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How Do You Create Urgency in eCommerce Marketing? [Key Tactics]

How Do You Create Urgency in eCommerce Marketing? [Key Tactics]


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In today’s hyper-competitive ecommerce landscape, it’s not enough to simply have a great product and an attractive website. In order to stand out, ecommerce marketers need utilise conversion rate optimisation techniques to create a sense of urgency that motivates potential customers to take action, and avoid cart abandonment

Implementing key tactics with a message of urgency throughout the ecommerce customer journey has the power to turn choice paralysis into sales. 

In this article, we’ll explore some effective strategies for creating urgency in ecommerce marketing, along with examples of how they’ve been used successfully by leading ecommerce brands.

What Does Urgency Mean In Marketing?

In marketing, urgency refers to the sense of immediate importance or pressure that motivates potential customers to take action, typically to make a purchase. 

When urgency is created in marketing, it gives customers a reason to act quickly rather than delaying their purchase decision, which can result in lost sales and revenue for businesses, as well as browse abandonment and cart abandonment. 

Urgency can be created through various marketing tactics, such as limited-time offers, abandoned cart discounts, scarcity messaging, and countdown timers. By creating a sense of urgency, businesses can encourage customers to make a purchase decision sooner rather than later, which can ultimately drive conversions and increase sales.

What Is Urgency Based Selling?

Urgency based selling is a term used for sales techniques that focus on creating a sense of urgency in potential customers – in order to motivate them to make a purchase decision quickly. The goal of urgency based selling is to encourage customers to act quickly, by highlighting the immediate benefits and consequences of making a purchase or not making a purchase.

Urgency based selling can be particularly effective in ecommerce since customers are often presented with a wide range of options and can easily compare prices and features across different websites.

Why Is Urgency Important In Sales?

Creating urgency in sales can help to reduce customer decision-making and increase the perceived value of the product or service being sold. By communicating that a product or service is only available for a limited time, or that a sale will end soon, businesses can encourage customers to act quickly in order to take advantage of the opportunity.

How Do You Create Urgency In Marketing?

Creating urgency in marketing is all about making your target audience feel that they can’t miss out . Here are three messaging tactics to be able to communicate this in your next marketing campaign:

1. Use Urgent Language

Words like “limited time,” “act fast,” or “don’t miss out” in your call to action (CTAs), to create a sense of urgency in the minds of your audience.

2. Leverage Social Proof

Highlighting that other people are taking advantage of the offer or that a product is selling quickly via social proof can create a sense of urgency and fear of missing out (FOMO) in your audience.

3. Show The Consequences Of Inaction

Explain what your audience will miss out on if they don’t act quickly. For example: if they don’t purchase a product now, they may have to pay full price later.

How Do You Create Customer Urgency?

We have covered the key principles of creating customer urgency for online success, but how do you create a campaign that feels authentic and compelling to your target audience? Below are some key tools that you should implement, that can help you drive more sales and grow your business – along with some great industry examples:

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Countdown Timers

A psychological driver in creating urgency in the customer journey can be simply achieved by setting a deadline. Using ecommerce countdown timers to display the end of a sale, a discount code or a next day delivery offer is an effective way to convince customers to buy now and not later.

Having limited time to do something forces users to take action, speeding up their purchasing decision and increasing those conversions.

Dynamic countdown timers can also be included in cart abandonment emails to both alert and remind customers how long they have left to grab that beautiful dress to qualify for next day delivery.

Be sure to keep countdown timers fresh, timely and relevant in line with current campaigns to maximise conversion rate.


Stock Notifications

‘Out of stock’ is the last message customers want to see after weeks of browsing for the perfect product. Implementing a stock notification both notifies and warns the customer when an item could potentially go out of stock.

At this touchpoint, the customer is faced with a mini purchasing decision (or potential micro conversions). The ball is essentially in the customer’s court with limited time – and so they have to act on it with a decision.

Showing stock level data to potential customers is a great way to help customers by providing key information, and to drive sales through scarcity.

It’s important to make sure customers trust these messages though, as the power of scarcity messaging can become diluted through overuse.

In addition, messaging should be used in a way that helps to influence the customer but doesn’t interrupt them too much. They should be able to close messaging easily if they chose to ignore it.

selfridges limited stock email

Popular Products

Thanks to innate herd mentality, brands know that popular products sell – so letting your customers know how many people are looking at an item can work to your advantage. 

Using this strategy lets customers know how popular particular products are at the time they are viewing an item.

Similar to a stock notification, the customer is effectively being warned of the potential scarcity of the product causing them to take action and make that ultimate decision.

Flydubai integrates product popularity with on-site messaging (OSR message), innovatively reminding their users to book their flight sooner rather than later.

Having brought the popularity of the flight to the user’s attention, the ‘Continue Booking’ button on the OSR functions as the awesome CTA (call to action) to urge those convinced users along to their dream holiday without any further delay.

Screen Shot 2016-09-13 at 13.56.34

In Summary

Remember – it’s vital to remember not to overuse messages of urgency or else your campaign will become saturated and appear false. Customers are quick to recognise what’s valuable and what’s not, so don’t overcomplicate the customer journey. Keep it simple (yet sophisticated) to speed up their purchasing decisions.

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Casey Turnbull

Casey is a Fashion Journalism graduate & ecommerce marketing executive at SaleCycle. Casey is committed to producing high quality content backed by in-depth research and data. She has experience developing content in a range of sectors including fashion, ecommerce and sports.