There will always be prospects that sit on the fence. Use FOMO (Fear of missing out) to tip the scales and turn them into buyers with these in-depth sales-boosting tips.
The fear of missing out is inherent to us. A powerful driving force that leads us to purchase as our fragile little minds collapse into madness upon feeling we have been excluded from perks and privileges.
That statement may be a bit dramatic, but now that I’ve got your attention, it’s time to talk about how you can use FOMO to drive sales to your online store.
FOMO, meaning Fear Of Missing Out, is one of those triggers we can’t help but respond to, so it’s no wonder marketers have been using this psychological loophole to close sales for decades. With more and more studies emerging on this phenomenon, we are able to more effectively use it to our advantage as eCommerce merchants and entrepreneurs.
Because nobody enjoys feeling like they’ve been left behind.
So how exactly do you use FOMO in your marketing and sales attempts? In this article, we’ll be exploring some of the most effective techniques for creating urgency through ‘fear of missing out’ that should help boost sales to your Shopify store in a big way.
I. Why use the FOMO strategy?
Hesitation is a silent killer that’s out to thwart you in your plans to capture more sales. As soon as hesitation arises in the prospect’s mind, they’re out the door, drifting through the canals of the internet, never to be heard from again.
How many times have you been given a sales pitch in person or over the phone, only to say “I need to think about it”? At this point, you and the salesperson both know you have already made your decision, and the sale is gone.
eCommerce is no different. And this hesitation opens a window for a competitor to swoop in and steal the sale, or for the prospect to get lost in endless hours of Netflix binging among other distractions.
The antidote to this is, of course, using FOMO.
You see, consumers are constantly searching for validation from other buyers. We look to others to figure out what’s trending, what’s popular and what’s worth our money. Capturing what other buyers are interested in has always been a challenge until now.
With so many tools at our disposal to display social proof of this, we can successfully create FOMO to finally encourage them to buy. It’s a digital era after all.
But to really understand FOMO and its importance, we need to dive into some FOMO statistics. Because if businesses fail to understand this psychological process, they could be the ones to actually miss out.
Interesting to note is that according to studies, FOMO is strongest in millennials as they become increasingly uncomfortable with their purchasing decisions as suspicions arise that there may be better options out there.
Roughly 69% of millennials experience this psychological quirk and make reactive purchases because of it.
But how do you enforce FOMO without coming across as pushy? The answer lies below.
II. Best FOMO Marketing Ideas & Examples
01. Free shipping for a limited time
Shipping fees are one of those nasty surprises we hate getting when we’re trying to purchase. But what if you could use free shipping for a limited time to incentivize people to buy? Make a clear copy stating the offer prominently with a specific deadline – for example, 3 hours.
The more specific the time limit the better, as consumers might have a sneaking suspicion about its validity if you are vague about the offer.
02. Show that people are buying
If you’ve ever booked a hotel in your life, you should be familiar with this technique popularized by Booking.com. Showing others buying in real time can create a strong sense of urgency without making a single sales pitch.
There are actually multiple FOMO techniques being used here, but the thing that’s so effective about their strategy is that they show people are watching, people are buying and rooms are in limited supply because of this.
FOMO app for Shopify is a tool to help you create a similar effect with social proof if you happen to be using this platform.
03. Show scarcity
Nothing drives FOMO better than product scarcity. We don’t like the thought of others enjoying something that could have been ours. Amazon display scarcity really well on their product pages by displaying stock levels, showing that having less can give more.
04. Reward your first X buyers
Offering a free gift or reward to the first specified amount of buyers is another great way to utilize FOMO – after all, who doesn’t love free stuff? You can use this to get rid of promotional items or leftover stock while simultaneously building a good rapport with your customers, increasing the chances of loyalty.
The fear of missing out on some free goodies may be arguably more powerful than using product scarcity. This technique can’t be used all the time though, which is why it should be exclusive to the first number of buyers.
05. Offer discounts on abandoned cart items
An absurd amount of online shoppers abandon their items when it’s already in the cart. In fact, 7 out of 10 shoppers are responsible for such ditching. Try targeting these prospects by offering an exclusive discount or reward if they continue their transaction as so.
This example from Huckberry offers the reward of free shipping on the condition that they finish checking out.
06. Use social proof
Showing that others are actively purchasing a product and enjoying its benefit makes us want to get in on it too. One of the easiest ways to create social proof is through reviews. Although this isn’t the most urgent application of FOMO, it’s still effective and also builds trust and credibility with your product/brand.
People generally want something more when they can’t have it. They demand to know why they can’t have it, what factor excludes them, and how they can possibly get access to it. Exclusivity plays on the “you can’t sit with us” mindset, except there are plenty of “seats” to go around.
Look at this example from a wine company. Who doesn’t rush to the “Show now” button to get that 25% off sweet deal?
(Exclusive or Discounted labels and stickers for your Product Page can be built effortlessly with this app)
08. Drive FOMO with email
Regardless of what people say, email is still relevant today (although it’s not the powerhouse it was ten years ago) and can be used to increase FOMO with a solid email campaign.
To do this, you’ll need to be actively working on building an email list using pop-up tools or lead capture landing pages. If you already have an email list set up, it’s as easy as promoting any of the above principles through it.
8.1. Flash sales
You can use emails to effectively promote flash sales. During a flash sale, a product or service is offered at a significantly discounted rate for a short period of time. The sense of urgency will increase the shorter the sale is. In order to create a successful flash sale email, you need to do two things:
- Make the discount big! If there’s not enough difference between the regular price and the sales price, the prospect won’t act.
- Make the time frame clear. Don’t leave any doubt about how long the sale will last. The more specific the better, and the shorter the time frame, the more urgency is injected.
8.2. Seasonal sales
With seasonal sales comes increased anticipation. Sales around holidays are so effective to the point you would think they were invented just to increase consumerism. Valentines Day, Christmas, beginning of the school year – all can be added to your repertoire to capture more sales by promoting them through email.
Customers heavily anticipate sales, and the companies have the profits to prove it.
Send reminders throughout the period of your promotion starting on the first day of the sale. As the sale progresses, increase the sense of urgency in your emails displaying the time limit imposed on the sale for maximum effect.
Every single business should be running an email marketing campaign of some sort. This can be anything from content marketing-driven emails to FOMO driven emails. Regardless, the potential of this platform is still huge.
09. Missed opportunities
This is a unique take on FOMO marketing that I came across recently. The site in question was showcasing products on sale for a limited time only, as this was their business model. When the sale window of opportunity closes, the site boldly displays “What You Missed”, sending the customer into a state of emotional turmoil. They reinforce this by slashing out the sale price and displaying the new higher price – essentially the opposite of how most sites display their prices.
This “What You Missed” section certainly makes an impression, especially if a product they were considering buying shows up here. It’s a great way to plant the seed in the buyer’s mind of “I can’t let this happen again”. You can be sure they’ll be on high alert from now on after missing out on such a sweet deal.
Once again, Booking.com proved themselves the FOMO master, as they also integrate this tactic in their marketing. Booking.com showed their visitors with the following message when the property they were looking at is sold out – in big red letters:
This is a bold strategy, and may not be for everyone. We’ll leave that to your better judgment to decide.
Fear of missing out is real. Very real. However, you can use that fear to encourage sales on your eCommerce site. For example, by showing a casual shopper how many other visitors are viewing the same item in real-time, you can encourage FOMO.
As a marketer/entrepreneur, it’s vital you understand the psychological triggers behind every online interaction and make them work for your business and the customer. At the end of the day, every tool should be used at your disposal to ensure you reach success in a marketplace that is becoming more saturated and filled with noise.
The above-listed techniques are some of the most powerful strategies to wield FOMO Marketing your way. Let’s recap.
- Offer free shipping for a limited time
- Show that people are buying
- Show scarcity
- Reward your first X buyers
- Offer discounts on abandoned cat items
- Use social proof
- Drive FOMO with email
- Missed opportunities
Put these principles to use today to increase the conversion rate on your online store. Most of them are relatively low cost or even free.
Additionally, check out PageFly for a powerful, affordable Shopify solution for creating FOMO, increasing engagement and boosting sales.
So go grab the bull by the horns and get those sales you deserve.