FOMO marketing

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FOMO marketing

Marketing has always used the features of the human psyche. Marketers use various strategies, including FOMO-marketing, to motivate people to make purchases. In this article, we will discuss how to apply “FOMO” to motivate customers to shop from your online store using real life examples.

What is FOMO

FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) – fear of missing out on an opportunity.

In 2004 student Patrick McGinnis wrote about his theory of “two FOs.” The tongue-in-cheek analysis explained student social behavior as two opposing forces: “FOMO” (fear of missing out) and “FOBO” (fear of a better option). McGinnis claimed, that FOMO makes college students pack their schedules with social activities, afraid to miss a thing. FOBO, on the other hand, leaves them in constant fear that they’ve made the wrong decision. The term FOMO is new, but the phenomenon it describes has been in existence since the creation of humankind.

FOMO-marketing encourages people to make purchases using various psychological triggering techniques based on the fear of not getting what they want.

In most cases, People’s purchase decisions are influenced by the benefits and discounts offered by the seller. Marketers are well aware of this fact and know how to take advantage of it by using expressions like “special offers,” “valid for a limited amount of time,” or “ending right now” in their broadcasts.

Such advertisements cause the buyers to be alarmed due to the fear of missing an advantageous offer.
Let’s now look at the marketing language and how it works in stores:

N1. Take advantage of discounts on winter clothes at the end of the season → Do not miss the opportunity to buy jackets with final discounts!
N2. Buy a smartphone with a 20% discount until the end of the month → Only 10 smartphones of this model are left with a 20% discount, do not miss the chance to get it now!

This method is used for both offline and online stores, in order to make customers buy their products. In the next set of examples, we will consider the use of FOMO in marketing broadcasts.

How to use FOMO in the online store

There are many techniques that can be successfully applied in online stores using FOMO.

Many of them are associated with stocks that run with different restrictions and other psychological “hooks.” However, when you launch these marketing activities, be honest. You should not increase prices a few days before the promotional period, and then reduce them. No need to set a timer, and then extend it, as this could make your customers feel deceived if they notice the tricks.

Every discount made should be carefully thought out and included in the strategic marketing plan because the long-term reputation of your store is much more important than a short-term gain.

Time limit

A common way for an online store to use FOMO-Marketing is by making people feel hurried. Lack of time is a strong factor used to stimulate customers.
The buyer often wants to get the benefit here and now, not thinking much about the benefits of this product and its real use. Any promotion will spur decision making; this method in e-commerce can be described as a loss of profit syndrome in an online store.

Time limit tactic

Limited Editions

Having an exclusive thing or a product that was released in small quantities is one of the FOMO models. People want to be chosen, therefore access to closed sales, limited product series, VIP offers allows you to make more sales.
People will be ready to buy your product if they realize that it may disappear soon. This approach can be used with a variety of different products in limited supply.

Pepsi in 2018 released a limited collection of cans of different generations

Women hold Pepsi retro can

Social proof

In social networks, our friends and colleagues often make posts about their shopping experience. Rejoice at new things and gadgets, and make reviews, which can encourage other people to buy the same items. You can add a share button or block  on your website to allow your customers to share their experiences with your products with their friends.

Each country has its own popular social networks. Even though Facebook is an international social network, there are thousands of other smaller ones that are very popular in specific countries. Therefore it is also important to post links to these networks. For example, if the online store is located in Spain, then the links should be on the Spanish social networking sites.

Make sure to show testimonials from your happy clients and the number of people who keep buying from you. Keep motivating your clients to leave their feedback because the more positive feedback you have, the more reliable your business will become..

International aggregators of hotels and accommodations around the world use similar techniques. In addition to the reviews, they show in each ad how many people have booked a specific room or apartment in the last 24 hours to influence the decision to book sooner.

Show what others have bought

“Top sales,” “Popular products,” “They also bought with this product” – these icons and filters still attract attention. “Herd instinct” is inherent in every person to one degree or another, especially when we are talking about shopping.

People believe the numbers. Show data to grow your sales.

There are some websites where pop-up windows appear with messages showing you the number of customers that made purchases minutes or hours ago.  Psychologically, this is a FOMO-trick to tell you: “Come on! Take it now! You see that the goods are being bought up now, because they are really popular so don’t miss this opportunity.”

Moreover, when we see that some products are popular and many people have already bought them – we tend to think that the majority cannot be mistaken. You do remember how clothes or some kind of gadget became “fashionable” and that people mainly wanted to buy them just because they were in trend and everyone was getting them?

Show Stock Levels

You can sell goods in the store quicker if you show that there are not many products left. Deficiency is a strong psychological trigger! Motivating the buyer to purchase using this technique is not difficult.

In 1975, the United States conducted an interesting experiment. Stephen Worchel put two cans of cookies in the office. One jar was full, and in the second there were two cookies at the bottom. Everyone chose the second can with each new experiment.
When something becomes scarce, it becomes valuable.
Therefore, the deficit affects the subconscious at the time of the purchase, which  encourages buyers to perform this action.

If all goods are in short supply, they might not believe you! Which is why it is important to do everything correctly.

Be number one

The race for leadership and victory has always moved people forward in development. Be it a marathon or career growth. It is in a similar way that we conduct ourselves in shopping. Nobody likes to be second, therefore in FOMO-marketing the competitive spirit helps to boost sales.

Usually, a month before the presentation of the new iPhone, online electronics stores make a page with new models and a “pre-order” button so that every Apple brand fan can become the first buyer of a new smartphone. Such advertising campaigns are effective when new brands are introduced to the market or before the release of a new model of a device in order to create a stir.

Limited free shipping

Who wouldn’t want to get free shipping!?. Each person loves exclusive conditions with services and purchases. If you can make such offers for a limited number of clients, they will not miss out on the opportunity to use them.

For example, in a store you can make a condition on different days, so that a certain group of products or specific popular models can be ordered with free delivery to any part of the country, but only the first 5 people will be able to enjoy this offer. And make a counter that will show real data from your CRM. These FOMO campaigns can become very popular!

Exit pop-up

Exit Pop-Up – a window that appears on the screen when a person tries to close the site. You can customize any picture and message that will be displayed to each client. Here we are not talking about subscriptions via email, but about one-time offers.

To take it up to the FOMO level, when trying to close the site, offer your customers a one-time bonus, gift, promotional code, or exclusive discounts here and now – which they will not be able to refuse. The proposal should be really valuable, so that it intrigues the customer, rather than annoying them. Set a timer to make this decision a quick one.

Email marketing

Email marketing  is a must-have tool in e-commerce. It helps you to gain contacts and work with each client through email.

If you want to increase sales, start Email Marketing at the very beginning. It does not require a ton of money, and it has lasting effects on your business’ life cycle.
By sending emails you can:

  • inform customers about new promotions, discounts, or exclusive closed sales
  • send notifications that their chosen products will soon be gone, or that the price has dropped and it’s time to buy;
  • Remind them of their abandoned basket. An efficient way to encourage purchases will be to add a one-time discount and limit the time to 60 minutes after clicking on the link in your sent mail.

When you offer discounts and cash bonuses for a subscription, segment customers into groups. In the future, you will send personalized offers. A gift will serve as an incentive to make a purchase from the online store.

Cheaper by the Dozen

Finally, let us show you another example of how people buy more at a time.

You can show not only the retail price, but also wholesale prices, if your customers want to buy the product in larger quantities at once.

Of course, if you sell refrigerators, then an ordinary person wouldn’t buy 5 pieces at a time, but if you have small items of daily use that we buy periodically why not offer them a good deal? For example, three phone covers or two sets of batteries, and maybe two electric kettles as a gift. If the discount is palpable, customers will be more inclined to go for the wholesale price you offer.

This is a technique that the world’s online lingerie store, Victoria’s Secret, has been using. They sell several pieces at significant discounts.

Victoria Secret Panty Party Sale

They offer to buy 5 panties at once at a discounted price, and you can choose different colors. This is an ideal example of FOMO-marketing!

Too much water drowned the miller

Attract customers’ attention with the help of FOMO-marketing: make a shortage of time to buy, limit the quantity, give an exclusive and personalized offer – let all uncertain customers turn into impatient buyers!

Just be careful not to use all of these methods at once, as it can undermine the confidence of the buyer and cause an opposite effect.