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As human beings, we tend to hesitate when making decisions. Even when it’s a decision about something we enjoy, want, or know we need. We are always hemming and hawing over what to order for dinner, what color shirt to buy, where to go on Friday night, if we want the 12-pack or the 24-pack of toilet paper, and more.

If you are running a Magento store, chances are you want people to make a decision to purchase your product and make that decision quickly. You want to eliminate any potential procrastinating in your customers – but how? By creating a sense of urgency throughout your Magento website and additional marketing, you can grab your customers attention and spark them into action.

Ways to Create Urgency


Anticipation Building & Time-Sensitive Verbiage

When Apple releases a new product people line up around the block, the demand is through the roof – people are anxious to get their hands on the product before it is even released. This is because Apple specifically focuses on building anticipation for their new products. Anticipation is one of the critical stages of happiness; therefore we can assume if you can create a sense of anticipation around your products you are creating some subconscious happiness associated with your product. One of the ways to build anticipation is through specific wording.

Using time sensitive wording is key – whether you are building anticipation or letting customers know that time is running out. For instance, “last chance” and “one day left” are both strong calls to action. If you don’t want to use a hard deadline you can use wording such as “limited-time offer only!” throughout your Magento store and marketing materials.

Words such as: soon, approaching, rush, hurry, coming soon, close, act now, instant, immediately, remaining, quickly, minutes, seconds, rapid, limited, time, etc. all support building anticipation and speak to time sensitivity.

For example, Groupon often utilizes time sensitive wording to let you know that you need to make a decision on your deal quickly – before time runs out and it is gone forever! In the deal below Groupon specifies “Limited Time Remaining” – a phrase that clearly identifies that this deal is time sensitive.


Groupon Example of Limited Time Remaining

Groupon deal with time sensitive wording


Create Something to Lose

Most people fear missing out. Studies show that losses are felt twice as powerfully as gains. This is called loss aversion. This fear prompts action in people.

If you are able to impart the negative impact of not responding, or not purchasing to your customers – then they will immediately feel that they are losing out on something valuable. This feeling can instill a sense of urgency.

One example to create the feeling that your customers are about to lose something is through your abandoned cart emails. By writing email subject lines that impart a sense of loss and missing out on the products they were about to purchase they will start to feel a sense of urgency in buying those products.


Imply Scarcity

In 1975 a study was conducted to see how people would value cookies held in two identical jars. In one jar there were ten cookies, in the other jar, there were only two cookies. The cookies and the jars were the same. Despite the cookies and jars being the same, participants rated the cookies in the jar that was nearly empty higher. The only difference between the two was that one jar had fewer cookies. The scarcity of the cookies in the second jar influenced how they viewed their value.

We can take this concept of when something is scarce it is seen as more valuable, and apply it to your Magento store. We want what we can’t have. An easy way to express scarcity in your marketing verbiage is by utilizing phrases such as “Only five spots left” or “While supplies last.”

For example, if you have been shopping online for a new dresser, and you finally find the perfect one – you add the dresser to your cart and see the words “Act Now! Only 4 Left!” on the cart page next to your perfect dresser. Aren’t you more inclined to quickly enter your credit card information and make the purchase before someone else beats you to the punch?

Online jewelers Brilliant Earth show on both their category pages and their product pages when a ring is in another user’s cart. You can easily see that someone else is looking at it – creating a sense of urgency. If you want that engagement ring, you better act now or risk the other user purchasing it before you.


Brilliant Earth Category Page

Brilliant Earth category page with example of scarcity


Brilliant Earth Product Page

Brilliant Earth product page with example of scarcity


Popular travel site Kayak also creates urgency through scarcity by clearly showing how many flights are left on the search results – in the example below we can see that there are only two seats left on the flight. This would prompt you to want to purchase quickly if this was the flight you needed – or else you may not be able to get where you needed to go.


Kayak Example

Travel website Kayak shows flights when seats get scarce


Utilize Visual Timers 

The visual symbol of a ticking timer counting down to a deadline or expiration date shows time actually passing to your customers. This is a simple, visual way to give urgency to your customers – since 90% of the information that enters our brain is visual, these visuals are typically processed faster than other forms of information.

Humans have the constant fear of missing out. When you install a persistent visual reminder such as a countdown or timer on your Magento site you can influence your customers to purchase faster since they will not want to miss out on the quickly ending deal.

One example of a perfect application of a visual timer are websites that sell tickets for music festivals and are counting down the day until the festival – this gives a simple way to for customers to see how many days they have left to buy tickets and build hype.

Again, Groupon is a great example of a site that uses visual timers, with so many different deals ending on different days at different times, they include the easy to read timer visual on every deal that is ending very soon:


Groupon Countdown Timer Example

Groupon deal with a countdown timer


Amazon also utilizes visual timers on their home page during events like their Amazon Prime day, so you can quickly and easily see when each deal is ending:


Amazon Prime Day Countdowns

Amazon Prime Day deals displaying visual countdown timers


Closing Thoughts

Urgency plays on a series of natural feelings and fears that all humans have. By creating a sense of urgency throughout your Magento site and marketing, you can play into the unconscious minds of your customers and invite them to act quickly. If you are looking to increase your sales then changing a few simple things to create a sense of urgency is an easy way to do this. Customer Paradigm has extensive experience with conversion rate optimization of Magento stores. If you need help optimizing your customer experience and more, connect with us today and let us help you achieve your e-commerce goals.

About Kelly Mason

Kelly is a Marketing Assistant at Customer Paradigm. She loves creating engaging and educational content and connecting with the community through social media. Outside of the office, she can be found eating her way through Colorado one brunch at a time and hiking in Rocky Mountain National Park.


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