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Urgency in E-commerce and Harnessing the Power of ‘While Supplies Last’ October 19, 2023 (0 comments)


Ontario, Canada--The power of "limited time" and "limited stock" in e-commerce has never been clearer. 

[Image via PxHere Commons]

Brands are turning to scarcity marketing, a tactic that plays on customers' fear of missing out, to boost their sales.

Tapping into the Fear of Missing Out

According to a Shopify article, scarcity marketing drives sales by making products appear more valuable due to their limited availability or limited-time offers. 

A prime example is "while supplies last," which urges shoppers to act quickly or risk losing out on the product.

Eight Effective Scarcity Strategies for Retailers

Flash Sales: These short-term, often unexpected sales create excitement. Promoted via channels such as email, SMS, or social media, they offer an instant surge in sales. For instance, Bose recently offered $50 off their QuietComfort headphones in a one-day flash sale for email subscribers.

Countdown Timers: More impactful than just an end date, a visual countdown timer can create a sense of urgency, compelling customers to act. Medici Supply Co., a medical supply retailer, employs this effectively on their product pages.

Limited-Time Offers: Brands capitalize on events like Black Friday and Cyber Monday or run unique promotions that bundle discounts with gifts.

Limit Stock Availability: Showcasing the number of items left in stock, as done by Amazon, can nudge customers to purchase.

Exclusive Product Drops: Launching limited-edition products for a short span can generate hype. Kim Kardashian's Fendi X SKIMS collaboration saw pieces selling out in seconds.

Social Proof: Showcasing reviews and star ratings can validate a shopper's choice. Brands like ModCloth utilize this to build trust and influence decisions.

Urgency in Copy: The right wording can evoke urgency. Mizzen+Main's marketing emails emphasize how fast their new shirts are selling out.

Cart Reservation Features: With nearly 70% of shoppers abandoning their carts, brands like SuperCoffee remind customers about their reserved items, urging them to complete the purchase.

The Ethics of Scarcity Marketing

While scarcity marketing can drive sales, it's crucial to use it responsibly. False scarcity or pressuring tactics can damage a brand's reputation. 

Proper use of this strategy should be grounded in real limitations, cater to genuine demand, and avoid excessive pressure that could lead to buyer's remorse.

Learn more in the entire Shopify article.

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