Conversion, Persuasion & The Scarcity Principle

Countdown timers are a powerful method to help Web professionals and Internet marketers (retailers/merchants, information publishers, and service providers) drive sales/conversions.

Let's take a closer look at how and why the technique works and what options are available to make use of it to increase revenue.
The scarcity effect is in many ways mirrored by the concept of supply and demand ( that economics class from university is finally paying off!).

The less of something there is, the theory goes, the more consumers seem to want it and the more they are willing to do and pay for it. Essentially, limited supply (of products or time) introduces scarcity into the market, and if we learned anything from Robert Cialdini's principles, we know that's a key to successful persuasion.
When there's no fear of missing out (on a great deal, or on a limited supply), we (consumers) just don't act - or act with as efficiently. There's no urgency that propels consumers through the epic battle that is purchasing inertia. That's why Black Friday, and seemingly every other "limited-time only" sale, regularly outperform your average day.
The best tactical example of the scarcity effect in practice today is that of the general countdown timer. You see a number clicking down slowly toward zero and suddenly fear of missing out (FOMO) strikes and you, the consumer, are compelled to take action before time runs out and it's too late. 

Most ecommerce systems (including Magento and Shopify for example) offer support for extensions or plugin/modules that bring such functionality to their software systems. The image below shows not only a countdown timer indicating the number of hours, minutes and seconds remaining in a specific product sale, but also the number of people watching that product, the number sold in the last hour and the number of items remaining - all excellent ways to trigger FOMO among users. 

Countdown timers specifically, however, are excellent ways to start employing the scarcity principle in your website landing pages.

Hurrify, of course, is but one of the many solutions on the market to make taking advantage of the scarcity principle possible. There are quite a few such plugins available for Magento, including this one from Amasty that enables Web retailers to showcase a variety of custom messages related to retailers' inventory.

When selecting the technical solution that makes it possible to use a conversion technique such as this, keep in mind that the tone and clarity of the message is of supreme importance. With the right delivery however, there's no performance substitute for taking advantage of this digital marketing and online sales technique.