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Product Catalogues Are Fuelling FOMO And Here Is How You Can Make The Most Of It

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When was the last time you bought something because you did not want to miss out on a great deal?

Fear of missing out, a.k.a FOMO is as real as it gets!

Let’s face it, the world is moving fast, and you wouldn't want to be left behind.

A lot of shopping is impulsive in nature. The urge to add something to your shopping cart just because it seems exclusive or comes with a great discount is a classic example of FOMO where people believe they are missing out on positive experience that others might be enjoying. FOMO is a real human psychological condition that has affected shopping behaviour.

If you are in the e-commerce industry, understanding the psychology behind FOMO and implementing a few marketing techniques to tweak your catalogues can be advantageous and result in better sales. With the right messaging and presentation, you can get the customers to believe that they will be left behind or miss out on a special chance if they don’t click buy.

1. Make Informative, Appealing Descriptions for the best Catalogue Shopping Experience

Many times, FOMO is about exclusive ownership.

“An organic, hand-dyed stole woven in the hills of Himachal Pradesh,” will certainly catch the attention of a shopper who loves traditional motifs. Describing the product with more than just the looks – like manufacturing techniques and geographical origins- can make it even more attractive.‘Beats by Dre’ is another perfect example of a product branded as an exclusive association with one of the biggest entertainers in the world. A celebrity connection was too difficult to ignore for many shoppers who bought Beats accessories. Tapping into this urgency and need for exclusive ownership via a catalogue requires a delicate balance.

Firstly, you should draft informative product descriptions that put the spotlight on the USPs. You can fuel the FOMO in your potential customer by creating a unique picture of the product, depending on its origin or make.

In the example above – the ‘hand-dyed’ part implies a distinctive manufacturing method done by an individual, not a machine. In this case, you can also gently use a message that alludes to the limited availability. The product is after all the result of a slow, detailed process exclusive to one city.

When designing a product catalogue, it is imperative that you highlight the special aspects of your product. Why is this product different from the rest? Since you are showcasing multiple products, the catalogue copy should present the virtues of each product, rather than one dominating the piece.

2. Wording your Catalogue - Choose the Right Catch Phrases

You can use certain catch phrases and sentence structures to increase susceptibility to FOMO.

‘Don’t Miss Out!’; ‘Only a Few Items Left!’ are some of the common examples we come across.

It is however recommended that you do not spray them indiscriminately across the catalogue. These phrases, coupled with call-to-actions, should be used with a catchy copy to describe the unique specifics of the product. Selling experiences is the best kind of advertising and if you want to cater to the FOMO in your customers, talk about the experiences around the product. For example, a hat can be described as ‘perfect for a camping trip this autumn’ or a hammer can be the ideal buy for a ‘home woodcraft project with the kids’.

3. Designing a New Catalogue? Get High-quality, Detailed Pictures

High-quality images build a major part of an online- catalogue shopping experience. Grab the attention of the discerning customer with high-resolution, professionally captured pictures to accompany product descriptions.

In a physical store we can touch and feel the products and the longer the time we spend doing that, the stronger is the urge to buy. On a catalogue, the closest you get to do that is by going through the details in the images. Can you zoom in to take a closer look at the fabric or make of the product? Are all the angles covered? What about scale? How large or small is the product?

Let’s take a closer look at how Jabong does it.

quality images for product catalogue and product description

                                                        Source: Jabong.com

There are a total of eight images taken from different angles, extending the in-store feel where customers can scroll, zoom in and zoom out to be able to make an informed decision. The product description on the right of the pane is short, crisp and sums up the different design elements of the garment at the same time.

After looking at the image and reading the description, the mental image it creates is as close as a website can get to replicate you feeling through the fabric and trying it out in the dressing room of a physical store.

4. Catalogue Management During a Sale – How do you Present your Discounts?

You don’t have to be selling exclusive, unique products to be able to leverage the fear of missing out. In the online retail space – price points still rule. Discounts and flash sales are timeless – they encourage the curiosity of the customer by offering an affordable price.

So how do you present discounts without making the brand less exclusive?

A lot of people associate a regular sale with inventory that is being pushed out at the end of a season or even a year. If you want to bring the FOMO element into play, you need to maintain the exclusivity of the product while advertising the discount. Don’t word your message to imply in any way that you are getting rid of inventory. The description should present the product as a fresh or trending item, and the customer can enjoy a special discount by being an early buyer.

These ‘introductory sales’ or ‘introductory offers’ are a favoured method of new brands and are commonly featured in social media. This method also works well with catalogues as it balances exclusivity with an accessible price point.

The discount description should clearly imply a limited time span. The fear of missing out on a good deal is one of the catalysts promoting buying behaviour. ‘Weekend special prices’ or ‘September savings’ is much more subtle and specific than ‘On sale till stocks last’.

5. Make your Product Catalogue More Convincing with Reviews and Peer Data

Reviews and Peer data can be an important addition to your catalogue management. If you visit malls often, you would agree that there is something positive about a vibrant showroom filled with customers. It adds to the allure of the product sold – if people are interested, it must be good. Similarly, people browsing through a website would certainly pay attention if particular products have more views or are already saved in so many carts.

You might like to show your buyers that 830 customers have bought a particular set of headphones, but if you are selling dresses, showing 830 people are interested in a dress, works better since it maintains the exclusivity of the garment.

A rating system or simply put reviews is another important element and it can be easily added to the description or image template. For the person browsing through the website, this adds legitimacy to the claims of the product.

Most of the big websites have a star-rating system in place.

6. A Handy Catalogue Creator Tip – Apply Distinctive Themes to your Catalogues

If you want to know what triggers your customers, you need to be in tune with the latest trends.

FOMO is a social concept, a result of people observing their peers and friends in real life and increasingly, on social media. Your catalogues should reflect these changes and stay fresh because trends change – all the time. FOMO will get triggered if the potential buyer associates the product with a real-life scenario. Therefore catalogues that follow a particular theme will have an impact.

Most website categorisations are based on basic distinctions. Shoes and trousers, watches and cufflinks, they don't necessarily pop up in the same space. An online catalogue creator does not have to follow the site categorisations all the time – how about evening wear themed page that showcases dresses, shoes and formal trousers, the latest collection of watches and classy cufflinks.

We see such mix-and-match lifestyle-aimed catalogue marketing in airline magazines, a perfect example of FOMO marketing, where you can catch the discount only during the flight.

Below are a couple of snapshots from Myntra.

Here is a banner introducing different catalogues, following themes such as ‘nostalgic romance’ and ‘modern minimalism’.

product catalogue content creator for ecommerce website

                                                            Source: Myntra

The second snapshot captures a themed catalogue page – this one is dedicated to Elevated Basics. Aimed at the male demographic, the diverse products complement each other and refer to a particular fashion statement. A user browsing through this list is invited to be part of a larger fashion movement, where one purchase can be related to other suggestions – all in one screen.

Like these shoes? How about these jeans and this slim fit shirt?

online product information management for men’s wear

7. Make a Catalogue with Seasonal Content

Keeping the catalogue fresh is very important. The best e-commerce sites update their images and content to reflect seasons and festivals.

With Diwali round the corner, popular shopping sites revamp their homepages and catalogues with messaging and imagery that reflect the essence of the festival. The same works for other holiday seasons and festivals like Christmas and Valentine’s Day where shopping and gifting is a popular theme.

If you are designing a catalogue for your product, keep a seasonal template ready. The FOMO element here is simple – pick up the product before the season ends. It is important that you highlight products that are relevant to the theme. Just like shops push their jackets and sweaters to the front of the store at the beginning of the winter, an online catalogue needs to employ the same seasonal relevancy.

8. Online Catalogue – Creating More Conversions

As a sales and marketing tool, the knowledge of the users’ behaviour and how to influence them is priceless. On a digital platform, introducing a new catalogue is an opportunity to bring in relevant traffic and create a need for the products showcased. In a competitive landscape, there is no time for trial and error.

Brands, big and small, are increasingly employing the services of expert copywriters and layout designers to design their company catalogue. Express your niches and your highlights in the catalogue market and trigger the responses you want from your site visitors.


Making a sale is about understanding customer behaviour and creating a buying environment that extracts the most positive reactions. Catalogues have been doing just that s – getting a reaction from the buyer by combining attractive images and strategically planned text.

The fear of missing out is a part of consumer habits. Companies that adjust their marketing to invite the customer’s curiosity and dangle the incentive are the ones that reap the most rewards. From your product descriptions and pictures to details like product ratings and discounts, you can add an edge to your catalogue content.

Welcome your website visitors with a well-planned strategy that utilises the FOMO element and watch your conversions increase.

How do you think FOMO is impacting your business?

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