Create a Sense of Urgency on Your eCommerce Site to Grow Sales

by Oct 23, 20180 comments

Creating a sense of urgency in the buyer is a time-proven way to drive sales. It’s something that merchants have been doing for hundreds of years, and this same idea holds true when it comes to eCommerce.

In fact, marketing emails that create a sense of urgency in the recipient are twice as likely to result in a sale. Potential and existing customers who see something in the subject line or in the content that commands immediate notice are far more likely to act and engage instead of delete and forget. When doubling your sales is on the line, you literally cannot afford to not examine some strategies.

Check out these four different strategies for developing and capitalizing on this sense of intense need in your e-commerce customers.

Customers are often on the fence about a product. They go back and forth between wanting it, but question how much they really want it or wonder if it is worth that much of their money. Sometimes, they might even feel that buying product X can wait a few days.

There’s no rush. Using a special offer can create that rush. Emailing or messaging something as simple as a discount or tossing in a free item to go with Product X can be enough to make that sale.

Here’s a great example of a small business using special offers to drive sales. BottleKeeper, a company that developed a solution to keep bottles cold in the sun, used a week-long campaign that gave customers $5 off their purchase that resulted in a $25,000 increase in revenue.

This also works with seasonal items or products that are hard to stock with reliable regularity. Advertising this fact via an email campaign, push notification, or text message is an excellent way to remind customers to buy it now, or risk not being able to buy it at all.

This sense of urgency could also be magnified by hyping up its upcoming availability a couple of weeks before it goes on sale.

FOMO (Fear of Missing Out): The Anxiety from Not Buying

This is similar to exclusive offers but taps into people’s inherent fear of missing something important. Fear of Missing Out (FOMO) is a real thing. People don’t like to feel like they’re on the sidelines while everyone else is part of whatever experience is going on.

The idea of FOMO goes further than rock legends selling tickets for their farewell tour. It covers small business e-commerce as well. Letting customers know when an item is almost out of stock, either through a message or a notification on your website, can get them to make the purchase.

Coupons or discounts that are only valid for a limited time work as well. Raw Generation specializes in cleansing juices. It began incorporating coupons that offered a one-time discount for visitors to their website. The result was a sales increase of $28,000 in just three weeks.

The trick to adding value to your customers’ purchases is stepping back and looking at your product through the eyes of your customers. Ask yourself, “What can I offer to make things even better?” Hence the idea of “added value.” Infomercials do this all the time. They hype up the main product, and then offer something else for “free,” if you order now.

Coffee shops, the smart ones, are another good example of this concept’s fundamental principle. They’ll place something like a fresh cinnamon roll that would go great with the coffee you just bought. It’s the idea of pushing a product that would make their original purchase better by adding extra value.

While coffee shops do a great job, they are not the only ones who have found a way to add immediate extra value. People who play video games are always trying to “level up.”

Game Hive, developer of Tap Titans 2, was able to double revenue from in-app purchases like character upgrades by linking them to ads targeted to gamers who played games similar to theirs.


Small businesses can get in on the e-commerce game just as easy as big corporations, and pushing that sense of urgency is still a great way to get customers to spend money. The best news is that it’s easier and cheaper than it sounds.

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