Published by: Lisa Glutting

Creating urgency on your site is a strong driving factor in getting sales for your online business. 

It pushes customers and forces them to make quicker decisions, and then hopefully leads to a purchase. 

You can create urgency in a few ways, like showing stock levels, the number of viewers of a product, how many of that product have already sold, and of course, countdown timers. 

Countdown timers are a clear way to show a customer that if they urgently want a product, they must take action now (or within a specified timeframe). This countdown can be to reserve items in the cart, countdown until a sale is done, countdown for a free (or next-day) delivery or even countdown for some other special promotion.

Don't Have Time to Read the Post? 

Watch this Countdown Timer video!

But how can you tell it's working for you? Is that urgency helping? 

Well, use AB tests. It's a scientific method to compare to versions of something against each other and see which performs better, in this case, which converts more customers.

Let's discuss how to use countdown timers on your eCommerce site to increase sales


How can I use a countdown timer?

That's the easy part! 

Like we mentioned you can use timers in a variety of situations. 

The easiest would be to implement a Cart Timer

The ticking time alerts customers that they have limited opportunity to make a purchase before their items are gone. 

This works amazingly for reserving certain items. 

Ticketmaster and other ticket sales companies will use this tactic to reduce abandoned carts and convert their traffic into sales.

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You need to provide information to customers that is useful. 

Let them know the time left until a sale ends, or how long their items are reserved in their cart or even how much time is left for something to either ship out same day or for something to arrive quickly (think Amazon).

The best places to include these kinds of timers are:

  • On the homepage (for promotions and when sales will end)
  • In the cart page (reserved cart timer)

Cart Timer1

  • The product pages (order in x time to get it by y date).

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So, Should You Use A Cart Timer?

Yes! You Should be Using a Cart Timer

If you aren't using a cart timer you need to navigate right back to your eCommerce site and get on it!

This is the easiest way to add urgency to your business.

Just adding a timer to an open promotion, or a message saying to hurry and checkout has, on average, much higher rates of engagement.

How do I utilize a Cart Timer?

You just need to add a cart timer to your site.

While you can probably hire a developer or site designer to do this (or spend hours looking for a good theme with one pre-built) you can probably just find an app.

Fera utilizes a Cart Timer widget in our app, so that's a good place to test it out.

How To Reduce Cart Abandonment

You're going to want to set up some things first. Consider the placement and appearance of the Cart Timer.

You'll want it to be bold and stand out, but not too overpowering so that you scare your customers away!

With Fera, you can move the snippet of code in your theme files to different places.

Maybe you want it underneath the "Your Cart" title, or perhaps under the "Checkout" button.

It's all up to you.

By default, the bar is red as it's a color that tends to go hand-in-hand with urgency.

But you can test it out and try different combinations of color and what the message says.

Everything is easily customizable so that part won't be a hassle.

A Summary

Countdown timers are great and easy to implement on your eCommerce site to deliver results, but remember these 3 points:

  1. Honesty! Don't use fake deadlines, or timers that run out where nothing negative happens to push sales. It won't work. Be honest and only use timers when there is actually a limit.
  2. Don't go crazy. Too many timers will also alienate your customers. Your timers are only going to be believable if customers can trust the information being displayed.
  3. Make the provided information useful. You want to actually aid your customers, not use a timer as purely a sales technique to get money. If an event/holiday is coming up customers want information to let them know when they need to order by so that things are on time.

You want to actually aid your customers, not use a timer as purely a sales technique to get money. 

Follow these 3 points and you should be able to utilize timers to your best ability.

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