Published on March 11th, 2009 | by Janine Popick0
Using Scarcity to Get More Business
You see them all the time, offers in stores and online that have limits attached to them. Whether there’s a limit of one per customer or three, it does catch your eye, admit it! Using scarcity to motivate people to not just buy a product in the first place but perhaps even buy more of a product can work for any business. Perhaps a customer was only going to buy one item from you, but you’ve only produced 300 of them. Do you want to sell them all? Of course, so why not try telling your customers only 300 were produced and they can only buy four. You may have just increased your average order size by 3 times.
In a book called Going Broke: Why American’s Can’t Hold Onto Their Money, by Stuart Vyse, a study in Iowa showed that when consumers are given a limit, in this case 12 cans of soup vs. 4 cans of soup, they bought significantly more when presented with the 12 can limit than with the 4 can limit.
Due to Popular Demand
Many businesses limit just one per customer. You’d think that by doing this you wouldn’t necessarily increase your average order size. However, limiting one per customer could make more consumers want to be one of the “elite” to have this and perhaps they’ll buy something else while they’re on a website or at a location.
Here are some highly visible successful scarcity examples…
Automotive Industry – Mini Coopers and Smart Cars – Only a few thousand were to be released in the US when they first came out. Waiting lines started at these dealerships and waiting lists were established. I know a couple that flew from San Francisco to Long Beach just to have one of the first!
Fashion Industry – Louis Vuitton constantly has waiting lists for upcoming bags and accessories and requires a credit card to be put on the list in many cases. When you’re name comes up there’s no waiting for them to ding your card! And you get your lovely new purse!
Wineries do a great job of this. Some wineries have waiting lists to get into their wine clubs. Then they tell you how many bottles you WILL buy each month.
I did a quick search online and found offers all over the board using limitations to give you just a few ideas on other offers using limitations.
- $19 Bath and body lotion, limit 4 per customer.
- $13 thumbdrives, limit 3 per customer
- $4.99 Bakers Iced Zoo Biscuits, limit 2 per customer
- $29.99 box of Huggies, limit 2 per customer
- $95 Blue tooth headset limit 2 per customer
So you see there are plenty of different products with varying pricing levels that all take advantage of this tactic. Do you have a product or service that you could test this out with? Let’s hear the results!
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