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Highlight scarcity and encourage customers to order now by showing when the inventory for the product is low

A visitor can delay his decision to buy for many reasons. By showing when a product is almost out of stock and how many people are currently on the page, you can incentivize your customers to make the purchase now.

What is the process?

Configure on Shopify your inventory level for your products and variants.
Configure Sales Pop Master to highlight when a product is almost out of stock.
Configure Livify to display in real-time how many visitors you have on the page.

Why should you care?

By highlighting when a product is almost gone, you can make it more attractive and amplify the fear of missing out. No one likes to realize that the desired item is now out of stock. That's a terrible sensation that you can quickly turn to your advantage by bringing attention when your inventory is low.

Showing scarcity can drive conversions. It is also very efficient for expensive products, like a fridge or a sofa. First, it creates trust by telling in an implicit way that people bought this item before on your site. Secondly, it avoids procrastinators to delay their decision to purchase and act sooner than they planned.


What tools will you need?

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How to execute this experiment?

1

If you have many variants for a product (like the sizes for a clothe), make sure to update the availability when people switch from one to the other.

2

Configure the Sales Pop Master application to show the remaining quantity of each item in stock under the "Add To Cart" button on the product page. If you wish to display it elsewhere, this app lets you do so.

3

Below the number of remaining items, you can add a little sentence to give even more details and encourage people to make their decision faster. Something like: unfortunately, our provider is out of stock for this item, so we do not plan on adding it back to our inventory. You can also use numbers to indicate popularity and demand.

4

People are much more inclined towards buying something when others desire them too. By displaying side by side, the number of remaining items with the number of visitors on the page (or who currently have the product in their cart), you can increase this sense of urgency even more. Booking uses this trick intensively to improve conversion by showing exactly how many persons are checking out the same property for the same date. The Livify app can help set up this in a snap.


Key learnings.

Limited editions are perfect for highlighting when a product is almost gone (like what Smeg and Dolce & Gabanna did with the Sicily is my love collection). If you have demand for what you are selling, your conversion rate should skyrocket. Out of stock means this time: this product will never be in stock again, so decide now!

Trying to trick customers by creating false scarcity is not a smart thing to do. People are not dumb; some of them will come back after a few days to check if you told the truth. By lying, you will turn them off, it will hurt your brand, and they might avoid your store in the future. Also, be sure to tie a timeline (or a counter) to your limited edition items to differentiate them from regular editions.

Don't expect scarcity to create a lot of demand.

Don't overdo it. You can highlight low stock levels, but it should not be all over the screen. It might pressure your visitors a little too much, and some of them will leave because of that. The aim is to provide transparency over the availability of your inventory to help people decide how urgent the purchase is.

You can use badges on your product images to show that it will be nearly sold out.

Choose between scarcity and urgency: make it available for a short period of time (limited edition) or highlight when the inventory is low (out of stock). That is the difference: scarcity involves limited quantities available while urgency involves a limited time offer.


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