Conversion Optimization

17 Powerful FOMO Marketing Ideas for eCommerce

Time to get smarter with what the world calls “FOMO”. Here are 17 in-depth ways to activate FOMO for steeper eCommerce conversions.

17 Powerful FOMO Marketing Ideas for eCommerce

“5 people are looking at it" and "running out fast" work—but they’ve also been done to death. 

Grandmas who sell flowers use the same strategy. 

Time to get smarter with what the world calls “FOMO”. 

First identified by a marketing strategist, Dr. Dan Herman in 1996, FOMO can be the basis of better sales. So, we’ve brought you 17 in-depth ways to activate FOMO for steeper eCommerce conversions. And if that’s not enough, we’ve also featured a Convertcart Pro Tip for each method. 

17 Powerful FOMO Marketing Ideas for eCommerce

1. Create smart bundle offers

Smart bundling is an effective technique to increase the average order value, one of the most important e-commerce metrics.

It’s also a way to drive FOMO as most of these bundles are not just personalized but also discounted.

For someone looking to buy multiple products, getting them a bundled offer makes a deal more compelling.

It encourages them to make the decision faster to get a better deal

Love the idea of smart bundling? You'll love reading this more: 10 product bundling examples that convert (& 10 proven ideas)

Casper, a popular eCommerce site that sells sleep products online, uses personalized product bundles to increase sales.

In the example above, along with their mattress, they’re offering pillows and bedsheets along with a mattress as a bundled offer.

This strategy is very effective in converting users who’ve already shown a strong interest in your product.

You can even promote bundles on emails to bring users back to the website.

In the following example, Huda tells us why communication is a big game when you’re offering smart bundling. 

Convertcart Pro Tip💡

Highlight value packages so that customers find an extra impetus to add to cart. Discounted bundles always provide extra reason for shoppers to keep browsing and if they like something, in greater likelihood, they’ll add to cart. Here’s an example from Vanity Planet, a brand which features “bundle & save” as one of their major categories. 

2. Showcase real user experiences

A lot of our buying decisions are impacted by other people’s experiences.

This is why we end up checking customer reviews and their experiences of using a certain product.

According to reports, 72% of customers don’t take any action until they have read reviews and testimonials from existing customers.

This is why companies highlight user-generated content on product pages and homepage.

Nanit, an American technology company that develops baby monitor devices, drives FOMO by promoting user experiences.

To make it genuine, they’ve shared images captured by their device and also included customer’s reviews and their respective social media handles.

They even call it out in their website copy by saying “Real parents. Real Moments”.

Convertcart Pro Tip 💡

If you do decide to go ahead with this technique, remember to highlight the experiences of varying kinds of customers.

This will ensure several of your target groups sit up and take notice at the same time.

Take a look at this example from Mehron, a makeup brand that stands up for the cultural influences of cosplay, drag and fx makeup.

Their UGC content reflects this eclectic mix. 

3. Make space for live user updates

Like real user experiences count for the potential buyer, so does the behavior of other shoppers.

In fact, this is really what FOMO is about.

Since urgency is driven by shoppers sensing they might not make the most of a deal or even a featured product, bringing in live user updates is a good idea. 

You could employ a number of ways to do this, including stating how many people are currently viewing a product or how many people have bought it over the past week.

Using product listing and product pages to drive this kind of urgency ensures shoppers stay on their feet and don’t delay adding to cart. 

Here’s an example of how MaskClub, one of the largest eCommerce sites for masks, uses the same strategy to create a FOMO in customers and drive more sales.

They show the users purchasing the products in real-time on the website.

Convertcart Pro Tip 💡

Use this feature on your category and product pages to reap maximum benefit. 

4. Create urgency through your abandoned cart emails

According to data gathered by Baymard Institute, it is estimated that the average cart abandonment rate across industries is a whopping 69.82%.

We understand it’s not the best scenario, but we also say, it’s an opportunity.

One way to drive FOMO is to write abandoned cart emails that can speak directly and succinctly to your target audience. 

While crafting your abandoned cart emails, it might be helpful to remember that people abandon their cart for various reasons. However the most common ones seem to be:

  • A complicated checkout process
  • Multiple additional costs
  • No option of checking out as a guest

So when you’re trying to counter all of these challenges through effective emails, make sure they have:

  • Interesting and memorable copy
  • Adequate personalization
  • A good reason to jump to action

Here’s an example from Bluemercury that creates urgency so subtly that shoppers won’t feel put off by the follow-up communication. 

Still thinking how to drive more urgency through your copy? Here’s a classic example from Warby Parker, which sets out to create a mood with its abandoned cart recovery email. (Read about many more examples here.)

Convertcart Pro Tip 💡

Always provide a clear summary of products that the shopper left hanging in the cart. This acts as a recall and offers a trigger to act. 

5. Call attention to loyalty rewards

Ask most people you meet and they are likely to say, “It’s such a pain to create an account with an eCommerce store.” 

And we don’t blame them, because without enough incentive why would people want to sign up and buy?

On the other hand, guest checkouts now enable a different level of ease. 

If FOMO is what you want to generate, see how you can bring the shopper’s attention to loyalty rewards.

The idea is for them to recognize that the more loyal they are, the more benefits they will receive.

This would also indicate what they would miss out on if they didn’t sign up. 

Here’s a look at how Sephora says their exclusive club members will have access to certain products that others won’t. 

Convertcart Pro Tip 💡

Use a multi-channel strategy to drive loyalty rewards (because often people forget if they have accumulated points or could purchase more by accumulating points). 

6. Make your exit-intent popups compelling

Companies can leverage exit intent technology to show popups right when the user is about to leave the site.

These pop-ups can contain a special discount code or offer aimed at luring the users into making a purchase.

Unlike time-based popups, which can often be annoying for visitors, exit-intent popups don’t annoy them.

These pop-ups are the perfect way to recover visitors on the verge of leaving.

This is because they make shoppers feel valued and create urgency as the discount holds only for a limited time.

To gain the most out of this strategy businesses should ensure that:

  • The popup is shown strategically at important pages like the product, checkout, etc.
  • The discount code is unique and not available anywhere else on the website or third-party sites.

Here’s an example of how exit-intent communication by MVMT Watches works to create urgency and drive purpose. What’s better, they even provide the choice to the shopper to jump off anyway (by citing “maybe later”). 

Convertcart Pro Tip 💡

Design your exit intent popups in line with the rest of your brand assets. Also remember that the design has to cater to someone who is in a hurry to leave the site. To make sure this happens, your exit intent pop-up design needs to be clutter-free, crisp & persuasive and easy to close & move on.

Here’s an example from Press that checks all the boxes. 

7. Use expired, sold out & missed deals signs

When shoppers end up on a product page to find that the product is currently out of stock, their urgency is naturally triggered.

This is especially true for those who already know what they want to buy and are ready to checkout with the product of their choice.

A “notify me” sign can also help you bring in more organic leads. 

Wondering how to make your product pages more compelling? Read 23 Proven Ways To Increase Product Page Conversions

Here’s an example from Wayfair to show how you can communicate about sold out products. 

Highlighting the deals or products users have missed buying is also an effective way to drive FOMO. This ensures that they take action sooner on the other remaining deals that are going to expire or the next time when the sale is live.

Amazon runs daily deals where certain products come at a special discounted price. Because every deal has a limited quantity, when they sell out, the deal is highlighted in the missed deals section. This provokes the user to take faster action on the current and upcoming deals from Amazon.

Convertcart Pro Tip 💡

Offer similar products as suggestions while using this technique (because you really don’t have any control over whether the shopper will return at a later date or not.) Here’s an example from Overstock to show you what we’re talking about. 

8. Bring pre-orders into the picture

At any point in time, pre-orders do two things:

- They suggest exclusivity 

- They imply scarcity

And the good news is that you can make the most of both and create FOMO.

Pre-orders are often an excellent idea on the supply side when you don’t have an exact idea about stock or only a limited stock can be made available within a given frame of time. 

One way to drive sales is to make the pre-order more lucrative.

Some eCommerce businesses attach a discount, for example, to pre-orders and this helps them sell faster.

In any case, it’s necessary for you to prepare for surges in both traffic and orders. 

Here’s how Nike drives a sense of exclusivity (and hence, scarcity) in this pre-order communication. 

Convertcart Pro Tip💡

Using a first come-first served format can be helpful in limiting the number of orders and also creating hype. Let’s say you want to open it up only to the first 100 people. Mention that clearly in your copy and see if you can re-emphasize it in your CTA. 

9. Make your FOMO subject lines eye catching

Want to drive FOMO through emails? 
Start with the subject line.

Subject lines have the single most important element that decides the fate of any email (that is, whether it gets opened or buried in the sea of other promotional emails). With everyone leveraging emails to bring back users and drive sales, it’s important for brands to stand out.

One way to do this is to get the attention of the subscribers by bringing out the scarcity through the subject lines.

Few examples are subject lines starting with “Limited-time only”, “Last 12 hours”, “Deal ends tomorrow” etc.

Manchester City’s kit store uses the same strategy to promote an exclusive limited time deal with their subscribers. To increase the urgency they’ve mentioned the last date for availing the offer.

Convertcart Pro Tip 💡

Ensure to make the communication as specific as possible. You cannot send every email saying it’s a limited time offer and expect the same conversions. You’ll need to make it genuine and show that they’re missing out on grabbing a deal that might not come again soon. Serving it up in language that’s simple and genuine can increase the click-to-open rate. This Lazy Oaf example can be a starter. 

10. Introduce a limited time sale

Any limited offer forces the user to jump on the deal as they’re fearful that the offer might not come again ever or anytime soon.

This creates a FOMO effect.

Casper, a popular eCommerce site that sells sleep products online, uses the same strategy to drive sales. In this example, they’re giving a 10% discount on all their products until a particular date.

Convertcart Pro Tip 💡

Announcing a site-wide limited time sale can offer more people from your audience the opportunity to add-to-cart.

To improve efficacy, introduce an offer that lasts just a few hours or a day at max. 

CC Ebook Banner

11. Offer a limited stock nudge

One of the most effective ways to create a fear of missing out is to show the exact number of products left in stock.

Not only does it increase the value of the product — by showing that it is scarce — but also encourages users to purchase it sooner.

In the above example, Amazon uses the same technique to create FOMO among customers. It shows the exact number of products left in stock.

They also drive urgency by saying that if you’re interested you should “order it soon”.

Convertcart Pro Tip 💡

Just remember showing the exact stock number is more effective than simply mentioning “in high demand” or “while stocks last”. This is because it makes it look genuine and the messaging credible.

12. Provide Free Shipping for a limited time

You don’t always need a huge discount to convert visitors. Offering something as small as free shipping for a limited time can be equally attractive.

It plays a decisive role in making a purchase online.

In fact, 93% of consumers are likely to spend more if an online store offers free shipping.

In the above example, Chubbies, an eCommerce website that sells shorts, uses this strategy to drive urgency among its visitors.

Here they are offering free shipping on orders above $35. This forces users to complete the order before the sale ends.

This strategy is especially useful for brands that don’t want to decrease the value of their products by discounting them. 

Convertcart Pro Tip 💡

Ensure you’re showing this information at the right places, especially on the product page and during checkout.

13. Drive discounted sign-ups

Converting visitors into emails is very critical for any eCommerce business.

This helps them to keep them engaged by sending promotions and notifying them about their products. The idea is to convert them at a later stage.

But simply asking users for their email is not enough. You need to make the offer more convincing by providing them something in return.

(Here's something to read on how to get your lead nurturing emails right.)

One way to go about this is by offering discount coupons/vouchers to newsletter subscribers.

In the above example, Revolve — a clothing brand — is using FOMO to drive newsletter subscribers. They are offering a 10% discount voucher as an incentive to subscribe. They’re emphasizing the offer again in their CTA “Get my coupon”.

Leveraging such a strategy can skyrocket your conversion rate on such popups. Just ensure that you’re triggering them such that they’re not annoying or disrupt the user flow.

Convertcart Pro Tip 💡

To increase the urgency you can also set a countdown timer on your popup.

14. Give out a personalized offer

In a deluge of promotional emails, a personalized email with an offer can do wonders.

It’s very hard to resist opening such emails, especially if it has your name in the subject line. Sometimes all it takes a user to convert is a personalized engagement.

Reports show that personalized email campaigns receive 29 percent higher email open rates and 41 percent higher click-through rates than ordinary emails.

But personalization is more than just using the user's first name.

You need to make use of every data that helps make you create content that’s very relevant to them.

Convertcart Pro Tip 💡

Make use of special event days like birthdays to make the most of this FOMO technique. This introduces a time boundary and also creates more personal impetus for them to take action. 

15. Give out freebies alongside a deal/product

When buying products, nothing gives a user more joy than getting complimentary products or freebies. 

Now imagine getting a freebie when you upgrade to a certain plan or when purchasing products above a certain value.

Doesn’t it get you excited or persuaded to make the purchase decision faster? In all likelihood, it does. 

BarkBox, a monthly subscription service providing dog products, uses the same strategy to drive more subscriptions.

In the following example, they’re giving out free toys to users that subscribe for more than a month.

This is a very smart way to convert new visitors and upsell to existing customers.

Giving out freebies is a great way to build strong relationships with customers, alongside getting maximum revenue out of them. 

Convertcart Pro Tip 💡

You can even take the strategy a step further, by not telling them what the freebie is. This can automatically increase excitement levels.

16. Sell limited edition products

Limited editions as a marketing tactic is widely used. Brands like Adidas, Nestle, Coca-Cola have been leveraging it for decades.

It is human psychology, the fact there are only just a few thousands of a particular product, makes it more desirable and exclusive for people.

This compels them to take action quickly. This is why limited-edition products sell out in a few minutes.

meundies limited edition products

MeUndies, a Los Angeles–based underwear and loungewear company, uses this strategy to drive more sales. For example, in 2020, they launched a limited edition product line up inspired by the popular TV series, The Mandalorian.

They’ve even re-emphasize the fact that the supply is limited and the product might get out of stock soon by bringing it out on their website copy.

When executed right, selling limited edition products can not only skyrocket your sales but also attract a completely new user base. In this case — fans of a popular show. 

Convertcart Pro Tip 💡

Just remember, as a best practice, try to use the strategy only a few times every year.

17. Incentivize first-time buyers with an offer

Converting new visitors into customers is the hardest. It becomes even harder when you’re a relatively new brand.

So how can brands motivate new shoppers in doing that?

You can drive FOMO by creating an exclusive offer for first-time buyers.

This is especially useful in converting those who are still not ready to take a call or are new to the brand.

Winc, a wine club membership, and gifting site use the same strategy to drive more sales. They do that by giving users a 20$ discount on their first purchase.

The strategy is perfect for subscription businesses. This is because the lifetime value (LTV) of the customer is more than just the first purchase. If they find the products valuable, they can end up sticking with the brand for a long period.

Convertcart Pro Tip 💡

Introduce words like “exclusive” if you want to drive home the point that the offer is too good to be missed. 

Still want to explore more ways of foolproofing your conversions?

Take a free audit with us to find an in-depth report on what aspects of your eCommerce site are yielding and what could do a whole lot better. 

Conversion rate optimization
Free Guide 👉 👉

A FOUNDER’S GUIDE: Sales Secrets from 15 High-Converting Websites