Red Hot Thoughts | Creating urgency in eCommerce

Creating urgency in eCommerce.

As the shopping season approaches – with Black Friday and Christmas looming on the horizon – many Ecommerce retailers will have already launched Christmas campaigns. As we move closer towards these peak shopping dates, we are all too familiar with urgency messaging. You know, the ‘limited time only’‘sale ends in X hours’ messaging. Some websites also utilise features such as ‘X people are viewing this product’ or ‘only 3 items left’ – these are based around social proof (aka how popular a product is).   

However, these Ecommerce tactics are not only used during certain seasons or sales. They have become an integrated component on many websites, displaying stock levels, countdown timers and number of product views. We are all likely to have fallen victim to it – ASOS has driven me to many purchases I may not have otherwise made by driving a sense of urgency with their ‘only X left in stock’ popups.  

Does creating urgency really work? 

We ran a limited-time flash sale paid social campaign for one of our clients across multiple social media channels during the summer. We used a mix of time related copy and generic copy within the campaign, which was delivered across the UK, Germany and the Netherlands. The campaign generated great results and a key component of this was the copy we created.  

There were 198% more link clicks on the time related ad copy and a much higher number of purchases. The best performing copy included ‘For one weekend only’ and ‘For a limited time only’Other high performing copy asked consumers, ‘What are you waiting for?’. All copy mentioned the sale, so the defining factor was the sense of urgency. 

This was the case across all regions – the UK, Germany and the Netherlands.  

So, why does creating urgency work? 

There are two important psychological factors that explain why urgency and social proof are both powerful tools in influencing consumer behaviour.  

Firstly, a sense of urgency drives people to act. It encourages consumers who are considering a product to buy now, before they miss out.  

Secondly, FOMOA sense of urgency evokes loss eversion, otherwise known as FOMO. We are inherently wired to not want to miss out. This is where social proof comes in, the popularity of a product (product views, stock levels) just adds to this drive to act quickly. 

Use wisely… 

It is not a good idea to quickly rush to insert messages of urgency into your campaign copy. Consumers will quickly lose trust if everything is always on sale or about to run out. Use messages of urgency in moderation – your consumers will trust you more and look forward to your next offer.  

About Red Hot Penny

Red Hot Penny are a team of digital marketing specialists you can depend on. Our focus is customer acquisition – giving you the fuel to fire growth. Whether you’re an e-commerce retailer or online brand, we’ll help you identify and acquire new customers. We’ll provide the data and insights to deliver made-to-measure campaigns.

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