Have you ever bought a pair of shoes because everyone was wearing them?
Or started watching Breaking Bad, because you were the only one in the office who didn’t know who Walter Whyte was?
Yeah, we’ve all been there.
As humans, we naturally want to know what’s going on and not be out of the loop. Nobody wants to feel like they're left behind or missing out on whatever’s popular at the moment.
What is FOMO?
FOMO is an acronym which stands for ‘fear of missing out’.
It’s a psychological trigger that pushes us to grab new opportunities and avoid regret. When something is new and exciting, it makes us jump on the bandwagon so we don’t miss out.
This same psychological anchor can be used to boost your sales and conversions. In this blog post, you'll learn the nine best FOMO tactics you can use in your eCommerce strategy to drive more results.
Tactic #1: Display User-Generated Content (UGC)
User-Generated Content (UGC) refers to any content created and shared by a brand's consumers. That could include blog posts, social media pictures, and video content.
UGC is one of the most effective ways to promote your business. 75% of consumers believe that UGC is authentic marketing compared to other methods.
Now, how does User-generated content relate to FOMO?
UGC builds social proof. Consumers are more likely to buy your product if other people are enjoying it as well.
Shein is a fashion store, for example, that follows the philosophy that "everyone can enjoy the beauty of fashion." They regularly upload content from their customers, showing off their products on Instagram.
There are various tactics you can use to gather user-generated content from your customers. For example, you can start a social media contest by offering customers a chance to win a prize if they post a picture with your item.
Or, you could create your own branded hashtag that customers can use. Just make sure that the hashtag is easy to remember and to spell.
Tactic #2: Limited-Time Offers
A good tactic to boost conversions is to create limited-time offers on your website.
Nobody likes to miss out on a big deal. When there’s a limited time to grab an opportunity, we feel the pressure to make an impulsive buying decision.
For example, one way you can do this is to offer 20% on one of your items for the next 48 hours. Customers only have about two days to get it on the deal before the offer expires.
Check out this brilliant example from Macy’s:
Macy uses compelling copy such as "lowest prices of the season" and "hurry — ends tonight!" to pave the way for a sale. Customers have less than 24 hours to take advantage of these great prices.
Here's another excellent example from Amazon:
When creating a limited offer, however, always make sure to respect the time limit. If you keep on delaying the deadline, customers will catch on that you’re lying to get their money.
Tactic #3: Use Exit-Intent Popups
Whether you like it or not, most visitors on your website will unfortunately never convert.
According to statistics:
- 96% of visitors are not ready to make a purchase
- You only have about 7 - 8 seconds to catch a user’s attention
- Americans only buy 58% of products added to their shopping cart
It’s never going to be possible to avoid non-converting visitors. But there’s one tactic you can use to minimize them — by using exit-intent popups.
Exit-intent technology is one of the most powerful tools in eCommerce. As soon as customers click 'exit", they receive a last-minute popup with an offer for one of your products.
What’s great about it is that it gives you a second chance to make a sale. Exit popups catch the attention of visitors and encourage them to explore your site. It’s also a good way to build your email marketing list.
Here’s a great example of what an effective exit popup looks like:
Olive and the Pepper is an eCommerce store that offers jewelry and accessories. Before visitors leave, they have the opportunity to get 10% their first order if they sign up.
When using exit-popups, make sure to use A/B testing to see what’s working and what’s not. A simple change in color or copy could completely change your conversion results.
Tactic #4: Show You’re Running out of Stock
Scarcity is a powerful conversion trigger. If an item we’re looking for is about to run it, we’ll be more compelled to make a purchase.
If you’re starting to run low on one of your items, make sure to let your customers know they’re going to miss out. This is something that Amazon does regularly on their product pages:
In the example above, the customer can see that there’s only one pair left in stock. They only have a limited time to purchase the item before it’s completely gone.
When displaying stock levels, it's not enough to just say "only a few left." Always be specific — for example, "only three left in stock" will do the trick perfectly.
Tactic #5: Display Real-Time Customer Activity
One of the most simple yet effective to use FOMO is to show that people are already buying your products.
Here is what it looks like in action:
In the example above, we can see that real customers are buying from the site. If other customers are continually buying, that gives us an incentive to make a purchase as well.
There are various online tools you can use if you want to show real-time activity. These include useful WooCommerce plugins and Shopify apps that you can easily integrate on your site.
Tactic #6: Buy One, Get One Free
Let’s be honest here — who doesn’t love to get free stuff?
The reason why BOGO offers work so well is because of the zero price effect. Customers are willing to pay more for a gift or bonus than get discounts.
"Free" is a magic word that gets consumers to make a purchase so they don’t miss out on a big deal. You can use this same psychology of "free" in your eCommerce offers to boost sales on your website.
Ahava is a top-leading beauty company that specializes in skincare. In the example below, customers can get a second product for free if they make a purchase.
Tactic #7: Highlight Missed Opportunities
Have you ever searched for a product online, only to find out it’s not available on the website anymore?
Because of our loss aversion bias, we're hard-wired to prefer avoiding losses than acquiring potential gain. For example, losing $10 will always be more painful than gaining $10.
In eCommerce, this bias comes in handy when we’re trying to gain new customers. One thing you can use this bias is to show which items are sold-out on your website:
Once the customer sees that the product is sold out, you can then proceed to show similar products they can buy instead. Or, you can invite them to sign up with their email so they can be notified when the item is back in stock.
Tactic #8: Optimize Your Landing and Product Pages With Testimonials
Testimonials and reviews are classic ways to boost your credibility in the eyes of your customers and build trust. The numbers don’t lie:
- 92% of customers view online reviews before buying
- 88% of consumers trust reviews as much as their friends and family
- 72% believe that online reviews boost their trust in a brand
To build social proof, implement testimonials all across your product and landing pages. In your client reviews, make sure to include their names, photos, and location.
Marucci, a baseball bat company, uses the power of testimonials by showing reviews from top MLB players on their commitment page:
Nothing builds more credibility for Marucci than this. If MLB players themselves are recommending their products, then their bats must clearly be worth the purchase.
Another way you can do this is to mention authoritative sources that have used your product before, just like in this example from Neil Patel’s consulting page:
Tactic #9: Limited-Time Free Shipping
Free shipping is something that customers value. 90% of online consumers say free shipping is a top motivator to shop more on a website.
But to spice things up and boost your sales, you can offer free shipping your products for a limited time only. If customers have a limited time to get free shipping, that gives him an extra incentive to start buying.
Wrapping Things Up
FOMO is a hard-wired behavior within us, and the web has intensified this desire to avoid regret.
With these nine tactics, you’ll never run out of ways to use FOMO as a way to increase your conversions and sales. Now it’s up to you to go out and see which tactic works best for you!
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Thierry Diallo is a freelance writer and eCommerce journalist. He has a computer science background and has created content for various marketing agencies.