The Use of Fear of Missing Out (FOMO) to Increase Sales for eCommerce Stores

Missing out never used to be a problem in the past, before all the digital transparency nobody seemed to care what he’s missing out on the world, and everyone was satisfied with what he gets and how he lives. Today, you’re not only aware of how much you could be missing out, but you’ve also developed a fear of missing out (FOMO) which is even more hurtful.

Because even though you know this is how life goes, you get what you get and that’s your destiny, you can’t help but feel left behind from the rest of your peers, and not compatible enough with the rest of the world.

Let’s discuss this topic together and get to know this relatively new term and how it could be the trade of the age for eCommerce stores.

  • What is the fear of missing out? (FOMO meaning)
  • The connection between FOMO and eCommerce
  • “Fear of missing out” statistics (mostly related to millennials)
  • 5 marketing tactics to use FOMO in your eCommerce store

What Is FOMO Meaning? The Fear of Missing Out

Simply put, the meaning of FOMO is the constant need to stay connected in order not to miss out on anything huge. The urge to know everything that happens around you and obtaining the latest trends.

It translates into eCommerce by the need to cope with the latest trendy clothes, living the same lifestyle of popular influencers, getting the same products they use, and so on.

The fear of missing out is a psychological fear that emerged with the development of digital technologies that emancipated the borders and privacy of the whole world.

With everyone knowing what everybody else is doing every minute thus constantly comparing his life to others the fear has taken over everyone’s mind, especially millennials. (Keep reading on and check numbers below 👇)

But, how does this psychological feeling relate to online marketing and eCommerce? 🤔

Read below 🔽

The Connection Between FOMO and eCommerce

If we degrade eCommerce from its outer meaning, it’ll mean selling to human beings products they might not really need through digital channels.

That being said, these human beings make most of their purchasing decisions based on how they feel, not based on what they actually need. That’s why taking advantage of how these human beings feel can uplift our eCommerce revenue by miles.

The state of fear of missing out or FOMO is one of those aspects that brands use in marketing and promotion strategies, by arousing the fear of missing out among consumers and then persuading them to take action.

Perhaps the meaning isn’t clear to you yet, read these messages with me as if they were sent to you personally as a consumer…

  • “This offer ends today!”
  • “Get our limited time offer with 15% off any purchase!”
  • “Don’t miss the chance and enjoy discounts up to 50%”
  • “Your last chance to get our latest winter offers”
  • “Only today! Free shipping on any of our products”

Did you see what they did here? 🤓

They sparked the need of catching up by telling you that if you don’t take this offer today, you’ll miss out on a huge chance. So even if you didn’t need to buy anything, most likely you’ll click to find out what you’re missing.

Check out how Yashry took advantage of the fear of missing out in this pop-up to get email signups:

FOMO strategy
Yashry plays on the FOMO factor to get signups

Tell me what would you feel if this email was sent to you from a company you recently signed for their email newsletter?

70% chance you’ll feel FOMO and will consider purchasing before the offer runs out.

I mean, it’s something you signed for, so you must be interested in the service or products they offer, right?

Whether your business is a retail store or an online store, sure you have basic goals that you strive to achieve for the sake of your business success, and one of the most important of these goals is to attract more customers and increase sales.

One of the effective ways to help achieve these goals is through “the fear of missing out” or FOMO marketing strategy.

Fear of losing an opportunity or an exclusive deal will persuade many customers to take the offer and seize it before it ends and miss the chance which drives us back to the meaning of FOMO.

This psychological ploy is a great opportunity that leads and affects the purchasing behavior of online shoppers, which explains the link between FOMO and e-commerce. It’s used to induce the consumer to buy the products or services that your brand offers.

By using many effective marketing strategies and techniques, which imply the “Do not miss this opportunity, it will not last forever.” message.

Now, do you think that e-commerce can benefit from this emotional state to attract online shoppers?

In fact, the statistics, reports, and studies that online marketing and eCommerce experts have reached about the importance of using the fear of missing out will help us answer this question in increasing the revenue of online stores

“Fear of Missing Out” Statistics 📈

Many psychologists have classified the fear of missing out as an epidemic rather than a temporary emotional or psychological state, and the reason for this was the development of the social life of the individual today in the world of social media.

Let’s see below more prominent statistics about fear of missing out or FOMO to further explain the importance of using this case in the marketing strategy of your business.

  • Nearly 7 in 10 (69%) of millennials experience FOMO (more than any age group)
  • According to a report released by Strategy Online, more than 60% of millennial shoppers made interactive purchases with FOMO marketing campaigns.
  • According to a survey, there are 45% of the total number of social media users of all ages cannot spend more than 12 hours without verifying their personal accounts through various social media platforms.
  • As for the millennial generation, 20% of the total millennial online users cannot spend less than one hour without checking their phones and personal accounts through social media.
  • According to another survey, 60% of people said they made purchases due to exclusive offers and discounts for fear of losing the opportunity more than their need to own such products.
  • 69% of millennial shoppers buy clothes for many reasons other than the necessity of their need for these clothes, reasons such as seeing an influencer or a celebrity wearing them.

⚠️ 27% of all social media users go to browse their accounts as soon as they wake up for fear of missing out on something during their sleep period. 

So, after understanding today’s shopper behavior through these numbers, how can you use FOMO to drive sales for your online store?

Below we will cover the most prominent strategies and effective marketing methods using fear of missing out to help you choose the right and appropriate strategy for your business and your customers.

5 Marketing Tactics to Use FOMO in Your eCommerce Store

As we explained above, creating a state of fear of missing out, the customer must then feel that there is something very valuable that he will miss. Marketers agreed that the strategies of offers and discounts are among the most effective strategies.

Therefore, the methods and strategies will vary between this concept, (which is to provide amazing discounts and offers), but with a technique that helps create a FOMO status for the customer.

Below we have compiled the most effective methods of the kind to help you implement the FOMO strategy in attracting potential customers and profits for your brand.

Let’s get to know these methods with examples:

1. Introduce Limited Time Offers

Urgency is one of the most amazing and fast-acting techniques in intensifying the fear of missing out, realizing that this offer will soon expire will be a powerful incentive for them to complete the purchase immediately.

Therefore, you must present offers that end within a specific period of time to trigger “FOMO” in your customers’ subconscious and encourage them to complete the purchases immediately before they expire.

💡 Example

In the below promotional email, WordPress was keen to specify a period of time to use this coupon and enjoy a 40% discount, and thus customers will rush to purchase before the specified time counter expires.

fomo in marketing and ecommerce
Limited time offer with a time counter

💡 ExpandCart Advice

Stick to the time period you’ve set for your customers, and don’t try to delay the expiry date because then your customers will discover that you’ve cheated them which will negatively affect the authenticity and reputation of your future offers.

2. Display the Stock Status of Products

Another effective way to reinforce the fear of missing out in customers online shoppers is to view the stock status of products, i.e. display the exact number remaining from the product that the customer has chosen, and let him know that he is about to run out and may not find it again.

Thus, the customer finds a strong incentive to buy the product now instead of waiting and wasting the opportunity to own it.

أبرز استراتيجيات التسويق باستخدام الخوف من الفوات

Example 🏇

The previous image is from the online store “NAS”, which displays distinctive clothing pieces with wonderful Arabic phrases and quotes.

As shown through the product page, the number of remaining pieces of the same product is to motivate customers to hurry up and finish the purchase immediately.

For that purpose, Expandcart provides “SKU”: an application that allows all our merchants to display the stock status of their products on their online stores along with other product options like color, type, and size.

Transfer your store for free to ExpandCart and enjoy the latest eCommerce solutions and apps
in addition to applying SKU to display stock status.

3. Offering a Discount for First Time Shoppers

One of the most successful ways to stimulate fear of missing out is the strategy of offering a discount specifically targeted to a specific number of customers.

💡 For Example

You can offer a special discount or an extra gift to any order made by the first 100 customers on Mother’s Day, Thanksgiving or Christmas.

As long as you keep it specific, imply the feeling of superiority, and put it within a time limit, you’re doing it well.

Or, as shown in the below example from PUMA ⤵️, you can offer a 10% discount to customers once they sign up.

This way, you’ll achieve more than one marketing goal easily. 👌🏽

كيف يمكن استخدام الخوف من الفوات في زيادة المبيعات؟

By following this strategy, the merchant will succeed in motivating customers and enhancing their purchase motivation, because once they know that this offer is available to a limited number of people, it will push them to make a quick decision to buy to catch up with the offer.

4. Showcase The Demand on The Product

Letting customers know that a lot of other people are interested in a product would amazingly trigger them to take quicker purchasing decisions.

Once they see that other people bought this product, they’ll be prompted to proceed to checkout m immediately.

التسويق باستخدام الخوف من الفوات لزيادة مبيعات متجرك

💡 Example

We can see the number of times the product has been sold is displayed in the above picture.

Such technique motivates the customer and drives his jealousy, given the interest of others and their purchase of this product, meaning that it’s a favorite product of many others.

5. Provide Free Shipping

Numerous reports and statistics showed that free shipping offers attracts more customers and records the highest selling rates for online stores.

📈 Statistic

Every 9 out of 10 shoppers mentioned that free shipping is one of the most important incentives that made them made the purchasing decision.

➕ Electronic stores’ conversion rate increased by up to 30% when there is a free shipping offer.

If free shipping is offered for a specific category or for a limited time, it’ll be considered a strong attraction for customers at a rate greater than providing free shipping in general.


Because it will enhance his feeling of excellence and thus feel afraid of missing out on the benefits that he can enjoy from this distinction.

الشحن المجاني من أبرز الاستراتيجيات التسويقية الفعالة

💡 Example

This cosmetics & beauty products store offers free shipping along with many other discounts to attract more customers and motivate them to catch up with offers and not miss and complete their purchases immediately.

Expand expert advice 👨‍🎓

Don’t just announce offers and discounts through your online store. You should also consider advertising through all of your other marketing channels such as social media, emails, and mobile phone messages.

Back to You

FOMO in marketing is the strategy of sending promotional messages to stimulate the fear of missing out and losing some unique opportunity to increase their chances of making a purchase.

Time is the most important decisive factor in stimulating and stirring up the fear of missing out or FOMO in clients.

So if your offers are not time specified or give any feeling of superiority if your customers take the decision right this moment and stir this feeling of urgency in their hearts, you should rethink your marketing strategy.

Make sure you use the time factor and to push customers to speed up making purchases and thus increase sales in your store.

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