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How to Create a Sense of Urgency & Scarcity to Boost Sales

Published on:
August 7, 2022

What Is Urgency and Scarcity in E-commerce?

Customer psychology plays a vital role in improving conversions at all levels. Getting an in-depth understanding of customer psychology can help you in knowing the pain points that the customers face and the corresponding solutions that can be implemented to achieve the desired results.


Urgency pushes the user to act promptly, and scarcity indicates that the product is in limited stock and may run out soon.

Understanding the Psychology Behind Urgency and Scarcity

A sense of urgency is created when your messaging indicates that the potential buyer must make the purchase decision quickly. This may be implemented using limited period discounts or offering other incentives like free shipping if the buyer completes the purchase within the time mentioned.


Scarcity is created by indicating that there are only a few items left in stock to buy. This may be implemented by mentioning the inventory in real-time on the product page.


The basic psychology is that human beings tend to act only when they find something essential to act upon.

How to Create Urgency

We are here to help you chase those conversion numbers by creating urgency in your communications. Sharing a few tips for this below:

Create a Sense of FOMO

If your messaging does not indicate that the user will miss out on important deals, offers, or other incentives, it might be difficult to get the user to take action. The introduction of FOMO, or the fear of missing out, catalyzes the purchase process by decreasing the time taken by a user to make a purchase decision.

Choose the Color Wisely

Understanding color psychology is critical in understanding consumer behavior. You need to know what reactions are triggered in the minds of human beings when they see certain colors and use that knowledge to your advantage in your marketing.


Red, yellow, and orange colors are often used in CTAs to indicate urgency. Blue is used to indicate coolness and reliability. Gold is used to indicate that something is premium.

Create Powerful CTAs

The calls-to-action that you place in your marketing campaigns have a huge impact on the number of conversions. Make sure to use powerful CTAs that are also direct and simple. Choose the color of the button carefully. Perform A/B testing wherever possible and do not confuse the users with too many CTAs.

Use Countdown Timers

Wondering how to indicate urgency in real-time? The answer to this is by using countdown timers. As time ticks by on the countdown, the urgency to act and purchase increases. You can use countdown timers on landing pages, email campaigns, and other channels to get more sales.

Notify When the Products in Cart will Expire

Customers that add products to their virtual shopping cart are high purchase-intent users. These users are more likely to convert than most other users. But, how do you push them in the right direction?


You can start displaying the time in which the products in the cart will expire. Customers know that you cannot keep holding on to valuable stock for them forever. There is a huge opportunity cost to that. This is especially useful when coupled with scarcity tactics as can be seen while booking flight or movie tickets.

How to Create Scarcity

Urgency and scarcity can be clubbed to get more conversions and to get them quickly. Discussing some of the strategies to create scarcity:

Show Off Your Product's Demand

When you display social proof of the demand for your product, it increases trust in your brand. Fear of missing out on something that everyone else is buying, coupled with the information that it is only available in scarce quantities, will do the magic for you.


Limiting how many orders you accept in a day, week, or month will also help.

Display Limited Stock Offers

Big online retailers like Amazon display the items left in stock for the product on the product page itself, and this creates a sense of scarcity and triggers the user to purchase the item before it runs out of stock. Limited period offers will help you to get those conversions in a short period.


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Last Chance Collections

Words impact user behavior quite a lot. Using powerful words like "offers," "limited period," "sale," and "last chance" is known to improve conversion numbers quickly. Last chance collections display products that are running out of stock and thus increase the chances of their purchase.


You can also use flash sales to push more of your products into the market.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you create urgency without being pushy?

You need to understand the difference between having a carefully designed marketing strategy and being considered overly pushy to the extent that it destroys the whole purpose. Be subtle by using countdown timers, powerful CTAs, a good choice of colors, and displaying social proof whenever possible to encourage more sales.

How do scarcity and urgency increase sales?

Scarcity and urgency increase sales by utilizing important learnings from studying human psychology. These encourage the users to act promptly to your communications and get those desired outcomes quickly.

Also read: 5 Audience Retargeting Strategies for E-commerce