Autochat Blog

What is FOMO in e-commerce, how can you use FOMO to your advantage?

And what are the best apps to create FOMO in visitors on your Shopify store

Did you see that new jacket?

Did you see that video?

Did you see that (insert a product) on Instagram?

Shoppers love sharing great products which are smartly marketed to be exclusive or one-of-a-kind, with their dear ones. And for sellers such as yourself, ‘word of mouth’ marketing is a powerful branding social currency.

Consumers are always attracted to positive anomalies or deviations in mundane, daily lives.

For example, look at what drives us. As human beings, we hate to miss out on things which are important to us, our friends and family.

We always want to stay ahead of the curve and be the first ones to experience new products, videos, movies, or anything of interest. The power is in the act of being the one to introduce this new ‘thing’ within our panoply of social cohorts.

This craving of being first to experience new aspects to life supercharges our instincts as consumers and breaks all rules of logical consumerism.

In this post, we shall look at this phenomenon called ‘Fear of Missing Out – FOMO’ and how you – as a seller on Shopify can leverage it to turn your site visitors to sales.

Let’s get started!

What does FOMO mean to you – a seller on Shopify?

You want your site visitors to feel the sense of near-lost-opportunity from buying your product.

A sense where you make your potential shoppers feel left behind on a trend or a great product which might be possessed only by a few.

Creating shopping experiences with genuine FOMO triggers can be a powerful strategy to convert visitors to sales.

How easy is it to implement such a strategy?

Are there apps or plugins on Shopify which can help you create FOMO in your visitors?

Let’s find out.

E-COMMERCE TRIVIA: FOMO – the term was created by a Harvard MBA named Patrick J. McGinnis, author of The 10% Entrepreneur.

Moving beyond the anecdotal evidence, what do the numbers say about the impact of FOMO?

A 2015 survey in Canada reveals a staggering picture. Among those surveyed, 64% said they experienced the phenomenon, 56% of whom were between the ages of 18 and 30. The major factor that brings on this feeling is the fear of losing social notoriety or not being seen as “in the know,” according to 24% of millennials that have experienced FOMO.

So, the question is, what does it imply to brands and sellers?

60% of millennial consumers said they make a reactive purchase after experiencing FOMO, most often within 24 hours.

Here’s another one.

Those with household incomes above $75,000 a year were not only the most likely to experience FOMO but also the most likely to share their experiences on social media with the intent of creating the sensation in others.

The underlying effects of FOMO might create envy, jealousy, and sadness in shoppers. However, the report shows that millennials are adopting more positive views of envy and jealousy, using them as motivating factors to get them active in taking positive action, like making a purchase or scheduling a trip.

The bottom line: it’s essential to learn how to use FOMO in marketing, no matter what age group or location you’re targeting.

So now, let’s look at some FOMO marketing examples.

Here are some of the best examples of brands using FOMO

From big brands to boutique brands, sellers have understood the value of creating FOMO scenarios. However, the trouble is knowing the importance of such a vital strategy is one thing, but to use the right tools to create FOMO is quite another.

It doesn’t hurt us to look across the internet to find which brands are doing well with FOMO and what tactics they use.

We love you so much that we have saved you a lot of time in looking for great examples.

So, below is a list of 10 strategic tactics which can help you instill FOMO on your Shopify site. Each point has a brand example to help you understand the strategies better. The examples below span across various product and service categories. We have also included some of the best Shopify apps you should consider using on your site.

Tactic number 1: FOMO through time bound offers

Consumers don’t like to race against time.


Because time limits try to change shopper behavior quickly.

Especially those consumers who shop via mobile devices a lot. The good thing is that these shoppers don’t spend a lot of time on mobile devices.

Besides being glued to their mobile devices while commuting to and from work, the general habit is to access their devices sparingly throughout the day.

Think of people who work in offices or the ones who drive around for work. They tend to pull out their phones during short breaks in between work.

It makes absolute sense to put a clock or a highlighted message on the category or product pages to influence quicker conversion.

Here’s a great example:

Here are 3 really good apps you should pay attention to:

Tactic number 2: Highlight who else bought ‘this’ product right now

Most online shopping does occur through extensive research (Google, Amazon, Review sites, etc.) or consumers are influenced by your content or campaigns on social media.

Either way, many shoppers find it difficult to hit the BUY button.

How can you convince them to take that proverbial leap of faith?

Social proof.

Yes. When you highlight the fact that people are buying this very, specific product RIGHT NOW, it makes a positive impression.

No one wants to go to a store with no crowd. This theory applies to online shopping as well.

There are a ton of apps available on the Shopify market which allow you to showcase recent purchases on your website.

Here are 3 really good apps to highlight recent buyers on your Shopify site:

Tactic number 3: FOMO through scarcity

If ever I get on a shopping site to buy a beloved product or something as mundane as a boutique soap bar, I would hate to see if the product is out of stock or if there’s only a few left.

This is an essential FOMO strategy to showcase scarcity to trigger sales on your Shopify site.

Messages such as ‘ONLY 2 LEFT’ or ‘WHILE STOCKS LAST’ work well to create a sense of urgency in the shopper’s mind.

Here are three great apps on the Shopify app market to help you showcase product scarcity:

Tactic number 4: FOMO through Social proof – Highlight glowing product reviews which make for a good impression

The strength of any marketing campaign is the social proof that people believe and have taken part in. This phenomenon is a vital part of FOMO marketing campaigns as well.

Simply put, If other consumers share, engage, or buy, we want to do it too, so we’ll feel a sense of belonging and won’t miss out.

Highlighting recent purchases with consumer names and product information should be part of your FOMO marketing strategy.

Here’s a great example of using social proof to influence buyer behavior:

Here are 3 apps from the Shopify market to help you showcase glowing customer reviews and ratings to site visitors:

  • Fera Social Proof: A social proof app that increases conversions, sales, and trust.
  • Testimonials Slider: An app to add customer testimonials to your Shopify store site.
  • Growave: This app allows you to set up loyalty & rewards, reviews, wishlist, and user-generated content to your Shopify site.

Tactic number 5: FOMO through exclusive offers

There isn’t a better comforting message you can tell your prospects than ‘you belong to an exclusive club’. In this day and age, where consumers use the internet and social media to express or sometimes overexpose what they buy and consume, all our allegiances are out in the open to see for all.

What this effectively means is that everybody knows what everybody is buying.

As human beings, we want to stand out from the crowd.

We do not want to own the same mustard-colored jacket.

As a result, this phenomenon is driving people towards exclusivity. We all want to own and express products which are not available to everybody.

As far as FOMO is concerned, exclusivity is a powerful attraction to drive sales.

There are two ways to go with offering exclusivity, either you can offer exclusive memberships which gives your consumers access to sales and deals.

Or you can create certain products in limited quantities to drive exclusivity.

What Shopify apps to use: from pop up banners, in-line banners, to email outreach, you can choose a wide variety of mediums and apps to communicate exclusive deals and drive a tremendous amount of traffic to your site.

Here’s a great example of exclusivity:

Tactic number 6: FOMO through early bird offers

Early bird deals are simple economic transactions. When a seller – like you – wants your prospects to take action NOW, you have to trigger this change in consumer behavior by rewarding the change with a gesture.

This gesture can be freebies, discounts, coupons, etc.

It rewards attendance and encourages people to get there earlier.

This is yet another form of FOMO marketing that you can use in your own promotions.

Here’s a great example of an early bird offer:

Tactic number 7: Be explicit about FOMO communication

The trouble with most sales and discounts on websites is that the offers seem convoluted and complex to consumers.

Often there are so many terms and conditions to fulfill before claiming discounts or coupons, it drives consumers away.

You don’t have to hide the fact that you’re using FOMO marketing.

Your marketing or sales copy and communication can explicitly address the ‘fear of missing out’ – just as Rue La La did in this campaign:

What Shopify apps to use: To communicate FOMO, you can use a wide variety of apps from the Shopify store. Some examples are pop up banners, in-line banners, social proof apps, etc.

Tactic number 8: FOMO through limited free shipping

Who doesn’t love free shipping? Thanks to Amazon and it’s Prime membership which offers fast or sometimes free shipping, the company has raised the bar for shipping terms.

Today, consumers expect either fast delivery or bet yet free and fast delivery. No wonder Shopify is pouring in millions of dollars to build fulfillment centers in North America to compete with the might of Amazon Prime and deliver fast shipping to consumers.

As a seller, here are statistics that highlight two consumer trends.

Trend 1 – the need for free shipping
Trend 2 – the need for shipping communication (in-the-know)

  • Trend 1: 79% of US consumers said that free shipping would make them more likely to shop online. (source: Walker Sands)
  • Trend 1: 54% of US consumers under the age of 25 said that same-day shipping is their number one purchase driver. (source: Walker Sands)
  • Trend 2: 83% of US online shoppers expect regular communication about their purchases. (source: Narvar)
  • Trend 2: 53% of US online shoppers won’t purchase a product if they don’t know when it will arrive. (source: Narvar)

What does this mean to you – a seller on Shopify?

You got to make free shipping a part of your FOMO strategy. As the statistics prove, consumers find tremendous value in free shipping. It may also mean that when consumers are torn between a product from two different brands, free shipping might just obliterate brand allegiance to shreds.

As far as shipment tracking is concerned, consumers would love to stay updated. Use apps to trigger push notifications, emails, SMS, WhatsApp, or Facebook Messenger messages to communicate shipment tracking information.

Your consumers will love you if you empower them by offering in-the-know information at their fingertips.

Tactic number 9: FOMO through exit campaigns

Tell me something.

On the Shopify community or any online seller community for that matter, one theory does get talked about a lot: online shoppers hate pop-ups.

Is it true?

Well, the answer is not so straight forward.

When used responsibly, popups can be used to point prospects to valuable offers they may not be aware of.

And they can increase conversions.

One particular type of campaign that ties in brilliantly to FOMO is the exit (or exit-intent) campaign.

What is an exit popup?

Picture your retail outlet in a sprawling mall. You receive a lot of footfall and interest in your products.

When people walk into your store, they are greeted by your sales reps. If the shopper decides to walk out, what does your sales rep do?

Ask the visitor if they found what they were looking for or offer assistance to help them. This is exit intent communication on a retail floor.

This same strategy can be applied by triggering popups at the right moment when a visitor is about to exit your website.

Here’s a great example of an exit-intent popup:

Here are 3 apps on the Shopify market to help you set up exit popups:

Tactic number 10: FOMO marketing via email

It’s one thing to formulate and execute strategies to instill FOMO on people who are already on your website right now. However, to leverage your relationships with your old consumers, email is a powerful medium to send FOMO related marketing communication to bring them back to your Shopify site. A.k.a retargeting.

There are three ways or scenarios to trigger FOMO emails:

  1. Let subscribers know about exclusive deals or rewards
  2. Tell them when items they’ve saved are about to run out
  3. Remind them about items in their shopping cart with cart abandonment messages

Here’s a great example of a FOMO email:

What Shopify apps to use: There are quite a few retargeting apps on the Shopify market to help you trigger automatic communication via emails to bring back shoppers to your website.

Here are 3 such apps:

  • Omnisend Email Marketing: Set up email marketing, SMS, messengers and push notifications.
  • Automizely – Email & Sales Pop: Set up email, pop-ups, social proof, exit intent, countdown, web push notifications.
  • Supercharged Store Emails: Set up email marketing with a variety of templates for product recommendations, discounts, and referrals.

How to choose the best FOMO apps on Shopify?

When it comes to scouring the Shopify app market to choose the best apps to convert visitors to sales, you need to pay attention to the following three points.

#1 Read reviews: Before choosing an application, scroll down on the app page and read reviews. At least the latest 3 or 4 pages of reviews.

Since these reviews are posted by sellers themselves, they tend to be direct and honest. Which is exactly what you want.

#2 Visit sites of reviewers to see the app in effect: Most sellers mention their business name or website in the reviews. If you don’t find a website address, I request you to Google search the brand/business name.

Once you get on their website, spend time to see where the app in question is triggered or used. This way, you get a real-world demo of the app and helps you decide if its the right app for your website.

#3 Versatile apps: Many apps solve a singular or a broad range of challenges. It is good to compare the features of apps you find fit for your site and choose the most versatile app. You will save a lot of time in setting up and managing fewer apps.

Quick takeaway

What is FOMO?
FOMO is a tactic where you make your potential shoppers feel left behind on a trend, a great product, or a deal that might be possessed only by a few.

How to choose the best apps?
Read each Shopify app review and visit the reviewers’ (sellers) website to see how the said app works in the real world. And compare apps on the merit of versatility to save time in managing the app and extracting the best value from it as well.

Final thoughts

As an entrepreneur on Shopify, you become successful only when you invest equal time and resources on all three phases of the ecommerce business; 1) pre-purchase, 2) purchase and 3) post-purchase.

While most attention and resources are diverted to the first phase (pre-purchase) we often see entrepreneurs who focus less or completely ignore the second and third phases (purchase and post-purchase).

Our guides and posts will help you focus on these two, equally important aspects to nudge your site visitors and turn them into sales (purchase phase) and help you find the best ways to deliver top-notch customer support, retain and retarget more customers (post-purchase phase).

This forms the origin of Autochat, an all-round Shopify application built to help you manage customers efficiently and boost sales through effective conversational marketing techniques. Visit to learn more.

Autochat Team

Add comment


Most popular

Most discussed