There are many powerful ways to influence your customers and heighten your conversions, but one of the most effective methods is instilling urgency. If you can successfully inject urgency into your sales-oriented content, including your product pages, you’ll have a much greater chance of increasing your conversion rates.
Urgency and its cousin, scarcity, are so effective because they influence customers to pause their conscious thinking and act quickly. A common challenge in the customer decision-making process is when consumers begin to overthink their purchases, to the point where it takes them so long that they forget about it, or they are so overwhelmed by the idea of committing to the purchase that they choose to move on to other things. By instilling a sense of urgency, you eliminate the delay and lead them straight to the purchase.
There are multiple ways to add a level of urgency to your content experiences and increase your conversions. Here are five recommendations you can start experimenting with today.
1. Add a clock or countdown
Nothing instills the feeling of urgency like a persistent visual reminder that you’re running out of time. When customers see timers or tickers on a product page to signify that a big sale is coming to an end or that the product quantity is running low, this serves to heighten the urgency and feeling of FOMO (fear of missing out), influencing the customer to purchase the product faster.
In fact, a test conducted by WhichTestWon demonstrated that a product page with a countdown timer converted 9 percent better than other product pages without one.
When looking at this product category page on The Clymb, the ticking timer at the top of the screen clearly prompts site visitors to make faster decisions, limiting the chances that they’ll overthink their purchases.
2. Make it a challenge
You don’t want to stress out your customers to the point that they’re discouraged. But, according to the theory of effort justification, people value something more if they feel that they worked hard to get it.
Although it’s counterintuitive (isn’t e-commerce conversion optimization all about removing the potential for friction?) and certainly won’t be effective for every merchant, effort justification theory does give e-commerce brands opportunities. By gamifying the experience of conversion, you implicitly dare your site visitors to make their purchases despite the challenges involved. By conquering the mission at hand and making the purchase, the user feels deep satisfaction.
Although not exclusively an e-commerce store, IKEA does a great job of demanding that their shoppers overcome obstacles along their journeys to conversion. It can sometimes be so challenging to navigate through IKEA’s products and find the items you’re looking for, both in virtual and non-virtual stores, that it somehow increases the motivation for customers to get through the experience successfully.
3. Choose the right verbiage
Consumers respond to words that naturally represent urgency, such as “hurry,” “quick,” “fast,” “now,” “approaching,” “rapidly” and “seconds.” Of course, there are many more words like these, which you can use throughout your website to instill a feeling of urgency in your customers.
People have a tendency to procrastinate, but if you choose the right language, it can speed up their internal processes. A study by Centre De Recherche DMSP found that consumers considered to be likely procrastinators had a 73 percent chance of not purchasing a product immediately, but when they felt determined or pressured to make the purchase, it increased the chances that they’d buy by 26 percent.
Joss and Main, the e-commerce home decor brand, does a great job of using urgent vocabulary such as “last chance” and “limited.”
4. Give them something to lose
Believe it or not, people are more powerfully motivated by fears of losing out than they are motivated to acquire things they want. This tendency is called “loss aversion,” and it’s at the core of why scarcity messaging prompts action.
If you give the impression that your customers will lose something valuable if they don’t respond, and you actually explain the negative impact it will have, you can immediately instill a sense of urgency in the customer, speeding up the conversion process. Email marketers often accomplish this by writing clever abandoned cart email subject lines that make you feel insecure about losing something important to you.
The lifestyle blog One Good Thing does a great job at instilling a sense of looming loss among its audience. If readers don’t sign up for their emails, they’re told, then they’ll risk missing out on learning about future daily deals. Since the blog often promotes relatively expensive home and beauty products, people who regularly buy these types of items won’t want to miss out on these discounts.
5. Play up the scarcity factor
Amplifying a sense of scarcity might be the most potent tactic of them all. The reason is actually quite simple. When people feel that there is a limited supply of something, its value immediately shoots up in their minds.
If your e-commerce platform is integrated with your inventory management solution, then you can do this with authentic, real-time data aggregation. And this works for both physical products and services.
AppSumo, a site that promotes exclusive and temporary deals on the hottest apps, is a fantastic example of an e-commerce site that injects a sense of scarcity.
Don’t miss out — act now!
If you’re looking to increase your conversion rates and see greater ROI on your marketing efforts, utilizing urgency is a highly effective tactic. With so many ways to implement it on your landing pages, product pages, emails and social media, it will have a powerful impact on your customer experience and sales metrics.
Some opinions expressed in this article may be those of a guest author and not necessarily Marketing Land. Staff authors are listed here.
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Author: Ben Jacobson