34 Clever Scarcity Examples to Skyrocket Your Conversions

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scarcity examples

Are you struggling to improve your website conversion rate? Do you want to learn a simple trick to improve your conversions and sales?

If yes, you’ll gain a lot by reading about scarcity examples in marketing.

Limited-time offerscountdown timers, and Black Friday deals are all examples of an interesting economic theory: the scarcity principle.

In this post, we’ll cover what the scarcity principle means. We’ll also share 34 scarcity marketing examples to help you boost conversions.

What Is the Scarcity Principle?

The scarcity principle is an important theory in behavioral economics. It states that a limited supply of a product or service increases the demand for it.

It’s human behavior to want stuff that is harder to get. Why do you think the Mona Lisa painting or Banksy’s artworks go for millions of dollars?

For the same reason vintage wines aged for decades are sold at a premium. They are scarce resources and, therefore, high in demand.

In marketing, studies have found that limited-time offers improve the chances of customers buying a product by up to 33%.

How Does Scarcity Marketing Work?

Robert B. Cialdini popularized the concept of scarcity as one of the 7 pillars of persuasion in his best-selling book Influence. You have to go deeper into microeconomics to fully understand the role of scarcity in marketing.

Products are sold at higher prices during natural disasters because scarcity affects supply and demand. Healthcare costs in a free market economy like the U.S. are rising because of the shortage of labor.

In microeconomics terms, there are two types of scarcity: absolute and relative. Let’s go over them briefly.

Absolute Scarcity

Absolute scarcity means limited availability of physical resources. Precious metals, raw materials like uranium, and the growing water scarcity in London are examples of absolute scarcity.

You must have seen absolute scarcity play out in real life during the 2020 pandemic. The lockdown created panic in people. And they stocked up on basic supplies like facemasks, baby formula, and toilet paper rolls.

Relative Scarcity

Relative scarcity is the perceived sense of scarcity. For example, economists say that clean air and a favorable climate are increasingly becoming scarce.

Lack of clean air and good climate conditions aren’t going to create an immediate economic problem. It’s the value that we put in these natural resources that make them so scarce.

Here’s another example.

People can buy iPhones all year round. But discounted iPhones sold only during a 2-day Amazon Prime Day sale have buyers clawing for them like there’s no tomorrow.

You can use scarcity techniques in your marketing campaigns to improve conversions. It’s particularly useful for increasing eCommerce sales. You can also use it to boost email optins.

All the scarcity examples we’ll cover in this post deal with relative scarcity. Let’s take a look at 34 examples of scarcity.

We have curated these scarcity examples from real-life brands that have used the scarcity principle in their online campaigns. The examples offer several ideas on how to apply the scarcity principle in your marketing.

By the end of this post, you should be able to come up with easy and effective scarcity examples to use in your marketing campaigns.

Let’s get started.

  1. Cracku: Urgency Through Countdown Timers
  2. Wildist: 50% Discount for 2 Days
  3. Tinder: Fear of Missing Out
  4. Booking.com: Book Before It’s Too Late
  5. Chemical Guys: Beat the Clock Sale
  6. Bud Light: Limited Edition Pack
  7. JACK1T: Only 2 Pieces in Stock
  8. Clubhouse: Invite-Only Sign-Ups
  9. Amazon Prime: Discount While Supplies Last
  10. Bed Bath & Beyond: Top Deals Are Scarce
  11. BookMyShow: Seats Filing Fast
  12. Netflix: Only On Netflix
  13. Tesla Apparrel: Notify When Available
  14. MasterClass: BOGO Meets Limited-Time Offer
  15. Coke: Share a Coke
  16. Airbnb: Rare Find
  17. Float: Request Access
  18. Moto Z: Limited Time Offer
  19. HappySales: Join the Waitlist
  20. Nokia: Black Friday With a Twist
  21. Amazon: Today’s Lightning Deals
  22. Ninety9: Happy Hour Deals
  23. Best Buy: Flash Sale
  24. iHerb: 13 Sold in 24 Hours
  25. Fleet Feet: Clearance Sale
  26. Thread Up: End-of-Year Sale
  27. Pulp & Press: Abandoned Cart Email
  28. Asos: Black Friday Deal
  29. Catalina Crunch: Early Access SMS Marketing
  30. Jeffree Star: A Different Take on Scarcity
  31. G Fuel: Giveaways Worth $10,000
  32. Eightvape: Christmas Holiday Offer
  33. Udemy: Sale Ends Today
  34. Growth Marketing: Last Chance to Register

1. Cracku: Urgency Through Countdown Timers

Countdown timers are the best scarcity examples in marketing. Cracku, an online student coaching portal, used OptinMonster to create countdown timers on its website.

They combined it with a limited-time offer and increased conversions by 300%.

scarcity examples

2. Wildist: 50% Discount for 2 Days

scarcity marketing examples

Wildist offers people to sign up for its workshops at half price, but only for 2 days.

Notice the testimonials from past customers on the top-right of the page. Social proof earns you trust and improves website conversions by 34%.

Pro-Tip: Check out this list of social proof notification apps you can use to add credibility to your site! We recommend TrustPulse. It’s the best social proof notification tool out there.

3. Tinder: Fear of Missing Out

examples of scarcity marketing

Tinder uses a push notification for its mobile app users to improve product adoption. They notify inactive users that their profiles won’t be visible to possible matches if they don’t start using the app.

The clever use of scarcity triggers fear of missing out (FOMO) in buyers. Research suggests that about 69% of millennials experience FOMO, and 60% make impulsive purchases because of it.

In other words, FOMO works wonders in convincing people to take action.

Pro-tip: Want to create push notifications like Tinder’s? Take a look at PushEngage. It’s the world’s best push notification software that’s easy to install and set up.

4. Booking.com: Book Before It’s Too Late

Scarcity examples are more common in marketplaces with fluctuating supply and demand of goods and services. For instance, the travel and hospitality industry.

Booking.com is a master at scarcity marketing. Take a look at how they imply that this deal on a hotel won’t be available for very long.

scarcity principle

5. Chemical Guys: Beat the Clock Sale

Car detailing company Chemical Guys creates urgency for website visitors with multiple limited-time offers.

The sooner buyers book a service, the more discounts they get.

scarcity principle examples

6. Bud Light: Limited Edition Pack

scarcity marketing examples

Bud Light collaborated with the Philadelphia Eagles to launch a special edition commemorative beer pack to celebrate the team’s Super Bowl victory.

The beverage company produced 20,418 packs to honor the victory date: 02/04/2018. Special edition marketing also allows brands to sell products at higher prices. Fans don’t mind buying limited quantities of special merchandise at a premium.

7. JACK1T: Only 2 Pieces in Stock

what is scarcity principle

JACK1T lets you know when they are running low on a particular item. This is a good scarcity example that highlights how creating urgency in marketing can improve conversions.

8. Clubhouse: Invite-Only Sign-Ups

what is scarcity marketing

Remember when Clubhouse was a rage? One of the reasons it became so popular in such a short time was because it created an illusion of exclusivity.

Only people who had an invite from existing Clubhouse members could join the social audio platform. This drove a huge demand for Clubhouse sign-ups.

Clubhouse had another level of scarcity baked into its platform. Initially, it was available only in iOS. A year later after its launch, it was launched on the Android platform.

Although the craze for the platform has died down, it remains a shining example of how to use a sense of scarcity and exclusivity to increase sign-ups.

9. Amazon Prime: Discount While Supplies Last

Amazon Prime Now has a weekly ad with a time-sensitive discount.

For more examples like these, read our post on how to use discount codes to increase conversions.

10. Bed Bath & Beyond: Top Deals Are Scarce

scarcity marketing tips

Bed Bath & Beyond uses a unique promo offer for each product category in its website’s Top Deals section. All deals have footer text to create urgency in buyers:

  • Limited time
  • Valid thru 2/2
  • While supplies last

This is to let the buyers know they’ll get the most value for their money if they buy sooner.

11. BookMyShow: Seats Filing Fast

scarcity marketing ideas

India’s largest online movie and events booking platform BookMyShow uses a popup to convert movie lovers to buy its most expensive tickets.

Let’s see how it works.

The most expensive seats have better reclining, extra leg room, and the best view of the screen. The booking page suggests that people might lose out on the premium experience if they don’t act fast.

They also use ember color text for the fast-selling seats. This is an example of demand-induced scarcity. What color you choose for CTA buttons can impact conversions.

12. Netflix: Only On Netflix

netflix scarcity marketing

Netflix knows that movie lovers will go to any extent to watch their favorite movies and shows. It buys the copyright of high-demand content like Kill Boksoon and Money Heist.

It even has an entire genre called Only On Netflix for non-subscribers to browse. Netflix drives new subscriptions by making high-demand content available only on its platform.

13. Tesla Apparrel: Notify When Available

how to use scarcity in marketing

Tesla has an eCommerce shop that sells vehicle accessories, battery chargers, and apparel. The website has a functionality for buyers to receive an email notification for out-of-stock items.

This is a genius scarcity marketing example on many levels.

  • First, it implies that out-of-stock products are scarce resources. People are more likely to opt in for notifications if they think it’s going to fly off the shelves.
  • Second, it’s also a lead generation technique. Buyers who optin for a notification will also start getting marketing emails from Tesla for other products in the future.

Pro-tip: Want to target and convert website visitors based on their past interactions? Use OptinMonster’s Onsite Retargeting®. It lets you optimize campaigns for returning visitors and boost your eCommerce sales.

14. MasterClass: BOGO Meets Limited-Time Offer

how to use scarcity marketing

Buy one get one (BOGO) is a great way to convert customers and increase your average order value.

In this scarcity example, MasterClass offers 2 memberships for the cost of 1. It combines the discount with a holiday offer that’s ending soon.

Product bundling like this gets buyers to convert faster because they get a 2x return on investment (ROI) on their purchase.

15. Coke: Share a Coke

how to use scarcity technique

The world-famous beverage company Coca-Cola’s Share a Coke campaign was a hit when it came out. The campaign allowed customers to buy Coke bottles with the names of their friends and family members.

The campaign sold 1.25 million drinks in the U.S. and improved sales by 11% in a year.

Coke ran the campaign at the expense of replacing its brand name from the bottles. It’s a classic example of scarcity advertising coupled with emotional intelligence.

Depending on where you live, you can still order personalized Coke bottles from their website. Notice not 1 but 2 website notification bars on the website.

scarcity examples in marketing

The company sure knows how to create multiple sale opportunities on a website!

16. Airbnb: Rare Find

airbnb scarcity

Airbnb makes its customers feel lucky to find properties that aren’t sold out. It’s the company’s way to highlight resource scarcity for their premium property listings.

17. Float: Request Access

scarcity marketing hacks

Float asks new users to request access to the app instead of handing out free signups. This means their platform isn’t easy for everyone to sign up for.

The message is clear: you might not be allowed if you don’t fit the bill. The scarcity of access makes it immediately appealing.

18. Moto Z: Limited Time Offer

limited time offer

Moto Z offers its customers a scarce opportunity to buy its new smartphone for only $200.

Limited-time offers convert like crazy.

An online clothing company ran an experiment offering one of its products with and without a limited-time next-day shipping offer. The one with the relative scarcity offer increased sales by 226%.

19. HappySales: Join the Waitlist

happysales ai

HappySales is a business-to-business (B2B) sales technology software that’s yet to launch. Its website allows users to join the private beta. When you click the CTA button, it takes you to a sign-up form.

But instead of asking users to sign up for free, Happysales encourages joining privately. This implies that they don’t entertain everyone. It’s an exclusive circle of users.

20. Nokia: Black Friday With a Twist

scarcity principle tips

Nokia sent this marketing email to its customers a few years back. Instead of offering instant discounts or pre-orders, Nokia made it easy for customers to create a personalized wishlist.

This is among the best Black Friday-related scarcity examples.

21. Amazon: Today’s Lightning Deals

amazon scarcity examples

Amazon’s “Lightning Deals” are offered daily for only a few hours.

22. Ninety9: Happy Hour Deals

what is scarcity

Protea Hotel in Kampala uses happy hour discounts to drive traffic to its retro bar. You can get amazing discounts on a limited variety of drinks, but only between 5-7 pm.

23. Best Buy: Flash Sale

what is an example of scarcity

Best Buy’s flash sale offers multiple scarcity examples rolled into one.

The sale is live only for 48 hours. The website notification bar lets users know the exact time and date when the sale will start and end. This heightens the sense of scarcity.

Best Buy also reminds buyers of the limited availability of products. And that they won’t accept rainchecks.

24. iHerb: 13 Sold in 24 Hours

what is an example of scarcity in marketing

iHerb’s website has multiple cues to convert visitor traffic. It uses a notification bar to offer a 20% discount, While also reminding buyers that the offer ends on a specific date.

Further down, iHerb lets people see the number of products other buyers have bought in the last 24 hours. If you don’t act on time, the product might run out of stock.

The limited availability of resources is one of the causes of scarcity.

Pro-tip: Are your customers dropping off of your website due to out-of-stock products? Read our guide on how to win more sales with out-of-stock pages.

25. Fleet Feet: Clearance Sale

best examples of scarcity marketing

A lot of online retailers use clearance sales to sell surplus products at reduced prices. Online apparel stores especially have clearance sales because they are closing down or need to clear old stocks to make room for new product inventory.

In any case, a clearance sale implies that the discounted offering is going to run for a short time. Here, Fleet Feet has an entire product category called Clearance with discounted products.

26. Thread Up: End-of-Year Sale

best examples of scarcity principle

End-of-year sales are similar to clearance sale campaigns. Thread Up, a second-hand apparel store, combines its year-end sale with multiple other promotions.

The copy on the website offers a discount code and free shipping. It also reminds customers about the sale ending date and time to trigger buyers’ scarcity mindset.

27. Pulp & Press: Abandoned Cart Email

Pulp & Press sends buyers a limited-time discount on their orders to reduce cart abandonment. This is a great way to create artificial scarcity and convert lost opportunities into sales.

28. Asos: Black Friday Deal

examples of scarcity marketing online

Asos offers a Black Friday discount code. It follows its promotion by reminding people to stay safe and be ahead of the surge.

This is among the best scarcity examples that explicitly communicate the limited resources and time.

29. Catalina Crunch: Early Access SMS Marketing

scarcity marketing technique

Catalina Crunch offers users early access to its Black Friday deals. When visitors click on the signup button, the website asks them to enter their phone number.

These kinds of optin campaigns are trade-offs between what buyers want and what sellers can offer.

30. Jeffree Star: A Different Take on Scarcity

scarcity examples online

Jeffree Star has a different take on creating scarcity.

Instead of creating scarcity with limited-time offers or discounts, they do it with delivery times.

Jeffree Star uses a website alert banner to let customers know that orders after 12/19 will be delivered after Christmas. This means the earlier people place their orders, the earlier they will receive them.

Nice way to evoke scarcity!

31. G Fuel: Giveaways Worth $10,000

tips for scarcity marketing

G Fuel runs a giveaway contest on its website for visitors to enter a chance to win 1 grand prize. Or, they can enter to win 10 runner-up incentives.

Either way, G Fuel’s scarcity example is not based on time. It’s built on the probability of winning by participating in the sweepstakes and answering a simple question.

Pro-tip: Do you want an easy way to run giveaways in WordPress? Get RafflePress. RafflePress is the best plugin that lets you run successful giveaways in WooCommerce.

32. Eightvape: Christmas Holiday Offer

how to use scarcity principle in marketing

Eightvape displays a banner on its website hero section, offering customers tempting Christmas offers for a limited period.

The website also uses a Yes/No campaign to convert visitors into leads. Yes/No campaigns offer people a no-brainer choice: to choose an easy option or skip it for an opportunity cost.

scarcity examples of brands

33. Udemy: Sale Ends Today

scarcity examples inspiration

Udemy has a one-day flash sale for visitors to enroll in one of its online courses. The website also offers a discount code and has a notification bar with a countdown timer.

34. Growth Marketing: Last Chance to Register

scarcity marketing for lead generation

Growth Marketing’s email uses an image of a clock to suggest the need to act fast and create urgency. The CTA adds to the sense of scarcity further.

These CTAs work well both on your site and in your email marketing copy. Read our guide to creating the perfect call to action for more tips to improve conversions.

Time Is Running Out: Use These Scarcity Marketing Examples Now

See what we did there? Scarcity can be a great incentive for buyers to act sooner. Take inspiration from the examples in this post to apply in marketing your business.

If you’re new to marketing, you may also want to check out our comprehensive lead generation guide. Lead generation is the starting point for most things in marketing.

If you’re already running lead generation campaigns on your website, get started with OptinMonster. OptinMonster is the #1 lead generation tool that helps you build marketing campaigns to capture leads through popups, floating bars, sidebar optins, and more.

Disclosure: Our content is reader-supported. This means if you click on some of our links, then we may earn a commission. We only recommend products that we believe will add value to our readers.

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