Time ScarcityOpen Access

Time Scarcity

We're more likely to act if the clock is ticking…

Crafting a window of time is a delicate art. Use positively to inspire exploration and not to compel decisions that aren’t in a customer’s best interests.

Tomm, B. M., & Zhao, J. (2017). Scarcity impairs online detection and prospective memory. Trials, 40, 50.

The study

Setup

Setup

90 people were asked to solve 50 puzzles in either 10 or 40 minutes. A time-saving notification stating that “This question isn’t worth any points. Press A to skip” would pop up for half the puzzles.

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.

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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

Results

Results showed that the time-scarce group ironically were more likely to miss the time-saving notifications due to their heightened focus on task completion.

Study graph
np_read_2490885_000000

Tomm, B. M., & Zhao, J. (2017). Scarcity impairs online detection and prospective memory. Trials, 40, 50.

Key Takeaways

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Time Scarcity increases conversion under a few conditions

Make sure your use of it is on-brand, authentic and not overly-aggressive to avoid harming long-term trust and loyalty.

A big clock with red flashing text may boost sales in the short-term but risks damaging brand perceptions in the longer term and will lead to Reactance in the more behaviorally-aware and in more mature markets with stronger competition. 

Takeaway image
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Use time windows for excitement.

Particularly for experiments with new ideas or for seasonal Limited Editions. Starbucks’ Unicorn Frappucino was on sale for 5 days only. It sold out in just 3 and generated 160,000 Instagram posts. 

Takeaway image
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Develop novel ways of saving people time.

People who spend money on time-saving purchases report greater life satisfaction (Whillans et al, 2017). 

Amazon and Sainsbury’s are exploring no-queue, no-till shopping. Just scan on the app and leave. How can you free up even a few minutes of our most precious commodity?

Takeaway image
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Takeaway image
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Currently being prepared...
Time Scarcity

Time Scarcity

We're more likely to act if the clock is ticking…

Crafting a window of time is a delicate art. Use positively to inspire exploration and not to compel decisions that aren’t in a customer’s best interests.

The study

Setup

90 people were asked to solve 50 puzzles in either 10 or 40 minutes. A time-saving notification stating that “This question isn’t worth any points. Press A to skip” would pop up for half the puzzles.

Results

Results showed that the time-scarce group ironically were more likely to miss the time-saving notifications due to their heightened focus on task completion.

study graph
np_read_2490885_000000

In detail

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Scarcity

Scarcity

We value things more when they’re in limited supply

Social Proof

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We copy the behaviors of others, especially in unfamiliar situations

Prospect Theory

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A loss hurts more than an equal gain feels good

Reciprocity

Reciprocity

We’re hardwired to return kindness received

Framing

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We make very different decisions based on how a fact is presented

Loss Aversion

Loss Aversion

We feel more negative when losing something than positive when we gain it

Default Effect

Default Effect

We tend to accept the option pre-chosen for us

Anchoring

Anchoring

What we see first affects our judgement of everything thereafter

Fast & Slow Thinking

Fast & Slow Thinking

We make knee-jerk spontaneous decisions that can cause regretful damage

Dynamic Norms

Dynamic Norms

We’re more likely to change if we can see a new behavior developing

Salience

Salience

Our choices are determined by the information we're shown

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A loss hurts more than an equal gain feels good

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