Scarcity

We value things more when they’re in limited supply

Scarcity is a core economic principle, affecting perceptions of desire & value and motivating us to act now.

Worchel, Lee & Adewole (1975). Effects of supply and demand on ratings of object value. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.

The study

Setup

146 people were asked to rate identical cookies that were either presented in a jar as scarce or in abundance. They were then asked how likely they would be to want to eat a further cookie.

What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

Results

When scarce, the cookies were rated as more desirable and having a higher value. They were also seen as more valuable when going from an abundant state to scarce than when always scarce.

np_read_2490885_000000

In detail

Key Takeaways

Scarcity comes in 4 flavors: Quantity, Time, Access & Rarity.

Control quantity. To increase perceived value of your product, release it in smaller and diminishing quantities, emphasizing its finite nature.

Restrict time. When the clock is ticking and we’re overwhelmed, we take mental shortcuts that speed up decision-making. Motivate customers by emphasizing the limited time remaining in which to act.

Limit access. Restricting access to your products or services will increase desire and perceived value. Do this selectively for certain features and / or customer segments.

Scarcity

We value things more when they’re in limited supply

Scarcity is a core economic principle, affecting perceptions of desire & value and motivating us to act now.

Worchel, Lee & Adewole (1975). Effects of supply and demand on ratings of object value. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.

The study

Setup

146 people were asked to rate identical cookies that were either presented in a jar as scarce or in abundance. They were then asked how likely they would be to want to eat a further cookie.

Results

When scarce, the cookies were rated as more desirable and having a higher value. They were also seen as more valuable when going from an abundant state to scarce than when always scarce.

Key Takeaways

Scarcity comes in 4 flavors: Quantity, Time, Access & Rarity.

Control quantity. To increase perceived value of your product, release it in smaller and diminishing quantities, emphasizing its finite nature.

Restrict time. When the clock is ticking and we’re overwhelmed, we take mental shortcuts that speed up decision-making. Motivate customers by emphasizing the limited time remaining in which to act.

Limit access. Restricting access to your products or services will increase desire and perceived value. Do this selectively for certain features and / or customer segments.

Scarcity

We value things more when they’re in limited supply

Scarcity is a core economic principle, affecting perceptions of desire & value and motivating us to act now.

The study

Setup

146 people were asked to rate identical cookies that were either presented in a jar as scarce or in abundance. They were then asked how likely they would be to want to eat a further cookie.

Results

When scarce, the cookies were rated as more desirable and having a higher value. They were also seen as more valuable when going from an abundant state to scarce than when always scarce.

np_read_2490885_000000

In detail

Pairings

Product Development

Use distinction to foster uniqueness

There are many ways to convey scarcity. If you have a range of products that are all similar in visual characteristics, consider exploring how a limited edition can feel especially valuable through the use of contrast. A rare black item amongst an otherwise white collection.

Where can you use contrast both dramatically and sparingly to harness its unique power?

Give what is otherwise hard to come by

When rewarding behaviour, consider gifts that are rare or cannot be attained by any other means. For example, consider manufacturing a product that can only be attained by those on the highest tiers of your loyalty programme. Or, an invitation to special event that only happens once a year.

Where can you provide a scarce reward to make people feel valued? Remember, scarce needn't mean expensive, just restricted in public supply.

Create a one-of-a-kind product feeling

Allowing customers to tailor your product to their needs is central to feelings of meaningful ownership and long-term attachment to the brand.

However, if you allow for an IKEA effect in your product, how can you underline its uniqueness in your messaging? Letting customers know what is uniquely theirs and no-one else's will enrich the creative process further and heighten perceived value.

Play with difficulty in task-based collections

Whether you have a set of complimentary products that can be collected, or a series of task-based badges that need to be unlocked to get a reward, consider restricting their supply and therefore adding in a little friction to the collecting process. Ensure not too scarce to disincentivise, but just enough to foster greater feelings of success.

Where can you explore scarce collections for especially-valued products or rewards, or to promote new product exploration?

Connected to

Running workshops?

Scarcity

is included in Box One of our physical workshop tool.
is included in Box Two of our physical workshop tool.
Box One