Creating urgency with your users is a very powerful way to drive conversion rates.

As website technologies advance we are finding more creative ways to instil this urgency and drive sales, here are just a few.

1. Delivery countdown timer

Not necessarily the most difficult to implement but adding a timer to your product pages can be very effective. Simply set it up to count down to your daily order cut off time and you are done.

You can just use minutes and hours but for serious impact add seconds too. Seeing each second count down live will really step up the impact and drive those conversions that would have otherwise been abandoned.

Attraction Tickets Direct used a similar method. it offered a free ticket to Legoland if the user purchased by the end of the month.

Overall, the test resulted in a 27% increase in ticket sales! 

2. User specific offer countdowns

This suggestion requires a little more explanation but is worth the effort.

When a user visits your site you drop a cookie marking their entrance time and date. You then start and display a live countdown timer on the page for them to take advantage of a special offer (e.g. 10% off for the next hour).

Every time the user exits and returns to your website within this timeframe the countdown continues.

By making it clear that the timer is counting down just for them you can really push for impulse purchases and conversions that would otherwise have been unachievable.

3. People that viewed/bought the product today

You will probably have noticed a number of large retailers start to use this method of urgency. You can display a range of content depending on your scale and offering e.g. “five people have viewed this item in the last hour” or “34 of these have been sold today”.

The intention is to give the user confidence that a lot of other people are interested in the same product (social proof), but also a sense of urgency that if they don’t buy now it may go out of stock. Booking.com do this really well.

4. Sale and event dates

Peak sales periods such as Christmas can make or break a retailer and it is vital that you maximize your sales during these times.

We have all seen the messaging about last chance to order for delivery by a certain date but these should not be underestimated.

It has been seen time and time again the effectiveness of this kind of messaging only increases as the deadline nears. For something so simple to implement the impact can be huge, the real trick is to apply the theory to more sales and holiday periods other than just Christmas.

5. Exit discounts

Finally, this is similar to the user specific countdown as it employs time sensitive discounts but targets the later stages of a user’s journey instead.

You can determine when a user is leaving your website based on their mouse movements and its direction, creating the perfect trigger to display a very powerful message. In this case where a user has added products to the basket and is about to leave you can create urgency by offering them a time sensitive discount e.g. “Complete your purchase in the next hour and get 10% off”.

What is important here is that you have targeted an engaged customer as they have added a product to the basket.

However, you have not sacrificed revenue as the discount is offered at the last possible chance, you are not throwing money away giving everyone 10% off.