Fear of missing out — FOMO — is an incredibly powerful emotion.

No one likes to be left out of something exciting, valuable or new. Everyone wants to be on the invite list, first in line, or in-the-know when it comes to new and trendy products.

That’s why FOMO is so powerful for retailers. FOMO is an appealing way to push your customers to click “Buy” again and again. The hard part is authentically and powerfully creating that emotion.

Buyers today are savvier than ever, and so what used to work eventually gets tired and doesn’t elicit excitement anymore. For example, many B2C marketers used to rely on flash sales or coupon expirations to create a sense of FOMO. Unfortunately, your customers may have realized that same sale offers come up again and again and stopped responding.  

Instead, you have to try some new tactics to evoke that elusive emotion. Here are a few ecommerce marketing strategies that can create FOMO for your buyers so they become your newest loyal customers.

Create an Air of Exclusivity

The world’s top luxury brands know that nothing creates FOMO faster than a product that is in high demand, but low supply. If only an exclusive and small group can access your product, you’ll be sure to build a group of rabid, loyal customers. These buyers absolutely  love the feeling of being on the inside of a select club, rather than on the outside looking in.

This doesn’t have to mean that your product is incredibly expensive — the most important part is building the impression and air of exclusivity for your buyers. You can achieve this through a variety of marketing tactics, including:

  • Limited-time product offers that actually expire, like a limited run of a special-edition sneaker or a collaboration with an in-demand designer.
  • A customer rewards program that offers serious benefits to your top-tier buyers, similar to Ulta Beauty’s incredibly successful rewards program.
  • Exclusive in-person pop-up shops, with access to special products only for those in-the-know.

These types of creative campaigns can all help your buyers feel like they’re in the club, and make others feel like they’re missing out and want to join in.   

#Prizes

The hashtag is your friend when it comes to FOMO. Another great tactic to create engagement with your buyers is running a competition online that rewards your most loyal followers. Ask your loyal customers to:

  • Show off the newest purchases in a photo to win a free product
  • Tag their photos with your brand to get a discount on their next purchase
  • Upload a video of them unboxing their purchase for a prize

This ecommerce marketing strategy not only creates great user-generated content, it also encourages customers to engage with your brand right now or they’ll miss out on the contest entirely. This tactic can drive new purchases, and then encourage the next purchase and the next. If the contest becomes popular enough, you’ll catch the attention of new buyers who will feel FOMO and make a purchase just to join in.

Push for Push Messages

Push messages can be a hugely effective tool for creating a sense of immediate FOMO for your buyers. If your customers enable mobile or web push, you can offer:

  • Exclusive deals available only via push messages
  • Alerts about location-based sales through your brand
  • New product releases and limited-time offers

This not only incentivizes more users to opt in to push, it also engages your buyers continually. Push can encourage customers to make the next purchase right now — not tomorrow or next week.

Unfortunately, a lot of B2C marketers today aren’t using push messages effectively. Many marketers send out the same message to every single person without personalizing or customizing it. For this ecommerce strategy especially, you have to carefully test your messaging and offer it in the right way to engage buyers without annoying them. But done right, push messages can create FOMO in the moment, driving a new purchase.

FOMO isn’t a simple human emotion. It combines fear, excitement, and longing all in one. But as a B2C marketer, you can harness these emotions using creative ecommerce marketing strategies. With FOMO on your side, you can cultivate truly loyal customers.

Cara Hogan is the Content Strategist at Zaius, where she focuses on how technology can drive business growth. She is a grammar perfectionist, a data enthusiast, and a rock climber.

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