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Scarcity Marketing: 6 Amazing Shopify Tactics

Fear of missing out is one of the strongest emotional triggers in marketing. But that’s not the only reason scarcity marketing is essential for your Shopify store. It helps you improve your credibility and increase trust in your brand, while also making faster sales.

In this post, I’ll walk you through what scarcity marketing means and some innovative tactics to use effectively in your Shopify store.

Scarcity Marketing: What is it?

Scarcity marketing is a tactic that can be used throughout your Shopify store, from email marketing to product descriptions. It relies on a potential customer's fear of passing up a deal. It’s founded on the psychological notion that we tend to crave what is in demand and hard to get.

The commodity theory claims that scarcity raises the worth (or at least the attractiveness) of an object that fits these three fundamental criteria:

It has the potential to be useful, transferrable, and possessed.

These are criteria that fit most marketable products and services. Now why do scare products become more desirable?

  • They feel exclusive

Those who possess scarce products have exclusive access that is not widely available to others. This in and of itself raises the value of a rare resource like diamonds, gold, rare collabs between brands, etc.

  • They look more valuable

According to the law of supply and demand, products in short supply frequently cost more, and so scarce items that are priced high sometimes operate as status symbols.

  • They feel like power

Snatching up a scarce object means you have something that others want but cannot have, giving the owner a sense of power.

The more difficult it is to get a hold of anything, the more eagerly consumers seek it out but what does this mean in terms of increased sales?

1. Add Scarcity To Your Email

When you use specific numbers to demonstrate scarcity, it has a bigger impact on the shopper's psyche because the numbers help people better grasp the situation.

You can use this approach in your “back in stock” emails. When sending a restock notification, let your subscribers know that the product is back in stock but may not be accessible for long to create a sense of urgency. 

Use numbers to emphasize the scarcity.

For example,

Hello, [Customer Name].

[name of product] is back in stock but there are only 20 left.

Get it now while you can!

120 other people are looking at this product right now, and 5 have sold out in the last hour.

You can also incorporate a countdown clock to the footer of all of your emails that lets customers know how much time is left (i.e., “Only 7 days left!”) for certain events or sales.

This will help remind customers that they need to buy now if they want the item at the discounted rate or free shipping benefit.

2. Use Countdown Timers

Countdown timers are a great way to create urgency. They can be used to promote sales, special offers, and other events.

Use a countdown timer on your product pages to encourage visitors to purchase now rather than later. Showing how little time is left on an item is a great way of creating a sense of urgency.

3. Create Urgency With Limited-Time Offers

Offering a limited-time offer is a method to let subscribers know that if they don’t buy immediately, they could miss the chance…forever!

It works because of something that’s called “loss aversion”, a state in which a person prioritizes avoiding losses over gaining benefits.

You can evoke a sense of urgency by making something time-sensitive. For example, by giving a discount on the replenished item just for a short time, you are doing 2 things: Instilling fear of missing out (FOMO) syndrome in customers and providing them with more for less money.

4. Show Inventory Stock Levels

Showing your customers how many items you have left is a great way to build urgency and encourage purchases. If your inventory is running low, there are Shopify apps that can allow you to show customers how many are left. This will encourage customers to buy the item while they still have a chance.

Using words like, “few items left” or showing specific numbers of stocks left can make customers want to purchase the item right away.

5. Implement A Hint Of Exclusivity With A VIP Membership

VIP membership is a great way to reward your customers and keep them coming back. You can offer exclusive discounts, access to exclusive content, or other benefits depending on the type of Shopify store you have.

For example, providing a VIP membership for a clothing brand might include exclusive access to new designs before they're made public. While a sporting goods shop could give members exclusive coupons for future purchases or limited edition gifts with purchases. The possibilities are endless!

6. Show demand and popularity

Customers are more likely to trust a purchase decision when they observe other people purchasing it. It's because witnessing someone else make that decision has an informational social impact on us, and we end up mimicking their actions.

As a result, one successful strategy for causing scarcity is to demonstrate how popular and in-demand a specific product is.

You can do this by leveraging social proof. You may achieve this in your back-in-stock emails by displaying social proof in the form of customer reviews, and user-generated content such as photos, videos, etc.

Similarly, you could add a widget somewhere on your website that displays if someone just purchased a certain item. It's a terrific approach to get additional shoppers to check out that specific item while also demonstrating to them that there are other purchasers who are confident enough in your website to make the purchase.

Scarcity marketing helps you make faster sales and create a more positive image for your business.

Scarcity marketing is a great way to create urgency and boost your sales. It also helps enhance your brand image, as it's often associated with exclusivity, premium products, and services. Your customers will feel like they're getting something special when they purchase from you—and that makes them want to come back again.

Scarcity marketing is effective because it gives people something that they don't have access to right now: an item or service for sale. It's the same principle as going on sale at a store—people want what others can't get, so if there's only one left in stock (or even just two), then people will want it even more!


We hope you found at least one of these tactics to be inspiring and helpful! This is a vast topic, so if there are any other scarcity marketing concepts you’d like us to cover, let us know in the comments below.


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