The purpose of a timer is to count down to something. They’re used typically used online to mark the end of a sale or the time left in a ‘Limited Time Offer’. They are used to instill a sense of urgency in the customer.
Utilizing timers online
A lot of online businesses use timers, whether they’re in checkout, in a promotion bar at the top of their site, or if they’re setting a time limit on shipping and delivery. If you’ve ever purchased something from eCommerce giant Amazon, then you’ve probably seen what I’m talking about.
Amazon uses a handy countdown timer to let you know how much time you have left until a cut-off point. The cut-off point is usually marking the “end-of-day” for them, or the absolute last minute you can order until. After that they need to find your items, package them and get them out the door so they can ship to you within the estimate delivery time.
Amazon’s ‘rushing’ tactics
The sense of hurry that Amazon is able to create is what drives a lot of their sales. When you realize you can order now and get the products either same day (or within a few days) then you’re more likely to purchase immediately. Nobody likes to wait for items they need. Because Amazon has such a big supply chain, warehouses and the ability to ship and deliver internationally they’re able to do this. But it doesn’t mean smaller businesses can’t utilize an urgency creator like a countdown timer until a cut-off date to receive items more quickly.
Using timers on your site
You can use timers too. Especially if you want to let your customers know when they can expect their products. It doesn’t even need to be 2-3 days like Amazon. Even if it’s 5-10 most people will wait and be patient. We just like to know and be able to plan when our items will arrive, especially if we need to be home to sign for them or don’t want them sitting outside until we get home. It makes our lives easier, it makes planning gifts and events and projects so much easier.
How should I set up a timer?
You can do a countdown of days, or of days and hours and minutes. It’s really up to you. Don’t include too many numbers or dates or messages, because customers may get confused. Try to keep it simple. You also don’t want to set anything too high, otherwise if it says something like “you have 50 hours to purchase these items” then customers won’t be too likely to buy immediately, especially since they have so much time. You’re basically creating the opposite or urgency.