Capitalize on the Fear of Missing Out

by Emily Retherford

2 min read

Everyone has experienced the fear of missing out while shopping. You see an urgent sale on your Facebook feed, and even though you weren’t thinking about shopping, you’re suddenly looking at 70% off on summer basics. You justify it because it’s one day only and you don’t want to miss the deal. That experience is universal to shoppers. As a small business owner, you can leverage this common experience to create a feeling of urgency that compels your potential customers to buy. You can do this by building limited-time products, seasonal products and flash sales into your marketing strategy.

Limited Time Only

Plenty of companies build their brand around having a quality line of products with limited-time variations. For example, MeUndies always sells the same basic, high-quality staple underwear, but in a constantly varying pattern palette that changes from month to month. In February, you might find flamingo boxers for sale, while March brings dinosaurs. This model has been successful in nearly any industry. The most important factor is how aggressively you advertise your product variations as limited time only. MeUndies is successful because you see the latest month’s pattern staring you in the face, imploring you to order now before it’s gone forever.

Seasonal Products

If you sell a consumable product, such as coffee or candles, then consider turning to seasonal products as a way to create urgency with your customers. Customers don’t want to miss out on experiencing favourite flavours that are only available during the holiday season, so they flock to Tim Hortons for their peppermint hot chocolate and gingerbread glazed donuts. The same holds true for a host of other product types, including candles and cosmetic fragrances. A piña colada candle gives your customers the experience of lying on the beach with a drink in hand during July and August, while September and October give way to fragrances that recall autumn experiences such as bundling up next to a campfire or sipping hot cider.

Flash Sales

Holding flash sales creates a sense of immediacy; a flash sale is only around for 24 hours, often less. Harness social media tools such as Facebook and Instagram to spread the word about your flash sale in its first moments, and update often to let customers know there’s only 12 (or eight, or four) hours left until these deals are gone. In addition to harnessing sales, encourage customers to tag your brand or comment with what they scored. No customer wants to miss out on a great deal, especially when everyone on social media is commenting and hashtagging about it. No matter how you choose to harness the fear of missing out for your business’s benefit, your social media marketing plan is integral in getting the word out. Whether you choose to go with limited time products, seasonal products or flash sales, or even all of the above, getting the word out on Facebook and Twitter is what brings you success and sales.

References & Resources

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