How to Use Countdown Timers to Skyrocket Conversions

As a business owner, you must use multiple ways to nudge the shoppers into making up their minds and completing a purchase.

But how proficient are you in scarcity marketing?

Scarcity marketing has been found effective in making an offer more valuable. Worchel, Lee, and Adevole conducted research in 1975 to study how scarcity impacts people’s perceptions. They offered two jars with the same number of cookies to the participants. One jar had two cookies. The second jar was full. The participants found the near-empty jar more valuable and desirable than cookies in abundant supply.

Source: Statista. Most Successful eCommerce Marketing Personalization Techniques

This article describes the nature behind countdown timers for websites as one of the means to conduct scarcity marketing. You will learn the benefits of timers application in eCommerce and explore the most popular use cases of this psychological technique.

What is a Countdown Timer?

A countdown timer means an animated virtual clock that counts backwards from a specified date or time (in most common cases). It is often used to create the feeling of scarcity. However, some other use cases for the countdown timers are as follows:

  • Inform the customers about an upcoming event
  • Indicate the beginning or end of the sale
  • Emphasize limited-time order delivery opportunities
  • Create the feeling of urgency and missing-a-deal

Source: Mageworx timer extension to boost sales

Psychology Behind Countdown Timers

Remember Cialdini’s six principles of persuasion?

In his book “Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion,” published in1984, Cialdini lists the following principles that influence the customers’ decision-making when it comes to purchasing and consumption:

  • Reciprocity
  • Scarcity
  • Authority
  • Consistency
  • Liking
  • Consensus

Check! Scarcity is on the list as one of the means to persuade.

The more limited is the amount of something, the more the customers want to get it. This concerns both experiences and goods.

Only four seats left at this price. This offer is valid for 24 hours only. This is a limited edition product.

We see this technique in action ubiquitously. From candies to Prada boots or luxury cars, companies tend to increase scarcity by limiting product availability. 

To learn more about the psychology behind countdown timers for websites, click here.

Benefits Behind Using Countdown Clocks

Now, as you know the concept behind countdown timers, let’s summarize the advantages of using them in your eCommerce business.

Create a Sense of Urgency

Countdown clock for websites is an effective and safe means to push the shoppers into making a purchase. Compared with other tools to create urgency, timers are often well-visualized and built to enhance the overall user experience on your product pages.

 Encourage Completing an Order

Timers create demand. It’s a get-it-or-lose-it challenge, and this tactic is found effective to pull these psychological strings.

Highlighting an Offer

Are you planning to launch a new product or service?

Countdown timers for websites can be a superb means to attract attention to the upcoming event and make the product desirable even before it’s live.

Either free or paid, native or out-of-the-box, SAAS or licensed, there is a pool of solutions for any possible platform to help you introduce countdown clocks.

For example, such a timer extension to boost sales can be a great fit for Magento 2 businesses, thanks to its high customizability and the built-in countdown timers templates gallery.

Popular Countdown Timers Use Cases

Digital marketing doesn’t stand steel. As the number of eCommerce players grows, so does the variety of marketing techniques aimed at winning the customer and the deal. Today, you can see countdown clocks used on the following site destinations and marketing channels:

Product Pages

That’s probably the most popular countdown timers’ use case. Such incentives attract the shoppers’ attention and trigger the desire to win the offering on advantageous terms.

Email Marketing

Email marketing is quite effective. How many times a day do you check your inbox? 

Newsletters are selling well. These two techniques combined can do a world of good to your business, i.e., reduce the number of unsubscriptions and enhance your email campaigns’ effectiveness.

Category Pages

Such pages are considered a bridge between the home and product pages. Put together with the animated clocks, they can attract the shoppers’ attention to specific products and thus serve further marketing purposes, such as specific product promotion.

Any Website Pages

Most solutions help you align this technique with your marketing strategy and thus place timers anywhere on your site―blog, home, about us, and other pages.


Along with advanced checkout and shopping cart possibilities, the importance of a mini-cart is picking up steam. Besides the general benefits that it introduces, why not correlate your specific promotional offers with what items get added to the cart.

For example, it can be a countdown timer display for the same-day delivery option after the customer adds a specific product and triggers the condition. 

The only limit is your imagination (and the technical capabilities of the platform you’ve chosen to build your site on).

Bottom Line

Whether you choose to use countdown timers as a standalone technique or as a part of a more complex marketing automation strategy, they will be effective when used timely and appropriately.

We hope the data about the countdown clock for websites provided in this article will help you get on the right track, introduce more scarcity marketing tactics, and skyrocket conversions in your business.

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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