Are you using countdown timers in your store to increase sales and revenue? Well, you definitely should! It is one of the most effective ways of encouraging your customers to make a purchase. And it makes them excited, too!
Keep reading to find out what makes countdown timers effective, how to make the most out of them to boost sales, and which countdown timer is the best to help you achieve this goal.
- Why are countdown timers effective?
- What’s in it for you?
- Working tips to make the most out of your countdown timer
- How to choose the right countdown timer?
- Final thoughts
Why are countdown timers effective?
It’s been proven by numerous studies that customers are much more likely to buy something from your store when there is a countdown timer involved.
The logic is simple – a countdown timer triggers their fear of missing out and makes them feel like they need to act and act quickly. Even if they were hesitant before. You see, people are more likely to buy something if they see an irresistible offer that is only available for a short time. It’s pure psychology.
When something is limited and might not be available for too long, we immediately consider it more valuable. That's why the fear of missing out is such a powerful feeling that can drive customers to act.
Additionally, countdown timers immediately grab people’s attention. Humans naturally pay attention to things that are moving. So even before customers notice and recognize an attractive deal, a dynamic countdown timer that stands out in otherwise a relatively static store environment immediately catches their eye.
What’s in it for you?
For one, your conversion rates can go significantly up. Just take a look at this company that used a single countdown timer and managed to boost their conversions by an amazing 40%.
Not only can a countdown timer increase conversions, but it can also lead to a higher average order value (AOV). By putting customers under slight pressure to complete their purchases before a certain deadline, their average order value can increase, as they are trying to take the most out of the limited-time promotion. And pairing a countdown timer with an abandoned cart reminder can push the average order value even higher.
However, as helpful as a countdown timer is, there are certain things, rules, if you will, to consider if you want it to work.
Let’s talk about how you can optimize your countdown timer to make your business skyrocket.
Working tips to make the most out of your countdown timer
Think about where you’re going to place a countdown timer...
An effective countdown timer placement may make or break it. It needs to be noticeable right away, yet not dominate the page.
There are various types of countdown timers, so think about what you want to accomplish.
Keep your customers in the loop about discounts, specials, and other promotional events with the help of a Landing Page Countdown Timer.
It should be placed in the most visible place in your store, immediately drawing attention. You can also add a button or make the whole timer clickable, so it can drive traffic to any other page of your store, increasing the potential for sales.
Product Page countdown timers are ideal for creating urgency around a specific product, ultimately leading to increased conversions. By displaying a timer that shows how long a particular product will be on sale, you encourage customers to act faster.
A Cart Page countdown timer is perfect for persuading hesitant customers. It can indicate how long items will be kept in their cart or show when a special offer will expire. It’s a good way to create a sense of urgency and motivate customers to complete their purchases.
…and how you are going to use it.
Flash sales or limited time offers are the obvious and most common uses of a countdown timer, but depending on your product, audience and possibilities, you can go beyond that.
Abandoned cart reminders
Unfortunately, it’s common for customers to add items to their carts but not complete the checkout process. However, you can tackle this issue by sending a reminder email that includes a countdown timer notifying customers that the items in their cart will be reserved for a limited time. Or you can offer free shipping if they complete their purchase while the timer is still ticking.
Countdown timers are super effective in building excitement before launching a new business, website, or app. When you put a countdown timer on your site or landing page, it makes people curious and eager to sign up for early access or updates. This helps you gather leads and create a buzz before your big launch.
You can even use a countdown timer on a special password-protected page to announce a sale or new product launch. Just hide your store behind a password and show a timer ticking down to the start of the event. Share the password with your email subscribers or run a social media campaign for your fans to make them feel special and part of an exclusive group. It's a great way to build a community and get people excited about what you have to offer.
Highlighting the scarcity and creating a sense of urgency with a countdown timer that informs customers about upcoming product restocks. By displaying a timer counting down to the restock start time, you encourage customers to be prepared to make a purchase as soon as the timer reaches zero. During the countdown, customers will feel the limited availability of the restocked product and will be more eager to secure the items before they sell out again.
Pick the words carefully
Your countdown timer needs to deliver your message simply and effectively. Customers won't react to it if they are confused about the timer's purpose or the benefits it offers.
Because your title is the first thing they will see, make sure it grabs their attention instantly. Make it short, but bold and attention-grabbing. Put "sale," "deal," "discount," "limited time," or "don't miss out" to persuade readers to click on it.
Customers are savvy, so they can tell right away when they are being fooled. Making misleading or exaggerated promises about your deals or the time remaining might jeopardize your credibility and reputation.
Use realistic timeframes
Using unrealistic timeframes can hurt more than help. Customers may feel cornered if the timer runs out too fast. At the same time, if it keeps ticking for a very extended period of time, it may lose its power completely. Set reasonable deadlines that make people feel excited. Create a sense of urgency in your customers without being aggressive and pushy. Remember you want to make people buy, not to stop them from it.
How long should the countdown timer be set for?
The duration of a Shopify countdown timer can vary depending on the specific purpose, context, and goals of your promotion or campaign.
In general, having a tight deadline has a more significant impact on your conversion rate. It is because the more time you give people to make a decision, the more likely they are to put it off as they know they have plenty of time to do it.
If you use a to-date countdown timer
This is a standard type of countdown timer that counts down the time left for a specific event – from regular sales and promotions to event launches.
For a limited-time sale, this type of countdown time usually runs for 1 to 7 days. This duration allows customers to have enough time to browse through the offers and make a final decision.
What if you are selling tickets to an event that takes place months from now? Instead of simply setting the timer to the date of the event, try a more strategic approach. For example, set different countdown timers and offer different perks for shorter periods of time leading up to the event – offer early bird tickets or a fat discount for the first week, then reset your countdown timer with a less exclusive and attractive offer, and so on.
If you use an evergreen countdown timer
Evergreen countdown timers are personalized to each visitor to create a sense of urgency within the customer's browsing session, encouraging them to make a decision quickly.
Since they are designed to capture attention and prompt immediate action, these timers typically have shorter durations, ranging from 15 minutes to a few hours.
If you use a recurring countdown timer
A recurring countdown timer is used on a regular basis, repeating on specific days and times or intervals, and is perfect to promote shipping cut-offs.
If you set a recurring countdown timer daily, we suggest setting a no longer than a few-hour timeframe. Ideally, 1-2 hours. This will give your customers enough time to browse through your store in no rush, but won’t make them want to put off making a decision for too long if they don’t want to miss out on the deal.
If you use a cart page countdown timer
Countdown timers on the cart page are meant to rush customers to complete their purchases quickly. So the durations for cart page countdown timers are often shorter. They typically range from 5 to 15 minutes. It helps create a sense of urgency and push customers to finalize their buying process without delay.
These are general guidelines, and the ultimate duration of your countdown timer should be determined based on your specific strategy, audience, and the nature of your promotion.
Don’t go overboard with your design
Sure, when designing your countdown timer, it's important to stick to your store's aesthetics. While you may be tempted to go all out with patterns, colors, sophisticated graphics, doing so might detract from your message and the purpose of your countdown timer. Always keep in mind your goal – to make people feel the pressure of time and motivate them to act on it. So keep your design as clear and focused as possible.
Don't get us wrong – your countdown timer shouldn't be dull. Spice it up with some design and custom fonts to make it more intriguing and give it that extra wow factor. Just use those elements wisely.
Combine the countdown timer with other marketing tactics
Supercharge the effectiveness of your countdown timer by marrying it with other marketing tactics!
Let people know about your sale or promotion through social media or email marketing campaigns. Hype up your audience and get people talking about your brand.
Don't just rely on your countdown timer alone. Use it as a powerful tool to enhance your other marketing efforts and create a compelling and seamless customer journey from awareness to purchase.
How to choose the right countdown timer?
Now, the tips are great and all, but – with so many countdown timers on the market, how do you choose? We're here to help you with that, too.
We've tried a whole lot of countdown timers, but the one that has stuck out the most, the one that makes implementing all of the tips we've given a breeze is Essential Countdown Timer.
To be honest, it's arguably the greatest Shopify countdown timer app available right now. And its raving 5-star rating proves it. It's simple to use, highly adaptable, and reliable.
Essential Countdown Timer is fully customizable and offers 20+ beautiful pre-made templates. But if you want, you can design your own countdown timer bar yourself!
We like how you can add an endless number of countdown timer bars to any and every page of your store and how well the timer integrates with the Shopify themes.
All in all, it's a great and affordable option if you want to up your Shopify game.
Countdown timers can be a very effective strategy for instilling a sense of urgency in your customers and boosting your sales. Yet, to get the most out of countdown timers, you need to know how to use them. And to use them wisely.
Follow our tips, but don't forget that countdown timers aren't always the cure-all. So use them carefully and organically for your brand's voice and your customers' needs. Tweak and test until you find the winning approach that works for YOU!