There are 4 kittens in a pet shop…
and 1 black and white kitten
Fact: Tabby kittens are adopted much more quickly than black and white kittens.
So, which kitten do you think will sell first?
Answer: The black and white one
The principle of Scarcity
What is the principle of Scarcity?
When something is scarce or rare, people see it as more highly valued and more desirable. This is why shops often have sales and why antiques have such a high value. Scarcity is closely related to the fear of loss – people fear losing what they have and also what they don’t yet have. They will act in sometimes non-sensical ways to avoid this loss (shopaholics and hoarders are good examples).
How do I know the black and white kitten really will be sold first?
Because these kittens have been advertised on the residents board where I live and everyone wants the black and white one.
How to sell more by using scarcity in your website design
- Limited numbers of a product left? Make this information clear in the interface.
- Show an end date or time for an offer.
- Offer something free with the product but limit it’s availability.
A bit of Friday fun! Glance over the word image below and write down the first four words that you find. Ok? These are supposed to describe you. I’m not sure how accurate this is as I can’t find the original source online, but it’s fun to do.
My four words are: time, lovely, wrestles and spoken (not quite sure about wrestles!)
Back in 1943 a psychologist called Maslow published what he termed a ‘hierarchy of needs‘ that can be applied to every human being. At the bottom level are physiological needs that every human needs to exist, like shelter, food and water. At the very top are factors that contribute to a feeling of self-actualization, like morality and creativity. You can read more here. The triangle shape is deliberate, in that there are a much greater number of people at the physiological level and only a small number who reach self-actualization.
We can apply Maslow’s concept to the user and their experience of any product or service. Starting from a base of does the product or service perform at a basic functional level to the ideal of the user being so engaged that they lose all track of time and enter a state of flow.
Take a look at the Users’ Hierarchy of Needs below and think about where your product or service fits. What actions are you taking to step up to the next level and improve your users’ experience?