The rise of social media has been an epic phenomenon by itself – both for the good and bad. While it has connected people in hitherto unthinkable ways, it has also resulted in a certain kind of anxiety and negative emotions. This has been witnessed across the world and cultures, an increasing trend particularly with the boom of photo sharing networks, online shopping and related trends. In fact, a term was even coined, going by the abbreviation – FOMO – standing for ‘Fear-Of-Missing-Out’.
Consumers, especially millennials, are prone to experience FOMO – a persistent anxiety mixed with negative feelings of jealousy because they are cut off from so called rewarding and gratifying experiences that others might be enjoying. Whenever one experiences FOMO, they do everything it takes to get/purchase that experience in order to stay connected with the ‘mainstream’. In the event of missing out, this fear can grow into something potentially dangerous such as depression.
In a bid to grow their sales, businesses think of different ways to market their products and services. Sometimes, they have the tendency to overdo it under a deceptive discount veil, in order to keep clear and replenish their inventories. For instance, some big clients that hire a programmer from us to maintain their e-commerce portal, organise massive sale days where dedicated products are sold at deep discounts on selected days with countdowns! It is a perfect recipe for making decisions under pressure or for FOMO. Many a time, those purchases may be irrational on the part of customer, who realises this later and regrets for the same, thereby adding a negative sentiment towards the business. Certainly, businesses do not want to get on the bad side of customers. In this blogpost, we will discuss on how to eliminate the fear factor in FOMO and instead foster and create gentle ‘missing out’ digital experiences.
One of the simple ways to strike balance between generating sales and not contribute to FOMO in customers is by perfecting the art of nudging. What is a nudge? It is a gentle (or in this case professional) push to the customers that they have to purchase their compelling product/service. This can and should be done on a need basis – that is informing customers on the limited availability of that particular purchase which is strictly desirable. It makes for less stressful purchase decisions rather than a hasty, impulsive and later regretful decision. Ultimately, it also exhibits professionalism on the part of the business that cares for its customers. Even simple layout designs like separate pages for offers and wish-list can reduce tension as compared to laying it all out in the homepage itself.
Another positive way to induce just the ‘missing out’ factor is to build upon the rewards/points generated by users. These rewards when accumulated to a certain level, can be spent on future purchases within a cut-off date. Suppose a customer has earned a good number of points from her last vacation booked online and is planning for another upcoming tour. The customer can be reminded on this regard on a periodic basis so that she can encash it when the time comes. Couple this with an attractive deal, then clients got themselves a very satisfactory purchase by a very happy client.
But perhaps the best way to positively market a ‘missing out’ experience is through the referral program from friends, family and colleagues. Even at HireIndianProgrammers, when we take over existing product websites and expand its scope, we check for any referral mechanisms and implement the same, if absent. What do we mean by referral? Crudely put, it is marketing done by customer’s social circle – they recommend using the product through the invite feature (referral) by sharing their experiences. This proves to be beneficial for all stakeholders including the business – by virtue of more sales. Finally, clients can take care not to fall into the pitfall of displaying ‘mainstream’ or ‘gratifying’ media to induce customer purchase. It doesn’t bode well for a healthy customer relationship. Rather, clients can work on displaying natural and real environment images. This reduces the anxiety caused by mismatch of expectation and reality post purchase.