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While Supplies Last: 5 Proven Tips to Create Urgency and Scarcity on Your Store

October 10, 2023

While Supplies Last: 5 Proven Tips to Create Urgency and Scarcity on Your Store

When it comes to online sales, urgency and scarcity are two of the most powerful tools in your arsenal. If you can create a sense of urgency, customers are more likely to take action right away. And if you can make them feel like they might miss out on a great deal, they'll be even more likely to buy.

In this blog post, we'll discuss five tips that you can use to create urgency and scarcity on your ecommerce store!

Why Use Scarcity & Urgency In Your Store?

Before we jump into the tips, let's quickly discuss why you should use urgency and scarcity in your store.

What is Scarcity?

Scarcity is all about making your product seem rare and valuable. When a customer feels like there are only a few units of a product left, they may be more likely to buy it before someone else does.

A study by the Journal of Economic Psychology tested this by examining the effects of four conditions of product availability on consumers' preferences for recipe books.

These conditions were:

  • Unlimited availability
  • Limited availability (due to popularity)
  • Limited availability (due to limited supply)
  • Accidental unavailability

The researchers found that books of limited availability were perceived as more valuable and unique than books that were accidentally unavailable or had unlimited availability. This shows that humans are more likely to value items that we perceive as scarce.

For example, here is how Amazon uses scarcity on their product pages:

Amazon Scarcity

A brand on Shopify that utilizes scarcity extremely effectively is Pastreez. If you've ever asked yourself, where can I find macarons near me, Pastreez solves your problem. Each macaron is handcrafted in a small batch of 400. Once sold out, they leave the menu forever. Alongside the amazing taste, this true scarcity makes their treats extremely desirable.

Another strategy to use alongside scarcity is called urgency.

What is Urgency?

Urgency is a psychological trigger that encourages customers to take action quickly, before the offer expires. It creates a sense of limited time and makes it feel like they need to act now or risk missing out.

For instance, here is how one of the top Shopify stores "Pura Vida Bracelets" uses urgency on their checkout page.

Puravida Urgency Timer

If there is a limited amount of time to purchase a product, customers will be more likely to buy it right then and there instead of waiting and potentially missing out.

Creating a "While Supplies Last" and "Limited Quantities Available" Effect

Now that we've discussed why you should use urgency and scarcity in your store, let's take a look at eight tips for creating a sense of urgency and scarcity on your ecommerce store.

1. Crank Up The Urgency By Using Countdown Timers

Countdown timers are great for creating a sense of urgency on your site. They let customers know that they need to act now or risk missing out.

Adding timers to the product page though can feel a bit... icky?

It's not 2010 anymore, the world has moved on from unpleasant flipboard-style timers and has embraced more subtle, yet effective solutions.

Old Urgency Timer

Instead, you can add them to the checkout page and have it count down until their order is ready to ship. This way, customers still feel the urgency of having a limited amount of time but don't get turned off by being bombarded with it on every product page.

Countdown Timer Shopify Checkout

If you're store is on Shopify Plus, you can use AfterSell's checkout editing feature to achieve this.

If you're not on Shopify Plus though, you can try adding an app like UpCart Cart Drawer to add the countdown timer directly to your cart.

Cart Drawer Timer

These are both more tasteful and less intrusive ways of adding countdown timers to your store.

2. Add Urgency to Your Post-Purchase Pages

A post-purchase page is screen real-estate that is often overlooked.

These are pages that customers get taken to immediately after they've made a purchase.

You can add post purchase upsell offers with urgency components to these pages to boost your average order value.

For example, MrBeast's Shopify store "Feastables" used AfterSell to add an upsell offer to their post-purchase page.

The offer was only available for a limited amount of time, so customers had to act quickly if they wanted to take advantage of it.

Here's an example of a what a post-purchase page with urgency components would look like.

Post Purchase Upsell Timer

Additionally, you could also add similar offers to your thank you page too.

3. Add Scarcity With A Limited Stock Sale or Limited Stock Available Counter

The clearest way to create scarcity is to show potential buyers how many items you have in stock.

You can do this by adding "Limited Stock Available" badges to your product pages. This will show customers how many items are left in stock and encourage them to take action before the item runs out.

4. Produce Urgency By Running A Flash Sale

Running flash sales or deals of the day is another great way to add urgency to your store. It shows customers that they need to act quickly before the offer expires.

You can set up a timer for these offers that counts down until it ends, so customers know exactly when their deal will expire.

Ecommerce Flash Sale

These types of offers are typically run on holidays or big shopping events like Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

The key to making these offers successful is to build anticipation among your customer base through email campaigns, retargeting ads, and social media posts.

5. Provide A Limited-Time Free Shipping Offer

Unforeseen shipping costs can be a huge deterrent for shoppers. In fact, it is one of the leading causes of cart abandonment.

Customers love free shipping offers, so offer free shipping on your store for a limited time to encourage customers to act now. Or, you could offer same-day delivery if that's something that works with your business model.

Fast Shipping Urgency

To get customers to act fast, you can highlight your limited-time free shipping offer directly on the product page. This will give customers a sense of urgency and encourage them to take action quickly before the offer expires.

Use "Until Supplies Last" Marketing Tactics Sparingly

"Until supplies last" is a powerful phrase, and it can create a sense of urgency that encourages customers to act quickly. But be warned: this type of marketing tactic should only be used responsibly. If you use too many of these phrases, customers may begin to doubt their validity and your credibility could take a hit.

The key is to use subtle tactics that encourage customers to take action without turning them off. By using these tactics judiciously, you can create a sense of urgency and scarcity that will encourage customers to take action on your ecommerce store.

That said, it's important to know that urgency and scarcity are just two pieces of the puzzle. You also need to have great products, excellent customer service, and enticing offers in order to succeed as an ecommerce store.

Think of scarcity and urgency as tools that amplify the existing demand for your products — they don't create the demand.

How Will You Create a "While Supply Lasts" Effect on Your Store?

Creating a sense of urgency and scarcity on your ecommerce store is an effective way to encourage customers to take action and make a purchase. Did you know you can even incite urgency with shopify checkout upsells?

By using limited-time offers, running flash sales, adding "limited stock available" badges and counters, or providing free shipping for a limited time, you can create a "while supply lasts" effect on your store that will generate more sales.

So, what tactic will you use to create a sense of urgency and scarcity on your ecommerce store?

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