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9 Ways To Create Urgency

Creating urgency in your eCommerce store is an essential part of maintaining sales as well as keep a vibrant site. Nothing creates the image of a stagnant, complacent, and all around stale site more than having the same offers and promotions drag on days, weeks, or even months. Here are some effective strategies you can use to create a sales environment within your site.

Limited Time Offers

Sale & promotional countdowns can be a highly effective method of creating urgency on your product page. At the very least it will prompt a visitor to stop and ask them-self “Is this item worth stopping and making a decision for.”

(Product sale countdowns for each sale item)

Limited Supplies

Highlighting limited supplies is not only a great way to increase sales, it also is a necessary component of providing great customer service. There is no worse experience for a customer than adding a product to their shopping cart, only to return and discover the item is out of stock without having received any forewarning.


Compete With Other Visitors

Shoppers are competitive by nature. They realize we live in a world with limited opportunities, resources, and deals to be had. Allowing them to recognize this and appreciate that “online” is not tantamount to “infinite” can deliver enormous returns for your eCommerce endeavor.

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(Ebay’s attempts to create competition and urgency)

(Booking.com’s competitive hotel booking features)


(Ruby Lane’s “In Other Shoppers Cart” attempt to create urgency)

Highlight Promotions & Limited Quantities

Online shoppers, like all of us, are in a hurry. You can make your incentives much more enticing by combining them together into one clear message directly on the product page.

(Shipping promotion, countdown, & limited quantity all in one )

Highlight Ship Times

Highlighting shipping times taps into shoppers need for instant gratification. The moment shoppers realize the day the item will arrive they feel an emotional connection to that item. They imagine having, wearing, or decorating with that item. Amazon is highly aware of this effect which is one reason why they have relentlessly pursued decreasing ship times on all their products.

Digital Holds

A new player on the scene, digital holds are yet another way to create the sense that inventory really is limited and other shoppers may get that item.  I recommend offering holds in time spans of no more than 2 hours and limiting holds to no more than 3 items at a time.

Shopping Cart Reinforcement

After implementing a number of methods to attract online shoppers & convert them, it is essential that eCommerce merchants see the transaction through to the end by adding additional reinforcement inside of the shopping cart and checkout experience. Buyer’s remorse is the last thing an online shopper wants to feel so remind them of the savings, promotions, and delivery dates as to reduce cart abandonment. In addition the shopping cart is a prime location to offer add-on and up-sell items as well.

Post-Checkout Limited Time Promotions

After checkout is an enormous opportunity as you have a split moment of complete attention from a qualified shopper which you have successfully converted into a customer. Don’t waste it with a basic “Thankyou” page – show your new customer other relevant items which they can save on for a limited time as well. Some merchants have gone so far as to offer 3 minute countdowns discounts on all post-checkout items.


Price Drop Stories

Many online shoppers do not realize the history behind their favorite item. Often when they see a drastically reduced price they believe that the item was just placed on sale and their unauthentic-promotion skepticism sets in. Overcome this by offering visitors more transparency. Let them know what the history of the item is, how long it has been featured on the site for, and what the pricing history is that has lead up to this point.


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