utilized correctly, these five tactics can prove incredibly effective in creating urgency and getting your prospects to take action.
Keep in mind, however, that in order for urgency to work, you’ve got to:
- Make sure your offer is clear
- Ensure that your offer is relevant
- Improve your value proposition
- Reduce anxiety
- Limit distractions
Only once those other conversion factors are accounted for should you even think about creating urgency on your product pages; otherwise, your efforts will likely be in vain.
Once your product pages are ready for a little urgency, there are a few things you should keep in mind:
- This should go without saying, but always be truthful in your claims—if not, your customers will see right through it. Make sure there is a reason behind everything you do and say.
- Don’t go overboard. If you are always saying things like “final sale” and “last chance” (even if it is the truth), your customers are going to lose trust in you and not take you seriously. Remember the boy who cried wolf? Don’t let that be your eCommerce store.
- Finally, as always, test every tactic that you implement to make sure that it is driving conversions for your store.
Need help creating urgency on your product pages and using it to increase your conversions? Get in touch. We’ve got a team of eCommerce experts and eCommerce marketing services that can help you do that.