10 Best Ways to Use FOMO to Boost Sales for Your eCommerce Store

Posted on Dec 15, 2023
10 Best Ways to Use FOMO to Boost Sales for Your eCommerce Store

The eCommerce landscape has seen a remarkable evolution, with businesses adapting their strategies to engage consumers effectively. As such, understanding the psychological triggers behind consumer behavior is paramount.

At the forefront of these triggers is FOMO, the “Fear of Missing Out.” FOMO taps into human nature, exploiting consumers’ fear of missing out on exciting opportunities.

This psychological phenomenon has not only stood the test of time but has also seamlessly adapted to the digital age, reshaping how we approach online shopping. 

FOMO is deeply rooted in the innate need for social connection, belonging, and the fear of exclusion from shared experiences. It also fuels our desire to seize unique opportunities and stay ahead in our fast-paced, ever-changing world.

In this article, we will delve into the multifaceted concept of FOMO, understanding its psychological underpinnings and how it has evolved alongside the ever-changing eCommerce landscape. We will also learn the best ways to use FOMO to boost sales in eCommerce.

What’s the relationship between FOMO and eCommerce?

In the eCommerce realm, FOMO finds its fuel in limited-time offers, flash sales, and the allure of products showcased on social media, creating a compelling sense of urgency and longing. This psychological foundation has evolved in sync with the rapid transformations in online retail.

Tactics such as countdown timers, customer reviews, and real-time notifications leverage FOMO’s potency to elevate engagement and drive conversions. Recognizing FOMO’s essence and its evolutionary path is instrumental for sales growth

The concept empowers businesses to craft compelling marketing campaigns and user experiences that effectively tap into this potent motivator, bolstering sales and fostering stronger customer engagement.

Furthermore, the ubiquity of social platforms and the pursuit of picture-perfect lifestyles have multiplied the effects of FOMO, making it an even more significant driver of social media engagement

With three-quarters of Facebook users checking their accounts daily, businesses have a golden opportunity to implement a comprehensive social media marketing strategy. Leveraging tools like Facebook ads can serve as a compelling reminder to followers that your brand can enhance their lives. 

Embracing the power of FOMO can make a big difference for your online store. It can boost your sales and get more people to buy from you. Surprisingly, about 60% of shoppers fall for FOMO and quickly decide to buy something within just 24 hours. This is great news for your business.

10 Best Ways to Use FOMO to Boost Sales for Your eCommerce Store

While many tools exist to attract customers, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution for making sales. It’s not as easy as it sounds. How can you maximize FOMO to boost sales?

1. Offer Limited Offers

Crafting time-limited offers can work wonders when leveraging the Fear of Missing Out. Imagine this: if a deal or special promotion is always available, there’s no real sense of urgency for potential customers. They might think, “I can always come back later; this offer isn’t going anywhere.”

But when you put a time limit on your promotions, things change. It’s like adding a ticking clock to the mix. When you offer discounts or exclusive deals and make it clear that they’re only up for grabs for a limited period, you’re essentially telling your customers, “Act now to get the best rewards.”

This time pressure makes customers realize they can get more value by making a swift decision. For instance, you could introduce a limited-time discount where the savings decrease as the clock ticks. This encourages people to purchase sooner to secure the maximum discount while it’s still available.

2. Focus on Missed Opportunities 

Drawing attention to missed opportunities can be a powerful strategy to stoke the flames of FOMO. When you show people what fantastic chances they’ve missed in the past, it can intensify their FOMO even further. 

This marketing approach aims to nudge people into purchasing by making them realize they missed out on a great deal or product because they didn’t act quickly enough.

In essence, highlighting these missed opportunities can create a sense of FOMO and a bit of regret about not taking action sooner. It encourages people to take that leap and make a purchase, especially if the product is something they genuinely need or want.

One way to implement this tactic is to showcase all the incredible deals and products that have sold out on your website. By letting your visitors see what’s no longer available, you remind them of what they missed. 

Missed Opportunity
Missed Opportunity – Image Source: SocialPilot

When you conduct a hotel reservation search on Booking.com, they not only present available hotels but also prominently feature fully booked options with the bold message, “You missed it!” 

This tactic effectively triggers FOMO among their audience, creating a sense of urgency, even for hotels currently open for reservation.

3. Show Real-Time Sales Activity

Displaying real-time sales activity is a straightforward yet highly effective way to trigger FOMO among your audience. When a visitor comes to your website and sees that others are actively purchasing your products, it naturally encourages them to consider making a purchase as well.

To achieve this, you can showcase the live actions of other users, effectively communicating that your products are in demand and people are buying them right now. 

These real-time sales notifications simplify the decision-making process for potential customers. They see what others are buying and are nudged toward the checkout to secure their product.

You can make this happen by utilizing FOMO plugins and other tools seamlessly integrating with your eCommerce platform. These enable the implementation of real-time customer activities on your website and help you monitor and manage these notifications effectively.

Moreover, incorporating chatbot apps into your website is a valuable strategy to ensure visitors receive timely responses. This not only enhances customer support but also reduces customer churn

Implementing best practices for live chat further ensures that your website visitors receive the attention and care they need, creating a more positive and engaging experience for your potential customers.

hotel booking Real-time display
Real-time display – Image Source: Wishpond Blog

The above website prominently displays the number of reservations made for a particular hotel in the last few hours, a persuasive tactic to prompt visitors into taking action.

4. Use User-Generated Content

Harnessing user-generated content is another best ways to use FOMO marketing and capture the interest of potential customers. It’s all about demonstrating something that’s been tried and tested to your potential audience.

To achieve this, consider integrating genuine, user-centered content into your website. Encourage your customers to share their experiences with your brand. 

You can showcase authentic customer stories, photos, and videos featuring your products, creating a desire within your audience to experience the product themselves.

User-generated videos, in particular, showcasing the use of your product, have the potential to inspire your audience to envision themselves benefiting from it. 

This lays the groundwork for an impactful FOMO marketing strategy. Implementing UGC results in a remarkable 29% increase in web conversions compared to campaigns or websites that lack such content.

Moreover, user-generated content functions as social proof, validating the authenticity of your brand and its products. It encourages customers to engage with your brand, share product-related content actively, and fosters a sense of FOMO among your followers.

Article Content
Article Content – Image Source: OptinMonster

Well-written articles and blogs, such as the one above, provide useful information, highlight trends, and create anticipation, increasing the fear of missing out and inspiring action.

5. Limit Free Shipping

It’s a well-known fact that free shipping is a major draw for online shoppers, with roughly 90% of them considering it a top incentive to purchase. This is precisely why FOMO marketing tactics that put a limit on free shipping can prove highly effective. 

We’ve all been in that situation where we add an extra item to our online shopping cart to meet the minimum spend for free shipping, often on platforms like Amazon. 

When customers feel they’re on the brink of missing out on free shipping, they’re more likely to go ahead with their purchase, especially if the extra spending required is reasonable. 

To implement this strategy, you can let your customers know how much more they need to spend to unlock free shipping. Alternatively, you can prominently display a banner at the top of your page, clearly stating the threshold for this enticing benefit. 

6. Showcase Best Selling and Top Rated Goods and Services

Displaying your best-selling or top-rated products on your website is a clever way to create a sense of excitement for your visitors. When people see what others buy and love, it triggers a bit of FOMO. It’s a natural reaction – you spot a cool product that’s popular with others, and suddenly, you want it, too.

By featuring these items prominently on your website, you’re essentially saying, “Hey, check out what’s hot right now.” It not only adds a touch of urgency but also helps your potential customers make informed decisions. 

They can see what’s tried and tested by others, and it can guide their own choices. Adding these best-selling or highly-rated products to the design of your website plays into the psychology of want while also fostering a sense of trust.  

It’s a small nudge that can increase sales and pique visitors’ interest and feelings of suspense. Below is an example from Amazon’s best sellers showcasing top-rated products.

Amazon Best Sellers
Amazon Best Sellers – Image Source: Quora

7. Show Low Inventory Levels

One of the most powerful ways to ignite FOMO in your website visitors is through the art of scarcity. 

It’s a simple but effective psychological trigger – the idea that something amazing might slip through their fingers because it’s running out of stock. After all, no one wants to miss out on a fantastic product.

So, if you have limited stock of an item, you must let your customers know. But here’s the key: the way you display this information matters. 

It’s not enough to be vague, like saying, “Only a few left.” Instead, be specific and transparent about the inventory levels. Tell your audience exactly how many items are still available. This level of detail is what can motivate your visitors to act promptly.

Remember, your website visitors are discerning. They appreciate clarity, and knowing the precise stock levels can be the extra push they need to make a quick decision. So, strategically showcasing the dwindling availability of a product is a powerful tool in your marketing strategy.

8. Social Media Trust

Building trust with your audience is essential, especially when they’re considering a purchase from your brand. People tend to be cautious and want to ensure they’re making the right choice. This is where social proof comes into play.

But the timing of when you present this social proof matters. It’s often most effective when a visitor is on the verge of making a purchase. This is when you can share customer reviews and testimonials. These serve as a powerful trust-building tool.

Testimonials and reviews from satisfied customers have a unique ability to trigger the Fear of Missing Out (FOMO). 

When potential buyers see that others have had a great experience with your product or service, it creates a sense of urgency. They don’t want to miss out on something highly valued by others.

While all testimonials and reviews can influence consumer behavior, the positive ones are particularly potent. They not only reassure potential buyers but also make them feel like they might miss out on something special if they don’t act quickly. 

This gentle touch could be the last straw that prompts a purchase. So, by strategically using testimonials and reviews, you can inspire confidence and drive conversions.

9. Use Email Marketing

Email marketing is a highly effective strategy to leverage FOMO. A vast majority of customers, around 90%, actively engage with emails, making it an ideal platform for FOMO marketing.

Additionally, email marketing is known for its cost-effectiveness. When used strategically with advanced services and integrations, it can yield impressive returns on investment (ROI). 

By integrating email marketing with other FOMO techniques, you can effectively connect with your target audience and prompt them to take action. For instance, you can use email campaigns to:

  • Share exclusive rewards or limited-time deals with your subscribers.
  • Alert them about the scarce items they’ve saved or shown interest in.
  • Remind them about products in their shopping cart and provide incentives such as cart abandonment discounts or messages.
  • Send follow-up emails with compelling offers.

To enhance the impact of your emails, you can use subject line testing tools to craft subject lines that grab the recipient’s attention and motivate them to act.

A noteworthy example of successful FOMO email marketing can be observed in Wayfair’s approach. They send emails to their subscribers on special occasions with subject lines that create a sense of urgency, prompting readers to seize limited-time sale offers. This illustrates how email marketing can effectively harness the power of FOMO.

Email Marketing
Email Marketing – Image Source: Wordstream

10. Provide Incentives for Timely Decisions 

Offering rewards for early decisions is a powerful strategy to create a strong sense of Fear of Missing Out (FOMO) among customers. It leverages the psychological principle that people are more motivated to act when they believe they might miss out on something valuable.

Consider the scenario where you’re offering a freebie, a special gift, or a discount, but with a catch: it’s only available to the first, let’s say, 100 customers. This creates a sense of urgency and exclusivity. Customers understand that this offer is limited, and there’s a race among the lucky ones who can claim it.

This strategy is not limited to the digital world; you’ve likely witnessed it in physical stores as well. When stores announce that the first 100 customers will receive a gift or a significant discount, it often results in long lines of people eagerly waiting to ensure they don’t miss out on the opportunity.

The concept here is simple: by limiting the availability of a reward or incentive, you’re triggering FOMO. People don’t want to miss out on something others are getting, especially if it’s a great deal or a valuable freebie. 

This sense of scarcity and the fear of being left outdrive customers to act quickly and decisively to secure the reward. It’s a highly effective way to harness FOMO to drive customer engagement and boost sales.


FOMO’s connection with eCommerce is profound, finding fertile ground in limited-time offers, flash sales, and the allure of products highlighted on social media. Tactics like countdown timers, customer reviews, and real-time notifications effectively leverage this psychological trigger to heighten engagement and drive conversions. 

The prevalence of social platforms and the aspirational nature of modern lifestyles further magnify FOMO’s impact, providing businesses with a compelling opportunity to integrate it into comprehensive social media marketing strategies.

To enhance sales in your eCommerce store through FOMO, employ various strategies. Create a sense of urgency with limited-time promotions, intensify FOMO by highlighting missed opportunities, showcase real-time sales activity, and incorporate user-generated content for trust. 

Additionally, it generates excitement by limiting free shipping, presenting best-selling and highly rated products, and leveraging low inventory levels. 

Gain trust with customer testimonials and social media reviews. Use email marketing well and offer incentives for quick decisions to create a sense of urgency and exclusivity.

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Rithesh Raghavan

Rithesh Raghavan, is a seasoned Digital Marketer with more than 17+ years in Digital Marketing & IT Sales. He loves to write up his thoughts on the latest trends and developments in the digital world, especially related to WordPress, Woocommerce and Digital Marketing.