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How to use countdown timers to boost customer conversion rate

Every business aims to reach a wide audience and make sales.

Countdown timers for websites
How to increase customer conversion rate

Making sales seems complicated for most businesses and startups; getting contacts through subscriptions, social media content, or surveys is easy. The challenge, however, is getting them to buy from you.

The point where you convert your contacts to actual buyers is where we have the customer conversion rate. ​

Customer conversion rate measures your success in converting leads into paying customers.

Having many subscribers on your mailing list or many people visiting your site every month is not enough. The question is, are they buying your product?

It is not uncommon to see businesses use different tactics to entice customers to buy their products. It would be best if you created a sense of the importance of the product and the urgency to buy it.

Customers might not buy the product until they feel they miss out on a good offer. How best can you do that than to introduce a countdown timer? ​

What is a Countdown Timer?

A countdown timer is a clock that counts from a specific date to indicate the end or beginning of an offer or event.

Countdown timers evoke urgency. The reason most customers don't buy a product is procrastination. They think, well, the offer is always going to be there so that I can buy it anytime.

Most times, they forget all about it. Urgency is needed to drive customers to buy a product.

Let's say you go to a shop, and the shop owner tells you, "We are selling this bag for $50 now, and we only have four left. However, the price goes back to $150 in the next hour. What will you do? You will look for ways to buy it before it returns to its original price. Even if you have more than enough, saving $100 is a wise money decision.

You can use this same strategy on your landing pages and emails by introducing a countdown timer.

The Countdown Timer Principle

Research revealed that a strategically placed timer could increase conversion by 400 percent. A timer works on the psychology principle called the "Fear of Missing Out (FOMO).

The anxiety of not wanting to miss out drives people to make quick decisions.

The countdown timer shows scarcity to customers. You have to show you are in short supply of a product to make quick conversions.

The truth is that items that are in short supply sell faster than those that are in excess.

The human brain is quick to notice two things: opportunity and danger. Using the countdown timer, you are introducing the chance to grab an offer for a low amount.

You are also introducing the danger of missing out if the time expires. This principle makes the countdown timer an effective conversion method.

How to Use Countdown Timers

  1. Use Precise words. Statements like "limited offer" will not hit the action spot for customers. You must be precise. You can include information like "Price goes back to $xxx after 3 hours". You can also say, "Only two left for x% discount." Statements like this can motivate customers to make quick decisions.

  2. Don't be excessive. Including countdown timers on your emails and everywhere on your website can imply a different meaning. If you keep including "we have only four left" around on your page, you may be running out of business. It may also imply that you are not making enough sales, so you want to dispose of the available goods.

  3. Be honest with your offer. Countdown timers are not only to entice customers. You must make sure you stand by your promises. Suppose you promise a 30% discount. Don't do a 10% discount. If customers notice you are dishonest with the timer, you can only get away with it once. ​

Where to Place a Countdown Timer

On a Product Page

Customers who check a product page are likely to do one of three things: buy, check to compare prices, or do online window shopping.

You can inspire customers to continue with a purchase when you offer incentives to them via a countdown timer on the product page. ​


You can make your countdown timer a GIF and include it in an email to your subscribers. Many might not visit the website. They won't know about your products if they don't visit your website page. But you can bring it to them via email. They get to know about the product and the discount you are offering. ​

At the Checkout Page

You can consider this as your final attempt to make a sales conversion. At this stage, the buyer knows you are serious with the timer, and he can reconsider his decision to postpone. ​

On Landing Pages

A landing page is a single web page used to highlight an offer. You can also use it to get customers' information, such as email and names. Including a countdown timer on landing pages has proven to be an effective method of making conversions.

Benefits of Using Countdown Timers

  1. It highlights a product. You can use countdown timers to highlight a product that is not making enough sales. Offering incentives with a countdown timer can make customers realize the importance of the product. You can also use it to create awareness for a new product. You can use it as a "Market Penetration Strategy" for a competitive product. By introducing a discount with a countdown timer, customers get to know about your product and make a quick purchase since you are offering a low price at a limited time.

  2. It creates a sense of urgency. Countdown timers create the urgency to act. Procrastination in buying goods can lead to forgetting about them. You break through buyers' procrastination by using a countdown timer to create a sense of urgency to buy.

  3. It creates a sense of scarcity. Scarcity and demand are economic principles. In simple terms, scarcity occurs when the demand for a good exceeds its availability. When this happens, buyers are "pushed" to buy quickly before the good becomes unavailable. You can use countdown timers to create that magic. It makes prospective buyers believe the product will be unavailable after it expires. ​

Final thoughts

Countdown timers are effective when it comes to making sales conversions. However, they only work if you know how, when, and where to use them.


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