Brands use live trends to show their customers data to help them make a decision about the products they’re thinking of buying.
This could be information about how many products are left in stock, how many other shoppers have viewed a product recently, or how many people have booked a flight.
This is a form of marketing through scarcity, and works around people’s fear of missing out (I think I’m obliged to call this “FOMO”). In a nutshell, if they are concerned the product will soon be unavailable, they’re more likely to speed up their decision to buy it.
One element of live trends data is to show the availability of products. For example, messaging that shows that just one hotel room is available on your chosen travel date means you have to think fast or miss out.
Messaging can be used to show how many people are viewing a certain product, giving shoppers a sense of how popular it is. This can be done in a subtle way which influences the customer, but doesn’t interrupt their journey.
Trends information can also be triggered in response to actions taken by visitors, such as when they’re about to leave the site, or have become inactive for a period of time.
Messaging can then be used to remind the customer of the purchase, and that they run the risk of missing out.
Live trends can be very effective, but it’s important to keep the customer in mind when using this information.
If you over-use this tactic, it can lose its effect. However, if you provide accurate and useful information which helps shoppers to come to a decision, this is good for you and the customer.
Graham Charlton is Editor in Chief at SaleCycle. He's been covering ecommerce and digital marketing for more than a decade, having previously written reports and articles for Econsultancy. ClickZ, Search Engine Watch and more.