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In the world of e-commerce, which is characterised by constant change and increasingly fierce competition, online shops have to be continuously innovative in order to stand out from the crowd and increase their sales. One such strategy that has become increasingly important in recent years is the so-called trigger strategy, in which artificial scarcity is used as a tool. The goal is to get customers to buy quickly and thus increase sales.

What is the trigger strategy?

The trigger strategy is based on the knowledge that people tend to act faster and more decisively when they feel they are missing out on something or are under time pressure. Artificial scarcity exploits precisely this human reaction by presenting products or services as if they were only available in limited quantity or time. This can be achieved, for example, through countdown timers, limited quantities or exclusive offers.

Forms of artificial scarcity

Artificial scarcity can be used in the online shop in various ways, for example through time-limited offers where a product or service is only offered for a certain period of time or until a fixed date. This can be made clear by a countdown timer on the product page or by the notice "Only X hours left available". Another possibility is quantity-based limitation, where the number of available products is limited and this is indicated by a quantity, such as "Only X pieces left available". Exclusivity can also be used by advertising products as exclusive or limited to give the impression that they are in particularly high demand and could sell out quickly.

Flash sales, i.e. short-term, drastic price reductions that only apply for a limited time or quantity, attract customers' attention and encourage spontaneous purchases. Waiting lists for particularly sought-after products can also arouse customers' interest and give them the feeling that they have to act quickly in order to still get hold of the product.

The trigger strategy is based on various psychological mechanisms, such as loss aversion, social proof, scarcity principle and urgency, which influence customer behaviour. In order to successfully implement the trigger strategy in the online shop, some points should be considered: Authenticity is important to avoid giving customers the feeling of being manipulated. Personalisation helps to adapt the strategy to the individual needs and preferences of the customers. Testing and optimisation are essential to measure the effectiveness of the strategy and achieve the best possible results. Combining it with other marketing methods, such as email campaigns, social media or retargeting, can improve the customer experience and increase sales.


Ultimately, trigger strategy and artificial scarcity can be an effective tool to capture customers' attention and increase their incentive to buy. However, the use of this strategy should be well-considered, as it is important to make it authentic and transparent so as not to jeopardise customer trust. The right balance between incentives and credibility is crucial to positively influence the customer experience and build long-term customer relationships. Through continuous testing and optimisation as well as the combination with other marketing strategies, you can successfully use the trigger strategy in your online shop to increase your sales without putting your customers' trust at risk.

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