Limited time, limited edition, Limited offer!
Sounds familiar? This is one of the tactics widely used by retailers. Limited time, limited edition, and limited offer are the strategies that retailers banked on the principle of scarcity to influence consumers to make quick and fast purchases. Using the principle of scarcity, the stores advertise to attract shoppers into the store to grab the items before it’s gone.
Let’s look into details how it works. First of all, limited time sets a “deadline” on the consumers’ opportunity to get what the retailers are offering. Consumers would have this mindset of “the-time-is-running-out, better-buy-it-now”! Secondly, limited edition focuses on the retailers informing the consumers that a certain product is in short supply (or rather, only have a limited amount) that cannot be guaranteed to last for long. Again, consumers would have a mindset. This time, the consumers would be thinking about: “they-only-have-this-many, better-buy-it-now”! Lastly, limited offer focuses on the retailers informing the consumers that a certain amount of consumers would get a certain discounted product (eg: first 100 gets xxx at $8 only) or a certain product is on a discounted price for a limited time. And there, consumers would have the similar mindsets as stated in the two above. To sum it all up, what the retailers are trying to convey or rather, trying to persuade the consumers is that we “BETTER BUY IT NOW”! It is to increase the consumers’ competitiveness and to increase their urge to buy the items. And we as the consumers, most of us would act according because we have the fear of not able to get our hands on the cheap and limited product(s).
This reminds me of a time when Singapore had this “Hello Kitty Craze”. Everyone was flocking to get their own limited edition hello kitty collectables.
Obviously the rule of scarcity is at play (although, what can be seen here is also the infamous factor of *kiasu-ness*). Singaporeans would camp out at the Macdonald for a few days in order to get the kitties. And of course, this isn’t the only time. Other various sales or promotions will also lead to such extent of queuing. Even though now, I know that the rule of scarcity is at work, I can never understand such burning passion of getting a certain product. Do you?
*For those who do not know what is kiasu-ness, it refers to the fear of losing*