If only running an ecommerce website was as easy as attracting lots of customers, all of which the moment they saw your product(s) they knew they wanted them and had to have them the day before yesterday.

Unfortunately it isn't.

One way you can speed up the process of your customers making a decision to make the purchase is to create a sense of urgency in them. That they have to have it now and not wait till tomorrow to decide.

Why is urgency important?

When a customer feels they are in an urgent situation they can suspend deliberate thought and decide to act quickly. Creating a sense of urgency in the sales process will move motivate a large portion of your website visitors to make a purchase.

It doesn't matter whether it's in signing up for a newsletter, enrolling in a webinar or buying a service or physical product. Urgency, like sex, sells.

The goal in creating urgency is to break through the thought process your customer has when they're deciding whether or not to buy from you.

The longer your potential customer waits and takes to decide on whether to make the purchase or not, the less likely they are to buy from you.

Why words matter

Words have meaning. Every word counts, so choose the words that you use very wisely.

Here are a few 'urgency' words you can use in the copy on your website:

Hurry
Last Chance
Don't Delay
Don't Miss Out
Instantly
One Day Only
Limited Time Offer
Expires On...
Now
Ends Today
Deadline
Act Now
Don't Delay

Now is one of my personal favourites. It demands an urgent response without sounding too ham or artificial. A lot of customers have become battle weary to words like 'limited time offer', they're used to double glazing salesmen telling them they can do all the windows if they sign up today for £5k, or £10k if they do it tomorrow.

Demonstrate scarcity

It's a fundamental instinct engrained in all of us for millenia that if something is seen to be scarce or hard to obtain, we value it. That's why gold is so valuable, not because it does anything (gold is one of the most useless elements around), but because there isn't very much of it and nobody can make anymore.

Tap into your customer's brains and demonstrate to them that your products are scarce and they'll make a decision to buy on the chance that they'll regret not having done so.

One of the things that make Groupon type deals seem attractive is the countdown timer.

So you might like to consider adding a countdown timer to your product pages for any special deals that you have.

Timers give buyers the precise deadline that they have to act or miss out.

Another great technique to generate a sense of scarcity is to tell customers when you don't have much stock.

Knowing that there's a limited quantity of a product drives your customers to take action, particularly if there's an important deadline (like a Birthday or Christmas) coming up that they are making the purchase for.

What you shouldn't do

Don't annoy your customers. Don't try and trick them into the same product at the same price won't be available next week if it won't be. Customers are savvy.

Don't urge customers to buy just for the hell of it.

Don't nag customers and repeat the same offer time and time again if they know it's not true.

Don't lie to your customers or pressure them.

Build an honest and ethical sales campaign.

Encourage action

Urgency is part of our human DNA, it's just that sometimes we need a little push to move forward in the decision making process.

So take some time, get to know your customers, and learn how urgency can work for your business model.

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