The scarcity principle applies to software products

What is scarcity? How can it help you develop a software-based business?

This article is part of a series of articles dedicated to the principles of software psychology.

When was the last time you searched for a product online? Does that increase your desire for the item? Will you be back two days later in a week? Have you subscribed to the "Inventory Return" email notification?

I did it many times.

Do you know what it feels like when there is a shortage of tickets for a particular event, but when you buy them you think that since the tickets are about to be sold out, that must be a good feeling?

If the item is in stock, I will not bother and think "I will buy next week". If there are a lot of unsold tickets for the event, I have to wait until the day to buy them at the entrance.

The sense of rush and urgency we calllack of.

Companies use scarcity to take advantage of this feeling. This feeling is mechanical. It has always been effective, but you can control it when you realize it.

Booking.com added some pop-up windows in the roomLastIn the hotel, show you two other people looking at the same roomright now-Faster!

Amazon says "Do you want to buy tomorrow? Order within 12 minutes". Amazon's daily transactions end at midnight. There are different transactions every day, but every day ends at midnight. Almost all e-commerce sites are crazy on every level, including the size of the clothes.

Auctions (think eBay) are designed around scarcity. A product, many people want it, time is running out, the bid is higher!

Udemy always offers these courses with a 95% discount on the price of 1 day, $9.99 instead of $189.99, but they repeat this promotion approximately once a week (this is very good for our consumers, maybe not Suitable for authors who may never sell at full price. Consumers know this "trick").

how could I know? I have published a course on Udemy, and based on this experience-and also by talking to other authors-realized that people rarely buy it at full price on the site.

You can also use this principle yourself.

Think about ittime.

Parkinson's Lawtell usExtend work to fill the time required to complete.

href="Encyclopedia encyclopedia lists some corollaries of the law:

  • If you wait until the last minute, it only takes one minute to complete
  • Work contract to accommodate the time we provide
  • Ten hours a day, you have time to fall behind your promise, twice as much as five hours a day
  • The time a person must perform is the time required to complete the task.

This is why hackathons are so effective. You have a fixed time, so you can adapt all projects to that time.24 Hours Entrepreneurship ChallengeIs a good example. You have 24 hours to complete your goals.

Time is limited. As time goes by, you will feel more pressure to deliver and you will work harder (and smarter), thus eliminating distractions, delays andYou only do work.

Scarcity is a powerful force. How do you apply it to your business?

The most common situation isemission. You can start a launch that lasts a week or a few days. You will notify your users (hope you have an email list of potential customers or existing customers), and you will receiveDiscounts that continue throughout the launch phase. Once the release phase is over, the price will return to normal.

This makes the urgency of obtaining tighter prices imminent, and discounted prices will only last for a few days (hence scarcity).

The usual practice is to repeat this discount for a limited time from time to time (for example, Black Friday, product anniversary or Christmas). The key is not to do this often, lest people are always waiting for a discount instead of buying at full price.

Another option isdeadlineFor launch. I plan this for the upcoming Node.js course-I did not have a discount, but launched it at full price, and the sale was only open for four days, after which you can no longer buy the course. In this case, the discount is not applicable because it will always be the full price (you can't say a 50% discount, and the sale will close because it doesn't make any sense).

In both cases, in all the case studies I read,first daywithThe last dayIs the person you sell the most. Usually, the first day is for people who are eager to buy from you. The last day is when the principle of scarcity really comes into play.

"Tomorrow I will lose the startup discount" "This is the last day I can buy, and then they will take it from me!".

This is what I discovered in recent years:You can’t just put the product there and wait for the sale to happen. The press conference is the moment when most of your sales will happen. It is important to tryRepeat the launch regularly, What do you do? For example, big releases. Discounts are provided for each release. If you have an app, 1.0 is the best day to sell. The next important day is 1.1. 2.0 may be your best day ever.

Before launch, scarcity can appear in the form of a private beta: enter your email and I will add you to the next batch of registrations. We have a large number of applicants and limited ability.lack of(+Social proof).

My current courses have open and end dates. Release 4 days. You cannot purchase courses outside of this 4-day release period.lack of. Why should I do this? Because when I start the course, I need to be 100% present and make sure that all work goes smoothly in the next few months, let people take the course, use the content and ask me for help and guidance.

Repeat the launch over time. I started the Vue.js course during the summer vacation, and I plan to update it next summer, add more content and restart. This will give me time to expand my email list, establish expectations for the launch, and shine.

Apart from the release, are there any other ideas?

  • Once you have a product that is sold out, you will no longer produce it. Think of boring companies (not) flamethrowers. The quantity is limited to 20.000 and sold out in a very short time. But you are not Elon Musk, so please do according to your scale. For example, for online courses, I have an optional instructional package where I can review the projects and exercises assigned to people. Since this is a time-consuming activity and I have no one else working with me, I have a fixed number of packages for sale, for example 100. Once it’s sold out, you can’t make any more purchases. I make sure that this number is displayed on the landing page and is automatically updated when the sale occurs.
  • Invited only Beta, although it may only apply to products that are lucky and become "viral", please consider the mailbox application.
  • There is a closed registration process. People can't just pay and join. They need to register for a waiting list, which will increase perceived value. I have seen a few examples of them. You need to fill out a form stating why you absolutely need to join, and then wait a few weeks.

No matter what your business model is,Try to think about ways to bake scarce food in a natural way.


More experimental tutorials: