Archive for Marketing Tools

When I’m out and about, trying to complete my holiday shopping, it’s easy to remember how quickly I’m running out of time to get it all done. The traffic, the crowds, the incredible (and time-sensitive) sales all help to reinforce my sense of urgency. However, I find that when I’m at home, at my computer, shopping online, the sense of urgency tends to fade and take a back seat, giving me a false sense of “having plenty of time” to get everything done.

As an online store owner, though, I want to remind my visitors of the proximity of the holiday, and do what I can to recreate a similar sense of urgency. It’s even more important online than in the “offline” world – the choice of online stores is nearly infinite in comparison to the brick-and-mortar choices within a reasonable driving distance. Also, when you factor in shipping times, it’s even more important for the customer to buy now rather than waiting. If they’ve made it to my website, it is imperative that I do everything I can to make the sale before they are off to the next site.

A subtle, but powerful, way to increase the sense of urgency to buy now is to put a countdown timer on your site. Here is a snapshot of the timer that I’ve put on all my ecommerce sites (and even my eBay listings):

Holiday Countdown Timer

It’s a flash-based timer that continually counts down the time left until Christmas day. I used a similar timer on the run-up to Halloween, and saw a significant increase in sales. It’s pleasant to look at, non intrusive, and yet reinforces the idea (through the continual ticking off of the hours, minutes and seconds left) that time is running out.

If you’d like this timer to put on your own site, it’s free! I created the timer myself, so I’m giving it away to my subscribers. Subscribers to this blog will get free access to the timer, all necessary files to set it up, and instructions. An email will be going out later today to current subscribers with the link. (Not a subscriber? It’s easy – fill in your name and email in the form at the upper right, and be sure to “confirm” when you receive the confirmation email. The link will then be emailed to you).

Happy Holidays!

Comments (10)