Turning Limited Edition Into Scarcity

When Target® released the news that Lilly Pulitzer® was bringing an exclusive collection to Target stores this spring, shoppers were instantly thrilled and quickly memorized the look book to build their wish lists. The news of this limited-edition spring line was released with plenty of time to build up the anticipation. Complete with TV spots, Target® wasted no time emphasizing the limited-time aspect of this collection. What many shoppers did not notice in their excitement was that, along with being available for a limited time only, this collection would be available only while supplies lasted. So what did that mean for yesterday’s launch day?

At many Target® stores, where lines formed well before the doors opened, the entire Lilly Pulitzer® collection sold out in under ten minutes. This Black Friday-like sale brought out Black Friday-like irritation for shoppers whose disappointment that there was not enough stock in stores or online was loud and clear. The real kicker? Some of those shoppers lucky enough to get their Lilly fix were really just stocking up for resale.

Shortly after the racks were cleared, eBay® collections appeared featuring the Lilly Pulitzer® collection for sale at a markup. Target® announced that the collection was in fact “while supplies last,” making these eBay markups the only way shoppers could get their hands on the exclusive line. How badly do shoppers want the products? One listing for a women’s maxi dress priced at Target for $34 has a minimum bid set for $225. Right or wrong, behavioral economics work, yet again. How has your brand leveraged limited-edition or scarcity to drive shopper engagement?

Photo Source: Target.com