It is commonly known that in most cases, one buys something based on psychology, and then justifies it later based on logic. Sellers who are effective in selling what they have to offer know this, and play it to their advantage. This does not mean that what is being sold isn’t worth it, or that the buyer is, in some sense, forced into buying. It just means that, in most cases, a buying decision is made at the spur of the moment, rather than within a thoroughly analyzed framework. This is particularly true in the online world, where the buying decision is just a “click” away.
So how is this accomplished? How do Sellers drive psychology into the minds of the buyer to influence a fast decision? There are a variety of techniques used, and one of the most influential of these is “scarcity”.
What exactly is “scarcity”? Think about it, what would you most want? It is what you cannot have or fear you cannot have. This is just how the human brain works. If you are given unlimited quantity of anything, you will soon lose interest in it, however valuable, pricey or tasty it might be. Pull it away after showcasing its value and you will go running after it, even if that supposed value isn’t truly there. Just the sheer power of losing out on something is the most powerful motivator of all.
Sellers have often used this very scarcity technique in the sales process for years, both offline and online. A variety of methods are applied here. Limited quantity of something makes you want it before it could run out of stock. Limited time availability of something makes you want it now, before that time runs out. And of-course a combination of these factors makes the scarcity even more prominent.
A technique that works is also showcasing sheer competition. Multiple parties interested in the same thing at the same time will always increase the value of the item for the fear that one might lose out on it if not grabbed in a timely fashion. Car salesman have successfully used this technique for years, where they always claim that someone else has shown an interest in purchasing and that if one desires to have it, the time is now. The famous “bidding war” concept isn’t any different.
Now, of-course in some cases, these are “real” reasons. Quantity might indeed be limited. The price might indeed hold only for a selected time. And competition might indeed exist. But that said, more often than not, these reasons aren’t always “really” real. This is most easily seen in the online world where you might find a seller offering an e-book download, and use the scarcity technique of “limited quantity”. Unless the server where the e-book is hosted on isn’t going to be available, or that the e-book would somehow self-destroy after the limited time, it is easily imaginable that this isn’t entirely “real” scarcity. It has been demonstrated that even this has shown to be effective in creating the “scarcity” fear in the minds of the interested buyer!
While the above techniques work and “could” be real, there is another method that always works. And that is what we call the “Social Commerce Scarcity”. We would even venture to not call this a technique or a method, for the reason that it isn’t. It is “actual” demand dictated “socially”. This is scarcity that cannot be easily faked and this is scarcity that is difficult to create artificially. This is next-generation scarcity that will dominate the new world where social media and e-commerce merge by way of Social Commerce.
Social Commerce Scarcity isn’t a technique. It is a natural outcome of what really works, where there is true value. Sellers benefit because when a service is consumed socially, and when based on reach, ratings, relation, reviews and recommendations, multiple users consume the service offering, showcasing that fulfilling it is indeed subject to scarcity is most believable. As an example, if one is to offer a service to create a logo, it is obvious that given the time available, the person offering the skill is limited by time as to how many logos can be created in a given timeframe. Showcasing that the person has 20 orders in queue creates that sense of scarcity to the next interested visitor that, for the sheer fear of losing out on being able to get the logo made, will be naturally tempted to place the order before the person takes down the offer, or adds a note that the delivery of new purchases will take longer. In the world where the person is offering the service within a framework of a Social Commerce Marketplace or a Social Commerce Platform, the person’s order queue isn’t artificially inflated, and is a true reflection of what “others” are socially consuming.
The world is fast moving to adopt commerce in a social framework. In the next generation e-commerce world where social e-commerce is set to dominate, Social Commerce Scarcity will work well for Sellers. And the best part is, unlike in the traditional scarcity world, Social Commerce Scarcity will work even better for Buyers – as Commerce really should be. Welcome Social Commerce!
Ghigg is the next generation Social E-Commerce [http://www.ghigg.com/welcome] Marketplace. The Ghigg Social Hub enables SCommerce [http://www.ghigg.com/register] and Social Outsourcing and provides a Social Commerce Platform for Buyers and Sellers to benefit alike.
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