People do not like getting left behind, and they also do not like missing out on something. This psychological phenomenon is what marketers use to take advantage of consumers. It is called scarcity tactics.
Today, I will share with you several scarcity tactics you can use in your own shop.
- Timed discount and sales
- Countdown Timers
- Flash Sale
- VIP Offers
- Limited Stock
- Holiday Offers
After reading this tutorial, I’d like you to choose from several of my recommendations. Plan around how you will price your products, and then launch the sale campaign at the most appropriate time.
1. Timed discount and sales
This is the most common of all scarcity tactics out there. We see them everywhere. In my observation, only a few website stores do not do this.
You do not have to wait for specific occasions and holidays to offer a sale. You can do this every quarter if you want to, or every month.
Should you decide to go this route, you have to take note of the following:
- The discount must be difficult to refuse
- The sale must be short
- The sale must be announced
The discount has to be big. It does not make sense to offer a 10% discount because some of your competitors may already be selling the same product at a lower price. Your sale must at least be 30% off the current price.
But you will lose money, you say. The trick here is to price your products high enough that you can afford to lose 30% of the selling price and still make a profit.
2. Countdown Timers
Countdown times are used for special offers. The discount and sales tactic, however, is something you want to do for your entire store.
Countdown timers are apps that show a digital clock. This clock ticks, and once the time is up, the sale for that specific product is over.
Here is an example of a timer:
For this particular store, the sale ends in eight hours and 12 minutes. Also, the sale only applies to the products on this line.
Why do countdown timers work? They work because they force a person to make a decision now. If they do not buy it, they know that the sale will be over soon.
This works really great for people who are about to sleep—they know that the product will not be on sale anymore by the time they wake up.
Do not reset your timers. Some people will come back to your site. If your countdown is two days, and if that countdown timer is still there three days from now, potential customers will know that you are not reliable.
3. Flash Sale
A flash sale is an instant sale. It is not announced like the typical discount and sales scarcity tactic. It is called a flash sale because it happens so fast. Usually, flash sales do not last more than 24 hours.
There are many apps for Shopify and WooCommerce that you can use to make a flash sale.
In these apps, you simply select which products the flash sale will apply to, and then you set the span of time when the flash sale is effective. The apps also allow you to decide how much discount is applied to the product on sale.
Here are some tips to make flash sales effective:
- Create a flash sale section on your site
- Only sell stock that is not moving
The flash sale section is a crucial decision. If a person finds himself on this page, chances are he is really interested in shopping for no particular item. He just wants to spend money. If he is not ready to buy, this is the best time to encourage the customer to sign up for your email subscription list.
4. VIP Offers
People love to feel special, and one of the best ways you can use this to your advantage is by offering VIP packages. No, you do not have to charge them for cards or anything like that. All you need is to give them loyalty points.
For example, you can tell them that for every dollar they spend, they get 1 point. Later on, they can convert 100 points into an actual dollar, which they can use to buy from your shop.
The simplest way to do this is the manual way. You keep an Excel spreadsheet where you list down customer expenses and purchases, and then you send them regular updates about their loyalty points.
If you want to automate this, you have to prepare to spend some money on apps and developers.
Should you decide to have a VIP program, make sure you offer something special. Do not give dollars to your customers. Instead, loyalty points can only be used in your store. You can also make it so that the loyalty points can be applied as a discounted price from a purchase.
5. Limited Stock
Fifth on my list is to sell limited items. This is one of the best scarcity tactics, but it only works for items on demand.
You can capitalize on this tactic if you are a distributor of a known brand with a high demand. If not, you can still make it work.
The thing with this tactic is that you have to stay true to your word. If you said that there are only five stocks left, you must not offer the same product again soon. Offer the products again after three months.
The danger here is that if a customer bought it today and then saw next week that you have new stock, the customer will feel taken advantage of.
6. Holiday Offers
Holiday offers are mandatory. You cannot operate a business where you do not make discounted offers on special occasions, like Christmas or Thanksgiving.
Holiday sales work because holidays are a time for people to spend. During Thanksgiving, people will buy stuff for themselves. They practically expect you to have a sale. On Christmas, people buy gifts for their loved ones.
A holiday sale is not as easy as it sounds. All your competitors are offering massive discounts, so it is really a matter of creating something that a customer cannot refuse.
My advice is that you sell items that people can only buy on that specific holiday—it creates a sense of urgency if people know that this item will never be sold again after the holidays.
Summary: Are You Using These Scarcity Tactics In Your Marketing?
If you are not using any of these, you better start doing it now. You cannot apply all of these at once. If you do, your returning customers will think that they have been scammed.
The proper way to do these tactics is to offer them one by one. Some of them can be implemented at the same time. Depending on your choice, you should stay true to your offer. What does this mean? If you said that your sale will last for three days, keep your word.
Lastly, do not put your products on sale all the time. After each sale, make sure you maintain your standard prices for a while.
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