Marketers try to influence consumers through promotional offers by restricting availability of products to a limited number of customers, a limited time period, or a specific segment, thereby creating a perception of scarcity. Such promotional appeal of making a product or offer scarce is called as scarcity appeal.
What is scarcity appeal?
In the marketing context, a sales promotion scheme that restricts an offer to a limited number of customers, a limited quantity of products, a limited time period, or a specified segment is referred to as scarcity appeal.
Broadly, scarcity appeal is divided into time scarcity and quantity scarcity.
Promotional schemes that limit the duration of the offer are denoted as time scarcity appeal. Quantity scarcity, on the other hand, refers to sales promotion schemes that limit the number of products under the promotional scheme such as ‘limited edition’ offers (e.g., special anniversary offer in automobiles), offering discount only on limited quantity of products, and offers valid till the stock is available.
Scarcity appeal may be attributed to a product that is sparsely available; for example, limited edition of a product like Mont Blanc pen. It can also be attributed to an offer where the product may be available, but the offer on it is restricted (Clow & Baack, 2012).
However, only a few studies have explored the impact of scarcity appeal on the offer vis-à-vis no-scarcity appeal on the offer, and even those studies have produced mixed results.
When a scarcity appeal offer is combined with a discount, consumers’ perception of the appeal may depend on both the discount as well as the scarcity message.
It has often been suggested that scarcity messages lead to a more positive attitude.
3 major ways in which this always hits the bull’s eyes!
- Consumers respond more favourably to quantity scarcity appeal offer when compared with no-scarcity appeal offer.
- Consumers with higher NFU indicate higher purchase intention in a no-scarcity appeal situation when compared with those with low NFU.
- There is no statistically significant difference in purchase intention of consumers with high and low needs for uniqueness in a situation of scarcity appeal messaging.
To know how marketers can benefit from this and achieve higher sales targets, read the complete article here!