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7 Ways to Boost Your Ecommerce Conversions by Creating Urgency

Ecommerce is a fast-growing industry, and it’s estimated that it will account for almost one-sixth of all retail sales by 2021. There has never been a better time to get into ecommerce, and as Covid-19 took hold of the world, the crisis is having a positive impact on ecommerce as spending rocketed under lockdowns in early 2020.

This is a competitive marketplace, where multiple retailers are battling for similar demographics. A digital marketing strategy is an essential component of an ecommerce store. As a digital retailer, your first goal should be bringing traffic to your store, getting as many views for your products as possible.

But this doesn’t automatically equate to sales. Consumers often have the frustrating habit of placing products in their basket before thinking twice – maybe seeking out more reviews of the product in question, or hoping for a better deal elsewhere. As consumers get more discerning, and are offered more choice than ever before, digital marketers need sophisticated tactics for generating sales.

In this article, we’ll explore how you can create a sense of urgency in your ecommerce store to grow your conversions. With these strategies, you’ll see your sales rocketing.

What Is a Conversion?

When you’re running an ecommerce store, you are working towards one goal, always: sales. While some websites will make money from ads or indirect revenue, an ecommerce store relies on customers buying products for its revenue.

In the broadest terms, digital marketers use a conversion to describe any action that a website visitor is guided towards taking. For some businesses, this could be as simple as signing up for the mailing list. For an ecommerce store, however, a conversion means a sale, as this is the one way you’re going to be making money. You might be getting thousands of hits each day from potential customers visiting your sites, indicating that you’re doing something right with your marketing strategy. But if you aren’t converting this traffic into sales, your ecommerce business will flounder.

There are many strategies for generating conversions once you’re getting this traffic, but in ecommerce one such approach stands above all the rest: urgency. First, we’ll look at what urgency is in an online retail environment, and then we’ll discover how you can create urgency in your ecommerce store to grow your conversions and boost your sales.

What Is Urgency?

Urgency is an incredibly powerful motivator for human action. A sense of urgency will give any human actor a feeling that an action must be completed as soon as possible – remember those looming deadlines of your school days? As the deadline drew closer, the impulse to begin working on your project grew stronger, until it was powerful enough to kickstart your action.

In ecommerce, creating urgency in a potential customer invites them to feel like a decision on your product must be arrived at promptly. Often, creating a sense of scarcity around your product – that if a customer doesn’t purchase it now, then they’ll miss their chance altogether – is the most effective way of creating urgency. But urgency can be built around many features in ecommerce, from products to prices to delivery times.

Creating urgency during your sales funnel can see sales grow up to 3x! Click To Tweet

Creating urgency in your ecommerce business can see sales grow three times as customers don’t have time to think twice about a purchase. By fostering a sense of urgency throughout your online retail business, you’ll see those all-important conversion rates rocketing, and sales will follow.  This is sometimes referred to as Fear Of Missing Out (FOMO) marketing. 

If you want to apply some of the following tactics in your popups, check out our article on how to use Popup Maker in your FOMO marketing.

Read on to discover our great tactics for creating urgency in your ecommerce business.

7 Ways to Create Urgency

1. Time Limited Delivery Dates

One thing customers in online retail love is next day delivery – there’s nothing more satisfying than a prompt delivery, as that agonizing waiting time between clicking checkout and receipt of a package is reduced. Utilizing this human impulse to create urgency can have a powerful impact on your conversions, as shoppers can’t hesitate or they’ll be waiting longer for their package.

“If you’ve ever browsed Amazon, you’ll see that they have a live countdown of how long you have to order a product if you want to receive it tomorrow,” says David Soloman, ecommerce writer at Academized. “The countdown is an incredibly efficient way to create urgency, as customers can literally see the seconds slipping away.”

2. Emphasize Sale Prices Expiring

A sale is a fantastic way to motivate your potential customers to buy, converting innocent browsers into all-important sales. When customers see slashed prices, they’re drawn to those savings. This strategy becomes doubly effective when a sale is time-limited, and it’s clear to customers that these prices are for a limited time only. Running an ever-changing “deal of the day” or “deal of the week” gives consumers that impulse to purchase now. Nobody wants to miss out on a deal, so the sense of urgency created by having your best offers running out will encourage conversions.

3. Show Real Time Stock Levels

It can happen that browsing the web creates complacency in shoppers as they’re witnessing an almost infinite supply of products and services. You need to remind them that this is a digital fantasy, and in the real-world products run out – and chances to buy are limited. By showing customers your stock count in real time your customers will feel the apprehension that they could miss out.

It’s especially important to highlight when stocks are running low, such as when the level falls below ten items. Some websites use a traffic light system, where the stock count changes from green, through amber, to red as stocks are depleted. When customers see the stock levels announced in a bold red font, that all-important sense of urgency is created.

4. Remind Consumers That They’re Not Alone

From a consumer’s perspective, digital retail takes place in a vacuum. There are no queues at the register, nobody else browsing the shelves. This can work against urgency, as in physical settings these facts are readily apparent in a way that digital retail hides. Reminding consumers that they’re not alone will encourage that sense of competitivity, as nobody wants to miss out on a deal.

Having a live count on product pages that indicates how many other consumers are viewing products is a fantastic way to build urgency and increase sales. When a customer sees that fifty other people are browsing a product, they know they can’t hesitate to buy.

5. Offer Reward Plans for a Limited Time Only

Sometimes customers are looking to buy multiple products, or they know they’ll be returning to your store again and again. Letting customers sign up for a premium membership, giving them access to discounts and free shipping will turn them into loyal customers.

If you make these plans time-limited offers, customers will have an additional sense of urgency as they know they could miss out on a great deal. Pop-up banners on your ecommerce store can offer these deals, and emphasize that they end in a few days. This shows customers the value of the offer they’re getting, as it’s something scarce.

6. Seasonal Discounts

Everybody wants to get into the holiday spirit, so whether it’s Halloween or Easter, offering seasonal discounts is a great way to boost your sales on your ecommerce store. During times of gift-giving, potential customers will be searching the web for the best deals, and your store can get in on the action. By ensuring that your customers know these deals are for a limited time only, you’ll give them the impulse to buy.

Christmas discounts are a great way to sell in the run-up to the 25th. But special events after Christmas that are a prelude to January sales can also create a sense of urgency that works magic on your conversions. A 24-hour sale on Boxing Day, for example, will get people logging on to get those discounts before they’re gone.

7. Flash Sales

A flash sale is a hyper-limited sale with exceptional deals, and customers go crazy for them. With prices slashed by up to 70% across your website, you’ll have customers rushing to make purchases. Of course, these 70% discounts don’t need to be across the board – they’ll hook customers who will then make other purchases across your site, either taking advantage of the discounts or bundling full-priced products together with their deals.

“A flash sale creates urgency because of the extremities of discount, but also because it’s exceptionally time-limited,” says John Mutter, email marketer at StateOfWriting, “Lasting a day or even just a few hours, and marketed to build up a buzz about it in advance, customers will have an extreme sense of urgency, lowering their barriers to buying.”

Next Steps

Creating a conceptual shift in consumers’ minds, where they leave the casual shopping atmosphere fostered by browsing in their own home and enter a competitive retail environment where deals are always expiring and other consumers are battling for limited stocks, will build a sense of urgency in your store.

Using these tactics to create a sense of urgency in your ecommerce store will help you convert traffic into sales and build a successful business.

Katherine Rundell is an ecommerce expert at UK Writings. She specializes in cutting edge digital marketing strategies. When she's not strategizing, she likes hiking with her two dogs in the mountains around her home.

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