Visual Marketing

How to Create Urgency to Fuel E-Commerce Sales

Swift action.

Our marketing and sales teams dream of prospects who see our product, know they want it, and then buy without hesitation.

We all know that’s an anomaly. Most sales require your team to nurture the customer relationship and even demo the product.

However, there is a way to speed up the process. The key is to create a sense of urgency that will move the buyer forward in the sales cycle.

Dan Tyre, sales director at HubSpot, writes, “[The] top 2% salespeople can recognize ‘tells’ in prospects that indicate whether they’ll move toward purchase or delay the process.”

It’s time to harness the power of your team’s existing expertise with practical steps.

Let’s explore how to create a sense of urgency within your customers.

Why Choose Urgency

Urgency gives us a reason to think differently about our purchases.

Expert behavioral psychologists found that “urgent situations cause us to suspend deliberate thought and to act quickly.”

By creating a sense of urgency in the sales process, you motivate potential buyers to take action on your website. And that includes signing up for an email, enrolling in a free webinar, or actually purchasing your services.

Your goal is to break through the cognitive friction that delays people from converting.

Be wary of assuming that urgency equals persuasion. Because no level of motivation will convince someone to buy a horrible product that doesn’t meet a need.

“Winning a conversion takes two things: A feeling of desire (“I’ve got to have this thing!”) and a nudge that refuses to allow the lead to procrastinate (“But I’ll get it later”). Your sales copy is the hook, and urgency is the tug on the reel,” writes Joel Klettke, a conversion-focused copywriter at Business Casual Copywriting.

The longer your prospect waits to make a purchase, the less likely the sale will actually happen. More time translates into unrelated life distractions, the opportunity to shop with a competitor, and mental barriers to hinder the deal.

Procrastination is not your friend. Build urgency to seal the deal.

Word Choice Matters

Words have meaning. Therefore, every word on your website matters. So, choose wisely.

Write copy that will be a no-brainer for customers to take action. The key is to resonate with the shopper’s inner thoughts to sell your services.

Start by showcasing benefits, not features. Give visitors a glimpse of the results they will receive after using your services.

People don’t buy products to remain stagnant. Showcase how your product will make their lives better. Highlighting the value-added benefits will keep you at the top of their minds.

Vishal Ray Malik, founder of ConversionLink, notes that urgency is a driving force for effective sales copy. He suggests using a few of these keywords:

copywriting-keywords knows how to create urgency. Here’s an example of how the company elicits a response:


To understand which words trigger action within your customer base, spend less time selling. Instead, focus more time listening to your consumer’s word choices.

Tell your team to jot down what your clients are saying during sales calls or demos. You also can have your live chat agents record specific examples after chat sessions.

In the end, you want to help your prospects recognize their needs and why now is the best time to buy. Give them a reason to solve their problems today, not tomorrow.

Limited Offers

Scarcity can entice people to take action. It’s human nature to want to be part of something special.

And to speed up the sales process, businesses must tap into their customers’ brains to create that scarcity.

“Businesses keep this legacy alive by creating new products or consistently updating versions of the products they already sell. Anything new and improved, or rebranded, helps a salesperson who is creating a sense of urgency,” says Borja Obeso, Founder of Rebel Growth.

Another way is to include countdown timers on your product page, rather than showing the date the sale ends. MakersKit implements this strategy on sale items.


Timers give the precise “deadline” of when a customer will miss an opportunity. So, it encourages the consumer to either buy or face the consequence of not having the product.

Moreover, clarifying the consequences of inaction may induce FOMO (Fear of Missing Out). This occurs when people don’t want to be left out of the “in” crowd or conversation.

Restricting quantity works, too. It produces exclusivity.

Knowing that a limited supply exists tramples procrastination and entices people to take part. Amazon is well known for this technique.


Limited offers let consumers know up front that action is necessary, in order to obtain what they desire.

Visual Urgency

E-commerce centers around being the most visually attractive product. People hate ugly websites, and don’t trust them either.

Smart design can be used to appeal to a customer’s sense of urgency. Graphical elements, like color, size, and shape, play a major role in whether people click a call-to-action or abandon a shopping cart.

Colors impact your customers’ buying decisions. Oranges, reds, and similar shades work well because they remind us of emergencies.

Zendesk, a customer service software company, uses orange for their “Try it for free” button.


Arrows can also help draw people’s attention to particular information or deals. Notice how content curation tool Quuu uses an arrow to highlight their “hand curated, not machines” benefit.


Copywriter Christina Boyes, says, “Most designers and marketing writers will tell you that placing social proof and testimonies near the call to action buttons can improve your credibility and improve conversions.”

Video hosting company Wistia adds testimonials to their pricing page to help induce sales faster.


Induce emotion with your visual cues. And compel customers to learn more about your services. Influencing their behavior will create an urgent demand for your product.

What Not To Do

Knowing what to do is half the battle. The other 50% involves knowing what will not cause urgency amongst potential customers.

So, sit down with your team and discuss the copy and design tactics that should be eliminated from your website conversion strategy. Here’s a list to get you started:

  • Don’t urge customers to buy just for the hell of it.
  • Don’t nag customers every single day to participate in a “once-in-a-lifetime” sale.
  • Don’t participate in unethical sales techniques, like lying to the customer.
  • Don’t pressure a customer to buy when the service doesn’t meet their needs.
  • Don’t coerce consumers into special deals only to charge them higher prices late.

Use these no-nos as a foundation to build an honest sales campaign. Your customers will value your business more.

Encourage Action

Urgency is part of our human DNA. Sometimes, we just need a little push to move forward.

Learn how urgency can work for your business model. Word selection in your copy determines whether your customer will act or not.

Offer limited offers to pique interest. Produce visual aids to draw in the buyer. And avoid common pitfalls, like dishonesty.

Don’t wait for sales. Instead, create customer urgency.

About the Author: Shayla Price lives at the intersection of digital marketing, technology and social responsibility. Connect with her on Twitter @shaylaprice.