Beginners Guide To Scarcity Marketing

beginners guide to scarcity marketing

Do you know, scarcity marketing can help boost your sales and revenue?

All the big sites such as Amazon, hotel booking websites, review websites and even the niche websites are using Scarcity marketing as a technique to boost their sales.

Even I use that too, sometimes! :p

uh-oh, but please tell me what is scarcity marketing?

What is Scarcity Marketing?

Scarcity marketing comes from the word ‘scarce’ which means a shortage of supply. In simple words, scarcity marketing means to use this shortage of supply to make more sales.

Got it?

If not, don’t worry.

Below I am going to share some examples which will let you understand the concept of scarcity marketing very well. Either you are an affiliate marketer running a niche/review website or you are an entrepreneur running an e-commerce store, it doesn’t matter. Scarcity marketing can be used everywhere.

Yeah, it can be used in any field!

Below is an example of Amazon page, which shows a limited stock of Axgio Virtual Reality headset.

beginners guide to scarcity marketing

(click on the image to zoom out)

This creates an urgency in the minds of people to grab the product as soon as possible, this is how the human brain works. If it was simply written ‘In Stock’, it wouldn’t have grabbed many eyeballs than it has grabbed with ‘Only 19 left in stock‘. Now, let’s go in-depth of Scarcity Marketing.

Scarcity Marketing Examples 

1. Limited Stock Scarcity

2. Size Scarcity

3. Limited time offer Scarcity

4. Last chance offers

5. Make them see other buyers (bandwagon effect)

  • Limited stock offers refer to create an urgency in the minds of people and make their minds to buy the products by showing a limited stock. This is happening in our daily lives but we aren’t really noticing and not even applying in our businesses. 
  • Size scarcity creates an urgency to make people shows the sizes which are not available at the moment. 
  • Limited time offers creates an urgency to make people buy the products by showing a limited time discount offers. You might have bought products during the product launches. Or might have gone to or any other travel website which generally shows limited time offers. 
  • Last chance offers creates an urgency by giving them a last chance to purchase the product of service which were about to purchase earlier. 
  • Bandwagon effect has a big role to play in this, I will explain it below.
Without a sense of urgency, desire loses its value. Click To Tweet

Limited Stock Scarcity Offers

Like I showed in the above example of the limited stock is available. So, those who were confused whether to buy or not, they would have made their mind and bought the product. It had happened many times with me, what about you?

It creates a Fear Of Missing Out (FOMO) in the minds of prospective buyers and the probability of the purchase increases. There is human tendency to buy a product which others are buying or already having. People make a purchase based on the popularity of the product of service. If you show them a limited stock, it will show that the product is popular and many are buying so it develops a FOMO.

A product becomes more desirable if it creates a fear of missing out.

Worchel, Lee Adewole, Stephen, Jerry, and Akanbi conducted an experiment with a total of 200 female undergraduates who rated the attractiveness and the value of cookies in the two jars.

what is scarcity marketing

One jar was full of cookies, while the other jar had few cookies. The first jar represented the abundant supply of cookies while the second jar represented the scarce supply of cookies. The cookies in the second jar reduced and the jar was emptied due to high demand.

This proved them that the cookies in the second jar with scarce supply were found to be more attractive to undergraduates and they became MORE DESIRABLE as it created FEAR OF MISSING OUT (FOMA) in the minds of undergraduates. (source)

Examples of Limited Stock Offers: 

examples of scarcity marketing

examples of limited stock scarcity


Size Scarcity

Have you ever noticed why the size of your favorite dress you want is always available and the rest are out of stock? …

This is because the brands know the audience of the product and the sizes they are looking for! 🙂

I have been seeing this scarcity since I have started shopping online, but never noticed this is nonetheless just a marketing technique. Now, I got it very well. Size scarcity creates an urgency by showing the most popular and most selling size available and the rest goes out of stock. This is a technique used by many big stores to show the scarce supply and abundant demand for that particular product.

Below is an example of Size Scarcity:

example of size scarcity

Limited Time Offer Scarcity

This is my favorite form of Scarcity. My main revenue comes from affiliate marketing, so as I get to know the latest deals of Black Friday, Cyber Monday etc, I start focusing on Limited time offers scarcity marketing.

I am using this technique on many of my posts on Universal Blogging Tips to generate higher affiliate revenue.

Below is a screenshot for an example:

example of limited time offer scarcity

Recently, I read an article on HubSpot in which they revealed the results of the live experiment conducted by them which gave them an increase of 8% in Conversion rate. They conducted a simple A/B test and created a landing page with two different variations, one was without limited time offer scarcity while the other used limited time offer scarcity technique.

eBay uses limited time offers scarcity technique on most of its products, below is an example:


Last Chance Offers

These offers also create an urgency as the prospective buyers are having the last chance to purchase the product at a discount. So, this also creates a FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out).

Below is an example of eHost hosting which makes a good number of sales using this scarcity marketing technique:

example of last chance offers

Make them see other visitors/buyers

Aha… the trending scarcity technique these days!

Do you know, the human tendency is to copy what others are doing in our field. If they all are following a particular blog, we would also be likely to subscribe to that blog.

Has it ever happened to you too?

This is known as Bandwagon effect! 

The bandwagon effect is a psychological phenomenon where people are likely to do what others are doing. A few days back, I subscribed to a newsletter which displayed ‘Join other 3,00,000 e-commerce marketers‘ just because it said ‘OTHER’. LOL!

On this HubSpot Workshop Signup Page, they have mentioned that ‘45000 people had already signed for the workshop, don’t get left behind’ and this had driven them a huge list of subscribers.


ebay is a fan of Bandwagon effect :


How To Use Scarcity Marketing In Your Business?

Now, you have got a clue how scarcity marketing works through the above-shared examples. But it’s of no use unless you are applying it in your own business. The above examples are mostly of the e-commerce websites but you can use it on your blogs too.

If you’re an affiliate marketer, then it also works very well!

I am an affiliate marketer and keep testing various forms of scarcity to increase my sales. Some were like a boon while some went flop. So, here I am going to share how you can apply scarcity marketing to increase your sales and revenue.

Step 1. Define your target market

It’s very necessary to define your target audience. You should know their age and their income particularly. Why I am saying this because it plays an important role in Size scarcity. Let’s say you run an e-commerce fashion boutique store for girls which targets girls with following demographics:

Target Audience: Women

Age: 20-25

Income : Over $1000/mo.

Wears Sizes: 8 and 10

Now, you got to know that these women wear sizes 8 0r 10. What you can do is you can make other sizes out of stock and just leave 8 and 10 sizes in stock. This will create FOMO in the minds of those women and probability of buying will increase.

Once, you have defined your target market, the second step is to make your product valuable to your prospective buyers.

Step 2. Make your product valuable

The next step is to make your product valuable to your customers. Either it is your own product or an affiliate product, it should be useful to your customers, otherwise, they won’t spend a penny.

Step 3. Think of most suitable scarcity model for your business

Different business models use different forms for scarcity.

Imagine a hotel booking site using a limited product scarcity. LOL. It is not possible, isn’t it?

So, you have to choose the most suitable scarcity model for your business.

If you are promoting your own eBook, what you can do is that give it head start with launch offer. Generate a time scarcity by reducing the price of the launch offer. Once, the launch ends, you can also begin with ‘Last chance offers‘. Tell them that you missed the sale and this is the last chance for them to grab the discount.

My Friend, Fabrizio from is about to launch an ebookHow To Get 100 Visits Per Day Without Google or SEO‘  and he started with a launch discount.


If you run an e-commerce store, then all the above-mentioned scarcity models can be applied to your business. You just have to make sure that is the product is valuable.

Thrive Ultimatum Scarcity Marketing WordPress plugin

Now, here I am going to share an amazing scarcity marketing WordPress plugin with you ‘Thrive Ultimatum‘. Thrive ultimatum helps you to grab the maximum eyeballs and creates and urgency in the minds of people which increases the probability of making a purchase. You can check out Thrive Ultimatum here.

example of scarcity marketing

Check Out Thrive Ultimatum

Here’s how Thrive Ultimatum is a boon for your business:

  • Will give a boost to your sales and revenue

thrive ultimatum for scarcity marketing

  • Creates an authentic scarcity 

If a user changes the browser or even clear the cookies, the countdown timer will always be true. authentic scarcity marketing

Check Out Thrive Ultimatum


Here, you learned about scarcity marketing. Scarcity marketing is a vast concept but honestly, I am a beginner too, so I share what I learn and I hope you found it helpful too. I am applying scarcity models to my business and you too apply and let’s discuss and grow together.

Feel free to ask any questions in the comment box!

So, what are your views on this beginners guide to scarcity marketing?

Nikhil Ganotra (Nick)

Nikhil Ganotra is the owner and editor of Universal Blogging Tips. He is a passionate blogger from India. He loves to read and write about content marketing and SEO related topics. You can catch him on Twitter or use this contact form.