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FOMO is the Fear of Missing Out, and it’s a psychological principle that can serve businesses well.

People hate to think they’re too late for something, or have missed the opportunity to get something extra! And it’s these feelings that a business can use to boost sales.

Offer “limited stock”

An item about to go out of stock triggers a sense of urgency in buyers. It suggests that the item is so popular that it’s already been snapped up, as well as pumping up the pressure to buy their own.

Showing stock levels ‘live’ can provide the push that some people need to make a purchase. Buyers won’t know if another shipment is due, and are more likely to take advantage of availability if it seems threatened.

Offer time limited deals

An item which might not be affordable at its RRP suddenly seems more desirable when on sale. It suggests that the customer is getting a great value deal.

Countdown clocks can up the ante here too, and you can even combine these two principles by using a Countdown Discount—40% off when customers respond on day 1, 30% off on day 2, and so on.

Let them in on the ‘secret’

Reviews, ratings, testimonials, share buttons… these give a sense of legitimacy, whilst also demonstrating there is an urgent demand. Customers tend to gravitate towards things which have the seal of approval from other people. It’s useful for long term selling, and for short term trend setting.

Offer limited free shipping (preferably with free returns)

If shipping usually makes a customer think twice about what or the volume of purchasing, then consider offering free shipping for a limited time.

Partner this up with a reasonable minimum spend threshold and free returns, and you’ve hooked them. What have they got to lose?

Offer the ‘lock-in before it’s too late’ deal

Some businesses offer chargeable loyalty schemes or subscription services. Warning members of a coming price increase that can be avoided by ‘locking-in’ to renew or extend subscription before a deadline can encourage shoppers to take early action.

Offer limited edition products and services

Customers like to feel privileged, and that they have access to something special and exclusive. Anniversary and Christmas editions, limited run items, signed items, or services and packages you don’t normally offer all boost sales.

It drives demand, and can also be a low-volume way to test the market with new items or services.

Offer the chance to be the first

Offer free gifts or discounts to the first batch of customers who buy a specific item. Everyone likes a freebie, after all!

FOMO on social media

According to research, more than half of social media users admit to having FOMO, so it’s a great place to start.

“Don’t miss out!”

Even the most marketing savvy customers will take a second look to make sure that they’re not the ones at risk of missing out. Splash the details all over social media to draw attention. Include images of people who have already benefited from a win or a great deal to highlight the aspirational message.

About The Author

Elizabeth Hughes

A content writer specialising in business, finance, software, and beyond. I'm a wordsmith with a penchant for puns and making complex subjects accessible. Learn more about Elizabeth.

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