How can you use urgency to increase conversions when you can’t bring up low inventory?
For example, if you’re selling software as a service (SAAS), then there’s no inventory to speak of. The same question arises if you have lots of inventory,
or any of a number of other situations where you can’t say “only 5 [units of X] left.” What can you do to get the conversion now and avoid
a delay in the decision — which might really just mean no decision is made?
Most of us are reluctant to just announce a sale for no particular reason – it can hurt our credibility and the value perception of our products.
So what are some plausible ways to introduce urgency in your offer that aren’t dependent on inventory?
When you’re launching a new product line, a new store, service, feature etc – it’s important to get the word out.
People understand this concept, so provided that it applies, you can announce your sale for opening weekend, or for the first month etc.
Keep in mind that to maintain your credibility, the “introductory pricing” can’t last too long or you’ll hurt your value perception and not achieve the
feeling of urgency that boosts conversions.
I’ve noticed this anecdotally as a local supermarket introduced a new brand of orange juice costing 30%-40% less than competitors.
They eventually raised the price to only be 25% off, but after a brief period within 10-15% off, they’re back to 25% off.
My guess? People got used to the lower price and just chose the ‘better’ brands when the difference in price was minimal.
Event Linking and Deadlines
If your offer is tied to some event – like the start of a course or the arrival of a holiday, you can use that to introduce urgency.
For example, retailers state a deadline by which customers must order to ensure that the product arrives on time (e.g. before Mothers’ Day).
This is credible and has the added benefit of relating to customers’ goals, i.e. have the gift in time for the occasion.
Another twist on this is with a reverse-inventory system practiced by some retailers, where products are only ordered from wholesalers after the retailer sells them.
You can see this in some discount clubs or crowd-funding on platforms like kickstarter.
Orders can be made only until a deadline, because the order eventually has to be sent to the manufacturer or wholesaler, and the organizer will just make one bulk shipment to the retailer at that point.
Impending Price Increase Due To Supply and Demand
The law of supply and demand says that when supply decreases or demand increases, there’s an increase in price.
So what happens if you get some great press, social media coverage or launch a big ad campaign?
All of those can be expected to increase demand.
At that point, you can email your client list to tell them about the increase in demand.
Since they’ve been with you, you’d like to give them a last opportunity to buy at the current price before the price increases.
Telling visitors about the high demand for your product and possible waiting times is another effective urgency-builder. These coffeemaker ads from 1938 sold countless machines, partly thanks to this tactic.
Another variation on this is if you’re making your product more valuable with a new feature, then it’s legitimate to charge more.
Offer ‘old pricing’ until a certain deadline.
If you’re not selling something with a limited inventory, you can still press customers to buy now with the following techniques:
1) Offer introductory pricing
2) Emphasize receipt of the product before a certain event, holiday or deadline
3) Tell existing customers or leads that the price is going up soon
What tactics has your organization seen success with? Let us know in the comments.