Using Scarcity in Marketing: Tacky or Classy?

Using Scarcity in Marketing: Tacky or Classy?

Does the pressure influence kind of advertising still work? While some businesses disregard this approach as outdated, everyone from Phoenix web design companies to app developers can benefit from it.

And like everything else, there are what-to-dos and what-not-to-dos here as well.

Understanding the Scarcity

The dictionary definition of scarcity is: a state of being in short or limited supply. From an economic point of view, it’s unlimited needs against limited supply.

You see examples of this in numerous ads – “Only 5 Left”, “Supplies Limited”, or “Limited Quantity Available.” It follows the principal that humans are wired to desire something more when it is available in limited supply.

It can also be understood as the FOMO effect (or hashtag) that’s popping up everywhere across social media. The Fear-of-Missing-Out among people these days is as real as it gets. Nobody wants to miss out on something that others are using and raving about.

The funny thing is using the concept of scarcity doesn’t drive people to make the purchase; rather, it pushes them towards taking an action ASAP. That action could be for or against the conversion.

How to Use it effectively

There are two kinds of businesses that use scarcity as the driving force for conversions. One that sells something really trendy or something that has grown widely popular among the target customers. And another, that sells something really rare.

Limited Edition – This is for you if what you sell is unique, and your small customer base highly values such unique items. These customers do not care for the “latest trend” or what’s affordable; they value quality over quantity. Businesses that cater to these customers use terms like “Limited Supply”, or “Limited Edition”.

In Demand – When a business is selling something that is extremely sought-after to customers that want to buy what “everyone else is into these days”. The best phrases to use in this scenario are “Over 1 million sold”, “Only 3 left”, and such.

Choose the right phrases based on the type of your customers. After figuring out the right message, you will need to test the best place to put up the slogan/banner. In addition to that, choosing the perfect color contrast and font style is also crucial if you want the message to stand out.

What Not to Do

In some cases, businesses accidentally use scarcity in their advertising campaign and it counters the whole point of their message.

Also, you have to be really careful while using the scarcity tactic in your advertising or the customers will take it for just a sleazy urgency ploy which could backfire on a business.

Final Verdict

Customers have become smarter and more cynical. A lot of them are aware that some websites constantly use false scarcity techniques. The trick is to not overdo it.

For example, Bed, Bath & Beyond has been using ‘20% off one single in-store item’ coupons with slogans like “Hurry In-Store! Coupon Expires Soon”.

And they have been doing this since 2007! Everyone has figured out by now that there is no scarcity at all.

As we said, the trick is not to use this technique so much that it just annoys the customers. Like everything, use it in moderation.

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