There are several ways that retailers can create a sense of urgency in the customer’s mind, and nudge them into making up their minds about the purchase they’re considering.
One way to create urgency is to use countdown timers, which provide a clear visual cue for customers that if they want a product, or want it quickly, then they need to take action.
The key when using countdown timers and similar urgency tactics, is that the information should be useful to the customer, helping them to make their minds up.
A common use for countdown timers is to show how much time customers have left to order for next day delivery.
Here, Simply Hike uses one on its product pages. Fast delivery is a sales driver and combining this with a countdown timer is a great way to get customers’ attention.
Countdowns can also be used in emails. Addison Lee used countdown timers in emails to advertise a Daytime Discount to customers who had abandoned the booking form.
The timer shows the amount of time left to claim the deal, adding that sense of urgency to an already effective tactic.
Countdown timers can be an effective tactic, but it’s important to keep these key points in mind:
- Be honest. Urgency is an effective tactic, but it has to be used honestly or you risk annoying your customers.
- Don’t overdo it. This is a tactic that shouldn’t be overused, or customers will begin to lose trust in the information.
- Provide useful information. Countdown timers should help the customer. For example, shoppers will have concerns about deadlines for Christmas delivery, and countdown timers can help to display this information as clearly as possible.
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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.