Although sometimes shoppers will visit an online store because they need something urgently and they know they can get it quickly, most of the time there isn’t such a need. Most of the time, those visitors are simply browsing, and if they see something they like, they might save it for another time or put it in their cart but then go away and potentially forget all about it. This is even more true if that customer is comparing prices. They will have a number of tabs open, they will be flicking back and forth between pages, and they’ll be drilling deeply into the delivery prices, the dates they can get the items, and much more.
If you can create a sense of urgency in your online store, not only will you see more sales, but you won’t have to resort to other tactics to gain those sales; tactics such as price-slashing and buy one get one free offers. These can certainly increase your sales, but they will reduce your profits, and although they can be useful, if you can avoid them, then your bottom line will be much healthier. Creating a sense of urgency that helps visitors turn into buyers is a great way to do this.
Why Urgency Causes Sales
Understanding why creating a sense of urgency in your online store will cause more sales and boost your business will help you put any plans you have in this regard in motion. The idea is that when you imply that there is a scarcity of some item or service, buyers will be less inclined to spend time on their buying choices; they will act more impulsively and won’t need as much information before they buy. In other words, because they don’t want to miss out, they’ll buy whatever it is you’re offering without the usual checks and balances.
This might sound somewhat unethical, but this practice would only be problematic if the products and services you were selling were substandard or not fit for purpose. If they are good quality and fairly priced, then all you are actually doing is speeding up the buying process, and customers won’t feel hard done by once their concern over missing out on something they want has passed them by. Buyers’ remorse is the last thing you want to have to handle, so it pays to ensure that your products are good and the services you offer are value for money when you are creating a sense of urgency for people to buy them.
When people are shopping online, they will often feel as though they have the power over the online stores. There are so many different options they can choose from, and they can take their time in making the choice that’s right for them, even returning to a site multiple times before making a final purchase, that often they’re not concerned about how quickly something is bought. They like the idea of being able to make well thought out buying decisions. When you create a sense of urgency, it’s important not to take this power away, or the buyer might find they are unhappy with the situation and either give up entirely or decide they don’t like the way you’re going about things and find a competitor to buy from. It’s crucial to balance this tactic well if you’re going to make the most of it.
Mistakes To Avoid
Even if you have been working in business for a long time, you can still make mistakes when it comes to creating a sense of urgency for your online store. Any mistake in this area could be disastrous, and not only will you miss out on sales you might have made if you had gone about things differently, but you could also lose your hard-fought reputation, which is incredibly difficult to get back once it’s gone. Avoiding these mistakes is crucial for your strategy to work.
- Lack of strategy
The biggest issue when it comes to implementing a sense of urgency in your online store is a complete lack of any strategy at all. You might run a promotion, for example, with a time limit, but if you have no follow-up plans for when that time limit is reached, the sense of urgency will immediately be lost, and you might even find you’re on the receiving end of some complaints. Imagine how customers would feel if they bought something they thought was limited or at a special price for a short while only to find that, once the promotion ended, nothing happened and the price remained low, or the items were still available. Even if they were happy with their purchase, they might lose trust in your business as a whole.
Follow up plans can also extend to the next step in your marketing. So you might create a time-limited offer, but what do people need to do to obtain it? Do they need to sign up for a newsletter? Like your page on social media? Whatever it is, make sure it will bring value to you and not just the customer; otherwise, all you’re doing is giving things away, and although the customer might be very happy, your profits will take a big dip.
This is, in some ways, is why it is a great idea to perhaps obtain a Suffolk University’s online MBA degree finance concentration. By deepening your understanding of finances and sharpening your critical thinking skills for when you approach challenges such as this, you can take both a systematic and creative approach. This ensures that when weigh up your options about the price you set to sell your products/services, how long, and what they need to do to make the most of the offer, you don’t risk your profits taking that hit.
- Ignoring the competition
Ignoring the competition is another mistake to avoid when you are creating a sense of urgency for a particular product or service. Remember, the internet is a popular place to shop because customers have the chance to price check and find the best deals out there. This means that even if you do manage to create a sense of urgency, that urgency will be undermined if a potential customer can find the same thing you are suggesting is limited elsewhere, especially if the prices are the same. This is why it’s so important to know what your competitors are doing. Only when you have an in-depth idea as to what promotions they are running and which products they are selling (and for how much) will you be able to create your own strategy that fits in and outshines theirs. Ignoring them will only lead to wasted time and effort and potentially many lost sales.
Finally, another big error that business owners often make is not adding any value to the product. A lower price is good, but what is in it for the customer other than money-saving? Customers are much savvier these days, and although they will often look for lower prices, they also understand that those low prices might not be the best option, and they will be willing to spend more if need by for better quality or to buy from a business that clearly has the customers’ needs in mind. Show your visitors that you care, learn about the demographics of who is buying from you, and ensure they understand why the products you’re selling are something they cannot miss out on.
Tips For Creating A Sense Of Urgency
By now, you should be aware that creating a sense of urgency is something that will boost your sales, but knowing that and knowing how to create the all-important sense of urgency is something quite different. With that in mind, here are some methods that you can use to help you.
Words are important when it comes to creating a sense of urgency. Talk about deals and deadlines, and you will immediately show that there is an urgency involved. Visitors will, even subconsciously, take this in, and many will act on it, buying something much more quickly than they would normally do. Content is crucial when it comes to marketing, and that includes creating a sense of urgency. By creating an emotional response through your website’s copy, you can create a feeling of urgency and need. Using words like ‘hurry’, ‘ending soon’, ‘last chance’, and ‘don’t miss out’ to inspire a feeling of need and a faster buying decision. You can also add exclamation points throughout the text, as this is another way to show urgency.
Deadlines are always going to be useful for you when you are creating a sense of urgency within your online store and using it to boost sales. You can create these deadlines yourself, choosing dates and times that work for you and that offer your visitors enough time to buy but not so much time as to allow them a chance to shop around too much. However, sometimes there are more global, recognized deadlines such as Valentine’s or Christmas, or Mother’s Day. Knowing when these dates are coming and ensuring that your sales copy is full of references to them will inspire a sense of urgency, even if there is actually plenty of time between now and the date itself. You should create promotions that link to these deadlines and holidays and having an actual deadline clock that counts down to the date on your site might seem like overkill, but it can actually drive that sense of urgency even more.
What’s even better about these important deadlines is that there will be a delivery cut-off date and time that needs to be adhered to. Customers will know that you’re not creating a false deadline to boost sales; if they want their products for the holiday or occasion they are buying for, they have to bear these universal dates in mind. No matter what site they go to, these delivery dates will be the same, so there is less competition in this regard.
Another option when it comes to creating a sense of urgency is the remind shoppers that there are other people out there just like them and that those other people might want to buy that product they’ve been thinking about. With a limited amount, that can cause some people to decide to buy more quickly than they would otherwise do. No one wants to miss out, especially if the product is something that many people want. If you’ve ever noticed a display on a website you were looking at that told you how many people were viewing the same product you are or how many people have bought one, this would have been there to create that sense of urgency and heighten the fear of missing out. Having your stock levels displayed prominently is another good idea that ties in with this; customers won’t be able to miss that the numbers are dwindling, and if they want whatever it is, they’ll need to act fast. Can you see how this sense of urgency can be introduced using simple methods?
Think About Delivery Options
When you buy anything online, there will always be a delay between making the purchase and receiving the delivery (unless you are buying a digital download, of course). It is the delivery time – and cost – that can make all the difference to buyers, especially if they are shopping around.
If you are suggesting that there is a sense of urgency to buy the product but then offer only slow delivery options, that urgency will be lost. Buyers will be tempted to look elsewhere. After all, they know they can come to you if they can’t get what they want any sooner, but they will feel it’s worth checking with your competitors. If they can get the item more quickly from somewhere else, that’s what they’re likely to do.
Since many logistics operators are now offering next-day or even same-day deliveries, you can use these options to ensure that your sale doesn’t fall down at the final hurdle. The customer will be able to see that the product they want is not only available but could even be with them that very day, with no waiting required.
If this option is not available to you or it would be logistically difficult to handle, another option is to offer free delivery for a limited time. Even if this takes a few extra days, the fact that it’s free and there is a time limit will encourage buyers to take you up on your offer before that time runs out.