18 Tactics to Grow Your Online Store Conversions By Creating Urgency

By Beatriz Estay - April 14, 2020
8 mins read time
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Your potential customer loves your product! In fact, they love it so much that they add it to their shopping cart on your website.

They are about to hit ‘Buy’ when they have second thoughts.

Maybe they should read a few more reviews…

Maybe they should check out that similar product from another company…

And so they leave your site without buying anything.

So, what went wrong here? What could you have done better to make them close the sale sooner?

Urgency.

When you create a sense of urgency, it gives your potential customers that little nudge they need to buy your products.

In this article, we are going to talk about how you can create urgency without being pushy or turning people off, and some powerful tactics you can use to skyrocket your conversion rate.

Let’s begin.

What Is a Conversion? 

Ecommerce will be responsible for 16.1 percent of total global retail sales by the end of 2020. Your retail sales depend upon the conversion rate of your website.

A conversion is a marketing goal or action that a website visitor takes. In eCommerce, it is usually used to describe when a customer makes a purchase from your online store.

Venngage describes conversion like this:

“..a marketer’s main objective is to attract a stranger (prospect), make them interested in your product/service (lead) and then nurture them until they decide to buy from you (customer).”

If you own an eCommerce store, conversions are vital to the growth of your business. Unlike regular websites that may run on ads or affiliate programs, an eCommerce store solely depends on conversions.

There is no point in having a ton of traffic to your site if that traffic does not convert to sales.

The ultimate type of conversion for an eCommerce website is a sale.

Conversions can be increased in many ways. One way is to highlight the ease of use of your product. For example, here is a screenshot of RightInbox’s landing page:

By specifying that you are going to save a user’s time, you are showing them that you value your customers’ time and are, in a way, creating a sense of urgency.

Why Does Urgency Work in Ecommerce? 

Before we get into why urgency works for eCommerce stores, let’s first define what it is.

Urgency is a sort of apprehension created in the minds of buyers when they perceive a product as scarce. This encourages them to buy the product as soon as they can, for fear of losing it.

One marketer reported a 332 percent increase in sales after he implemented urgency on his site. Adding a sense of urgency in your sales copy helps you increase the likelihood of any desired action, such as conversions, click-throughs or email engagement.

The best part about creating urgency in your site? It’s a relatively straightforward tactic. Even minor tweaks to your product pages will help you boost your sales. A/B testing of your tactics is also quite simple and will give you detailed insights into your customers’ mindsets.

Create Urgency = Grow Conversions 

As an eCommerce marketer, you need to ensure that every form of marketing communication you send out to your potential customers has a sense of urgency attached to it.

Incorporating the right eCommerce marketing strategy in your business can help you increase your customers’ need for your product, leading them to buy.

Here are some effective tactics you can use to grow your conversions by creating a sense of urgency in your marketing plan:

1. Guarantee a quicker delivery for orders made within a time frame.

There’s nothing online shoppers love better than instant gratification. When you offer same-day delivery or two-day delivery for specific orders, you can be sure of a spike in sales.

Specify a time within which people should order the item so that it conveys scarcity.

Check out this example from Amazon:

Amazon uses simple, effective and engaging copy by posing a question to viewers. Also, they highlight a time frame for faster delivery in a different color (green) so that it stands out.

2. Show customers when you have a sale for a limited time.

Having limited period sales is a great way to urge customers to buy. Slash your product prices to an all-time low for a limited time and display this offer on your website’s landing page or offer it to your email list subscribers. This tactic is sure to skyrocket your eCommerce conversions.

Here is an example of how TigerDirect showcases its Deal of the Week on its homepage:

3. Exhibit your product stock levels.

When visitors are aware that a particular product is going out of stock, they are more motivated to buy.

Display the number of items in your stock if there are only a few left.

Here is how Home Depot does it:

4. Offer your customers a special discount for a limited time.

Display a pop-up on your homepage that offers a discounted deal for a limited period.

Here’s an example from Bay Alarm Medical:

They offer customers 20 percent off on select plans along with free shipping if the customer orders before the specified date. This tactic gives customers a reason to shop sooner rather than later.

If you are selling on third-party marketplaces like Amazon, Ebay, etc., be sure to use a repricer tool to help you find tipping points in price that can make or break sales.

While simply saying “let’s do a 10 percent discount” is easy, it’s not always going to move the needle. Repricing based on hard-data can help you draw a line in the sand to convert at higher rates for potentially less of a discount.

5. Display the number of people that are interested in the product.

Another urgency tactic is to show how many people are interested in a particular product. Check out how Etsy shows this on their site:

By showing the quantity of the product available and how many people have added it to their baskets already, Etsy motivates customers to check out their shopping cart as soon as possible to avoid losing the item.

6. Show trust signals, such as the number of your customers/ purchases in the past.

You could also display trust signals and show people how many clients you have served like Loganix does here:

Here is another example of displaying trust signals by LastPass:

LastPass uses trust signals to reduce anxiety in customers and nudge them to take the plunge and purchase quickly.

7. Show the number of recent purchases/ any related activity.

Another way to show recent purchases/ activity is to give real numbers like Swagbucks does here:

Showing people’s earnings makes visitors want to get started asap and earn, as you are tapping into the psychology of FOMO — or fear of missing out.

8. Offer upsells or cross-sells with a time limit.

Show customers other complementary products to the ones they are viewing. You could add a ‘Frequently Bought Together’ section like Amazon does:

You could also choose to offer a discount if the customer decides to purchase the items suggested. Add a timer to increase the urgency of the deal.

9. Offer holiday discounts.

Holidays are a perfect time to offer deals since everyone is shopping for gifts already. Customers scout for the best holiday deals online, and these come with an attached time limit.

Don’t miss the opportunity to offer holiday discounts and deals to your customers. Here’s an example from Walmart:

10. Conduct flash sales.

Flash sales are limited period sales where the prices of products are cut down significantly. They help you sell a large number of your products, but at very low prices, so you need first to calculate whether a flash sale is ideal for your business.

Carter’s offers flash sales like this to improve conversions:

11. Allow customers to pre-order new products.

When a new and much-awaited product is launched, there’s always a lot of excitement among your customer base.

Use this opportunity to take pre-orders for your product. Apple does it with its newly launched products:

12. Sell limited-edition products.

Limited-edition products most definitely create a sense of urgency in the mind of the buyer. There’s something about knowing you are never going to get a particular product (or a version of the product) after a specific time that makes you want to get it ASAP.

Here’s an example of a limited edition product from Sephora:

13. Give them a signup offer with a deadline.

You could offer your website visitors a limited period signup offer. That means they get a discount for your product or services if they sign up within the specified timeframe.

Headspace offers a signup offer to its email subscribers as seen in the screenshot:

14. Display a prominent countdown timer.

Displaying an active countdown timer at the top of your product page hastens your customers to buy.

Check out this Deal of the Day from BestBuy:

15. Collaborate with a partner store and offer discounts.

People often shop from different online stores to buy related products. For instance, people could buy furniture from one store and then look for matching curtains at an online upholstery store.

Partner with related stores and offer your customers discounts. This will not only increase your conversions but also build trust with your target customers.

Pampers offers its customers Mother’s Day coupons that they can redeem from any of their partner stores:

16. Retarget customers who have abandoned cart items.

Seventy percent of customers abandon their online shopping carts. This is a severe issue for eCommerce stores.

What you can do to avoid this and increase your conversion rate is to retarget abandoned cart customers.

This means you need to reach out to these customers and give them an incentive like a discount or offer to complete their checkout process.

Here is an example from Levi’s:

17. Appeal to your socially conscious customers.

Customers are becoming socially conscious, and they expect their favorite brands to be as well. Create sales that lead to donations to charity or other good causes that your customers may appreciate.

Take Amazon, for example:

18. Advertise clearance sales.

Nearly 40 percent of companies base their prices on the value provided by their product. However, sometimes it is wise to give away old stock items at low prices as a clearance sale offer.

People love deals. And if you advertise a clearance sale on your site, customers are bound to come pouring in.

Here’s an example from one of Walmart’s clearance sales:

Final Thoughts 

With 7 out of 10 customers abandoning online shopping carts on average, eCommerce businesses must do something different to increase conversions.

One reliable tactic is to create a sense of urgency for your customers. People are usually waiting for a strong reason for them to buy a particular product, which is where urgency steps in.

When you create a sense of urgency, it gives your customers that little nudge they need to complete the checkout process.

There are many tactics you can use in your eCommerce business to grow your online conversions this way.

No matter what tactics you plan to use on your site, be sure to stay authentic and give your customers what they want. This will help boost your conversions quickly.

Beatriz Estay

Beatriz is a Small Business Content Marketing Specialist at BigCommerce and the fashion and lifestyle influencer behind The Letter Bea, an Austin, Texas based blog. She holds a B.A. in Communication and Sociology/Anthropology from Lake Forest College and specializes in ecommerce, marketing and merchandising strategies, influencer and branding work, and social media. When she's not curating content, Beatriz loves to travel the world, share her journey with Type 1 Diabetes, and find Austin's most Instagram friendly spots.

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