How to boost Shopify sales by using Countdown timer and Scarcity

How to boost Shopify sales by using Countdown timer and Scarcity

How many times you find yourself in between making a decision either to buy or not when bargaining price with shop keepers? It is pretty normal situation when we go for shopping in any brick and mortar store or marketplace and involve ourselves in price debate with sellers. Sellers try to offer lucrative price deals using “last piece”, “only for you”, “take two in a combo price” etc. words to create an urgent situation and we fall for that.

It is actually human nature to act quickly when there is a “scarce” or Urgent situation occurred. Consumers value most which product creates urgency and has limited stock in market. This is quite general, more psychological human behavior which is now a great deal in ecommerce. Getting more customers and boosting up of conversion is the most crucial part of ecommerce business where no one actually can predict what exactly make a customer to buy advertised product.

Ecommerce business owners have adopted various tactics to create urgency and scarcity of their product which pushes the customers to act quickly to convert themselves from regular visitors to potential customers. You may often see a ticking clock on product page or limited time phrase bellow product price- these countdown timer tactics are used to create urgency and scarcity.

Countdown timer and scarcity are most powerful tactics to boost sales and conversions, as they both create a “buy it/leave it” situation. Creating urgency and/or scarcity often works like magic as it creates a “sense of fear” of losing desire products as you show your limited stock to the customers. It is quite helpful when you simply add a certain time duration offer with your products rather plain checkout or discount offers, or add a small sentence “limited stock” or “…units left” tag with product price or in product description.

Countdown timer and Scarcity

Countdown timer is a visual cue to create urgency makes the customers to take actions quickly if they want the product. It is just a visual features that shows the time period or time duration left for the specific deals or products. The countdown timer concept is not new; the little ticking clock has been used to remind the customers that they have few times to make the decision. Many super shops and grocery stores used large clocks to countdown deals/offers time and even you can see these clocks in use during black Friday sale, Christmas or other occasions.

In ecommerce, marketers have adopted these countdown timers to create extra urgency in customer’s mind. Customers now can see how much time they have left before ending the deal. You may wonder how this little timer change the customer’s decision. It is just human psychology.

It is not that the product will be different after the time ends; you may have to pay a little extra if you want to buy next day of the deal but the quality of the product will be same. The main purpose of using countdown timer is to create a fear of missing out (FOMO) in customer’s mind about your products. Human acts quickly when they find the situation of losing something.

So when you add a countdown timer on your product page saying “price offer ends after …hours/days” or “offer ends this evening”, this simply makes customers to think that you have something exclusive which will end if they don’t act now.

The best example of using countdown timer can be Amazon who adds a countdown to delivery cut-off times to make its product page more persuasive.

Scarcity principle is another powerful sales and conversion booster that enables customer’s intuition of having rare and scarce products. In ecommerce scarcity refers the short or limited supply of products. Customers will buy products from you for example, when you show them you have only few products left. According to the researchers of University of Nebraska, strategically created scarcity conditions influence the customers to buy the desired product immediately realizing that if they don’t buy it now, they may not be able to buy it later. This tactic is now more using by the ecommerce owners as it helps them to convert visitors into customers and to improve conversion.

Why do they matter?

Creating a strong and effective sense of urgency and scarcity of your products helps you to attract and convert more visitors into customers and make them to buy your products. Adopting countdown timer helps to create a supply scarcity of your products and it also boost sales by creating urgency. Understanding your customer’s mind is more helpful in determining what action your customers will take when they visit your website, shop or store. The more you understand your customers, the more you can control them.

Strategically created psychological situation gives you full command over purchasing and helps to boost conversion. Here are some factors why countdown timer and scarcity is important in ecommerce-

  1. Sales and conversion boosters

Customers often like products which are rare, exclusive and valuable. When you create a definite time duration offer of any product, the value proposition gets increased of that item and customers rush to buy the product from you. Urgency works as a passive factor to trigger scarcity of any product and service that your customers want to have and feeling of scarcity and urgency drive their emotions towards your products. Thus the whole sale chain and purchase process works and implementing urgency and scarcity boost sales and conversion hundred times greater than other tactics.

  1. Increase customer engagement

Imagine you have a cookie store and offer special custom make cookie sale during holidays and show the number of cookies are sold and left. What happen next? You will receive more orders than before and your store may get the largest number of customers received by the day! It all will happen because you have used some key points, these are- special, custom make and above all the numbers of cookies left. Scarcity of cookies arise customers interest of having them according to the scarcity principle and associated with your key words this term help you to get maximum customers.

  1. Speed up of actions

When you add countdown timer or time limit offer on your product page or website, your customers will response quickly, as there is an urgent situation appeared. Slow checkout response or call-to-action delay is one the largest conversion killer and customers often take a long time to decide whether to buy the item or not. Creating urgency level helps to cut these delays and improve conversions.

  1. Enhance products desirability

Scarcity increases the desirability as it makes customers to feel unique when they have more valued and rare products. Scarcity makes a product more valuable, executive in nature and when people have such scarce products or services they feel more powerful.

How to boost Shopify sales and conversion by using countdown timer and scarcity

Many small and large ecommerce sites and stores are now using countdown timer and scarcity as a marketing strategy to create urgency and scarcity of their product. These strategically created situations are not only helping them to receive maximum customer engagement but also they can boost their sales and conversions.

Tips of using countdown timer to boost your Shopify sales

  1. Include product page/ homepage countdown timers

Ecommerce marketers suggest using of countdown timer on product page instead of sale’s end dates. Many successful ecommerce stores and sites use ticking clock showing exact time of deal’s ending on their product page to create urgency. You can also add countdown timer on your homepage to remind customers that they are running out of time. One of the most used homepage or product page countdown timer type is displaying countdown timed discounted products on homepage so customers can see them every time they visit your site.

  1. Use time related words on product page

Some words add extra sense of urgency when you use them on your product page. Language using to create general FOMO is an old trick and has been proven a better way to drive customers to your store. When you use words like Now, Fast, Quick, Hurry, Close, End, Never, Seconds, over etc create a sense of urgency of your product to customers.

  1. Add purchase countdown

You can use purchase timers to boost purchase. Putting a timer on purchase pushes customers to think and act quickly to complete checkout process. When you add countdown on purchase that means you give define time to complete your customers’ action after they add any product on their cart.

  1. Add next day shipping countdowns

Leveraging a countdown on nest day shipping context is best for boosting sales and conversion. This is also helpful to create FOMO, showing the customers how much time they have to enjoy free or within next day shipping.

Amazon uses next day shipping countdown to let shoppers know how much time is left before the offer ends.

  1. Use countdown emails to prevent curt abandonment

Another advantageous way to use countdown to prevent cart abandonment is to set email countdown and send to the customers to remind them to fulfill their order. The timer shows the customer the exact time they have to fulfill or claim their deal.

Tips of using Scarcity to boost your Shopify sales

  1. Show stock quantity

The best practice of using scarcity principle to boost sales and conversion is to show limited stock notice on the product page to your customers. This will let your customer to know how much stock you have left and influences shoppers to think that if they do not act quickly they may not be able to make the deal.

Many small and large businesses are now using limited stock notice or they simply put the numbers of product left on the product page.

Zappos the well known online shoe store shows the number of particular shoes they have left to alert the shoppers who look for the item.

  1. Size scarcity

Another tactic to create scarcity and urgency of your product is using limited size options on product page. Similar to limited stock notice, size scarcity shows which sizes of desired products are available and which are not.

  1. Limited production notice

Customers value the rare products more and leveraging limited production or limited edition item on your homepage or product page. When customers know you are offering limited edition products or products for limited time, they are more like to purchase it.

Many clothing, cosmetics, home décor and accessories sites offer this limited edition or limited product notice to boost their sales and conversions.

The Chubbies offer limited edition products on weekends or other special days with limited gift offers with daily purchase.

  1. Seasonal offers

Another way of creating scarcity of your products is to offer seasonal time limited offers to your customers. When you create specific product deals in specific time, you create a Fear-Of-Missing-out among your customers and they do not want to regret not to have your deals.

For example, Starbuks sells pumpkin spice flavored beverage in the fall not throughout the year.

  1. Use numbers to show popularity

Using rigid numbers of customers who have bought your products help to create scarcity in your customer’s mind. Airways and large hotels show the exact numbers of their customers during the deal. This action works like social proof, new customers can understand about your deals, your products popularity increases and you can be able to make maximum sales.


The success of implementing these above tactics depends on your honesty, using techniques and of course on your marketing knowledge. Leveraging countdown timer and scarcity is helpful without any question but without proper knowledge of using these tactics may backfire on your sales and conversions. Countdown timer is better option to boost sales and conversion but if you overdo it or use fake countdown, you may lose your customers. On the other hand, scarcity is way less risky than countdown timer to use to create urgency and scarcity of your products.

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