Everybody is selling something. To make customers buy whatever you offer, you must show them how special your items are. But this is easier said than done.

When it comes to e-commerce, customers can’t see or touch the product. It’s even harder in a product list. All they can see is a name and a picture. Specialness becomes a little tough to communicate in such a scenario.

But there are ways. Simple labels on certain products in a list of search results or the category page can go a long way in communicating the very special nature of a product.

Use labels that invoke social proof

Think of a label like “bestseller.” It tells you that lots of people are buying this particular product so it has to be good. It’s a succinct label that carries a tremendous amount of social proof.

“Bestseller” is not the only label that invokes social proof. Labels like “As seen on” and “Award-winning” communicate the same message using very few words and a very small space.

Use labels that induce fear of missing out (FOMO)

Almost gone, only two left, limited edition, low in stock, offer running out, flash sale, etc. These labels induce urgency and tell a customer that if he doesn’t act soon, he’ll miss out on something great. FOMO-inducing phrases are used so much in marketing precisely because they work.

Be careful with your FOMO though. Use it in small doses and avoid it whenever you can. Since so many people overuse FOMO, it may come across as a little scummy. Don’t go around slapping the “Almost gone” label on every item in your store.

Use informative labels

Not all labels need to provoke FOMO or hammer into your customers’ heads just how special your products are. Some are simply informative. Think of labels like “Back in stock” or “New arrival.” While these labels are still aimed at increasing a customer’s interest in the product they’re slapped on, they’re less aggressive.

How to use labels like a pro

  1. Keep them scarce. Not every product can be a bestseller. Only one product per category can be. The same goes for other labels. Don’t slap them on every product. If every product on a list has a label, then the labels cease to be effective. Keep the labels to one or two products per list.
  2. Make the label clickable. This way, if a customer taps on a “New arrival” label, he can see all the newly arrived products on sale.
  3. Keep the label unobtrusive.
  4. Make it possible for your shoppers to filter products by the label.