Introduction

The fear of missing out, also known as FOMO, is a common phenomenon among consumers. It refers to the feeling of anxiety or regret that one experiences when they believe that they are missing out on a valuable opportunity, such as a sale or a limited-time offer. In the context of shopping for products, FOMO can manifest as the fear of missing out on the lowest price for a product.

One of the main drivers of FOMO in this context is the belief that the price of a product will not be as low again in the future. This can lead consumers to make impulsive purchasing decisions, even if they do not have a genuine need for the product. They may worry that if they don’t buy the product now, they’ll miss out on the opportunity to get it at a lower price and will regret it later.

This type of behaviour can also be driven by the abundance of information and the constant access to it. With the rise of e-commerce and social media, consumers are bombarded with a never-ending stream of advertisements, deals and promotions. This can create a sense of urgency and FOMO, as consumers feel pressure to take advantage of these deals before they expire or before they sell out. In fact, 60% of people make purchases because of FOMO, mostly within 24 hours.

How to use consumer FOMO to your online business advantage

  1. Use scarcity tactics
    Create a sense of urgency by limiting the availability of your product or service. This can be done by offering limited-time deals or by creating exclusive, limited-edition items.
  2. Create social proof
    Show off your product or service’s popularity by displaying customer testimonials, social media mentions, and other forms of social proof.
  3. Highlight exclusivity
    Position your product or service as exclusive or unique, such as being the only one of its kind or being only available to a select group of people.
  4. Create a sense of community
    Foster a sense of belonging among customers by creating an exclusive community or loyalty program. This helps to create a sense of FOMO among those who are not yet part of the community.
  5. Use Influencer marketing
    Partner with influencers to promote your product or service. This can help to create a sense of FOMO among their followers, who may feel left out if they don’t also purchase your product or service.
  6. Create a sense of urgency with countdown timers
    Use countdown timers on your website or in email campaigns to create a sense of urgency and encourage customers to make a purchase before time runs out.
  7. Use loss aversion
    Highlight the potential loss of not taking advantage of a limited-time offer or exclusive deal. This can create a sense of FOMO and encourage customers to take action.

Conclusion

In conclusion, consumer FOMO can have a significant impact on online sales, and businesses can leverage FOMO in their marketing strategies to drive consumer behavior. Businesses can leverage consumer FOMO by creating a sense of urgency and exclusivity around their products or services, which can drive sales and increase revenue. However, it’s important to note that while FOMO can drive impulse buying, it can also lead to buyer’s remorse, dissatisfaction, and negative customer experience if the customer feels like they were manipulated into buying. To avoid that, price transparency and showing price development over a period of time would showcase that the product is in fact at its lowest price and it is not just a token discount or a marketing ploy. Our app Cronum: Price Changes allows online businesses to show customers price history of the products over the past 30 days, which helps build trust and reliability.