Last updated - July 8, 2021
If you drive or ride on a regular basis, you will know that feeling of urgency to make that green light if you see the timer counting down 10…9…8…and don’t want to have to wait at the red light. Did you know that this feeling – an urge to obtain something when you can see time running out – is actually a classic trait of the human psyche.
We can’t help it; that’s how we’re wired.
The Power of Urgency
Marketers have understood and harnessed the power of urgency to induce sales. This sales gimmick has proven itself over time, which is why it is such a popular means of boosting revenue. It has become such a lucrative technique for two primary reasons –
- It brings a product/value to the customer’s attention
- It motivates a customer to make a purchase, quickly
Brings a Product or Value to the Fore
The psychology behind this is the thought that something major will happen if the customer does not act before the timer runs out – he/she will miss out on an amazing offer. It is like in a movie, where the hero sees the ticking time bomb and his attention is drawn towards the timer; he must disable it before time runs out else it explodes.
When your web page has a product with a timer on it that says “Flash Sale! Everything 50% off for the next…” counting down the seconds, they are immediately attracted to it and consider making a purchase to avail the offer.
You must’ve seen it so often on Amazon. Amazon quite cleverly places a timer alongside a particular deal (like sale, or “Free Shipping”).
Here’s an example of a “Deal of the Day” sale timer.
A ticking timer right next to the product price brings more attention to the sale and the product.
Edible Arrangements noticed a boost in sales, when they added a timer to their same-day delivery option. Although they had been offering same-day delivery for quite a while, buyers seemed to not take notice. A simple timer increased their same-day sales by 8%.
Tip: To make customers aware of a timer, you should place it in the same block as the product photo, description, and price. When the timer is right there with the product, it is more visible and stays in focus.
A timer offers a push to customers for purchasing a product, especially if they are in dual minds about it. The persuasive power of a timer caters to the desire in people to snag a good deal or get a limited edition product before time runs out. It is an effective means of getting more customers to make a purchase.
An A/B test by ConversionXL went on to prove that adding a timer nearly tripled the sales of a product.
Timers alongside product purchases have known to induce FoMO, motivating people to make a purchase owing to the fear of missing out on an experience. Consider the case of designer goods or exclusive products. Adding a timer means they product is available for purchase for a limited time, and if you don’t act now, an opportunity will be lost.
Tip: The duration of the timer should be directly proportional to the cost of the product. Products that cost less should have a timer that lasts a few hours or a day tops. For instance, many e-Stores have these daily offers or sales for smaller products. For more expensive things, like a car or furniture, consider keeping the timer for a few days or weeks.
What Does WooCommerce Offer?
WooCommerce being the diverse software that it is, offers several formidable plugins that can help you set up countdown timers on your website. These plugins can help you set timers on product purchase, display a timer for sale prices, or add timers on cart abandonment emails. Let’s take a look at a few.
True to its name, WooCommerce Scheduler is a comprehensive plugin that’s perfect for scheduling products, adding timers, and boosting sales on your WooCommerce website. Apart from creating countdown timers with it, you can do a lot more, like hiding unavailable products, scheduling product sales by date and time – basically the entire package.
The Scheduler plugin can help you set up sales for multiple or specific products for a date or time, and also by category. It is an all-rounder for creating timer-based sales. The plugin offers an elegant countdown timer that’s aptly placed near the product description without overwhelming the buyer.
Finale – the WooCommerce Sales Countdown Timer and Discounts plugin can be a great addition to any WooCommerce store. It allows sale prices to be scheduled by time and also allows the display of a countdown timer on the product page.
Finale is the perfect plugin to display a timer for flash sales, seasonal or pre-launch discounts, daily deals, faster shipping deadline campaigns, and more. Apart from displaying the timer along with the product description, Finale offers the option to display a banner as well.
Beeketing for WooCommerce is an interesting plugin. Apart from offering various other features, the one feature that it offers, is the option to add a countdown timer on the checkout page, or when a buyer adds a product to the cart.
You can add a timer along with an offer to motivate the buyer to make the purchase. Beeketing can be used to show a pop-up message for an offer along with the timer to highlight the deal.
Read the complete review of Beeketing for WooCommerce.
Countdown timers take advantage of the principles of scarcity and urgency, which is why they are great for stock clearances or even selling out limited edition items quickly. The key is to use them wisely. You have these plugins to support you, just make sure the messaging is clear (the exact offer, time left for purchase, a clear call-to-action, and so on).
Keep it simple for the customers, do not add to many conditions, and you should be good. There’s nothing better than a simple countdown timer to put urgency (that’s WooCommerce sales, for you) in overdrive…! So, sit back, relax, and start counting! 😉
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