4 Ways to Create Urgency and Increase eCommerce Conversions

By Emma Foster • Last updated: Wednesday May 1st, 2024


Conversions die every time a shopper hesitates, every time they get distracted or have a change of heart.

There are many reasons why people abandon their baskets or fail to build up a basket to start with, and this causes conversion rates in eCommerce to drop drastically.

Online retailers inject a lot of budget into attracting traffic to their sites, but what do they do to ensure the traffic stays and converts? That’s where we come in. Here at Salesfire, we want to educate and inform retailers on the solution to converting more visitors into customers and making the most of that traffic.

In this article, we’ll be exploring the Fear of Loss concept and the idea of urgency in eCommerce, customer behaviour and how to create a smooth journey all the way through to checkout success without being pushy and in-your-face.

4 Ways to Create Urgency in eCommerce

1. Fear of loss is greater than the need to gain

Studies have proven that fear of loss is greater than the need to gain. Ask yourself the question, what would your customers lose if they didn’t complete a purchase on your site right now?

Do you have a promotion that ends that day, free delivery for the next 24 hours or maybe a select time period you can reserve items in a basket for. Playing up to these USPs put you ahead of your competitors and encourages instant purchases. 

2. Free shipping

It has been found that 93% of shoppers would be encouraged to purchase online if the delivery was free.

It’s no secret that shoppers are put off by having to pay delivery costs. Free shipping is a surefire way of appealing to those customers who are on the fence about their purchase. Knowing they can get their item at its stock price, without having to add delivery, encourages them to purchase without the fear of spending extra cash.

Free shipping is something shoppers really want, and most would take it over a discount when looking to buy a product they desire. So why not use it to create urgency by setting a window of free delivery, a short time frame in which the offer can be claimed, and make it prominent to customers using Overlays. 

3. Product scarcity 

You may have seen urgent notifications on sites such as booking.com which tell you there’s only one room remaining and, in fear of losing the perfect hotel, you grab your credit card and make the booking there and then.

The same technique can be used on eCommerce sites, alluding to low stock levels is a great way of encouraging purchases. Psychologically, humans react quickly when it comes to the last chance to acquire something, the urgency prompts them to make a decision.

Ensure customers act quickly to buy the product they want using low stock notifications (and always leave an option for the customer to be notified when the product is back in stock). Another way to increase conversions is showing the number of purchases, this provokes competition and shows off the product’s popularity.

4. Impulse buying and customer behaviour

Studies show that indecisive shoppers can be swayed to make an impulse decision when hit by the right psychological triggers. This means it’s important to display information in the right place at the right time, keeping it strategic rather than overpowering.

There’s no use displaying an offer as soon as someone enters your site and risk putting them off. People need time to browse, navigate and suss out a website, so ideally wait until they are a few pages in before showing an overlay or alert with your message.

See how Salesfire can help you optimise your product discovery experience, email one of our experts at [email protected] or book a free demo of our personalisation tools.