The last time you bought a new phone, chances are your final decision was based on the color. Sure, you considered the functional features such as battery power, camera quality, screen size, and so on. But when that was out of the way, the color most likely determined the specific phone you chose.
Color plays a significant role in the way we make purchase decisions. Both children and adults tend to gravitate toward certain colors. Most people believe that there isn’t conclusive evidence about the persuasive power of color—that it’s based on hunches and anecdotal evidence, but there is comprehensive research that proves otherwise.
In this post, we will be addressing how you can integrate the power of color psychology to yourand drive your ROI, especially in ecommerce websites.
The importance of color in branding
It is almost impossible to discuss consumer behavior without branding. There have been many attempts to categorize consumer responses (feelings or character traits) according to various individual colors—like associating yellow with happiness or red with boldness. The truth, however, is that color is too dependent on personal experience to be completely attributed to specific emotions.
In a study aptly titled the “Impact of Color in Marketing,” researchers discovered that about 90 percent of impulsive buys can be linked to color alone.
In another study titled “The Interactive Effects of Colors the role of color in branding revealed that the relationship between brands and colors hinges on consumer’s perception of which color they believe is appropriate for that particular brand. This means “color fit” is a big piece of what brands use to sell their identity.
Consider McDonald’s use of red and Starbucks use of green. In both situations, these brands use a main color to represent their brand. Red is often associated with appetite, and is perfect as the dominant color for an eatery, while Starbucks is strongly involved in the preservation of the environment and touts its environmentally-friendly activities with green.
In another study, “Exciting Red and Competent Blueit was confirmed that purchasing intent is strongly affected by colors because of the influence they have on consumer’s brand perception. In other words, color impacts the way consumers view a brand’s “personality.” For a brand like Nike which is perceived as sporty and cool, using colors that emphasize these traits will connect strongly with consumers.
Finally, scientists have proven that our brains prefer shortcuts—recognizable patterns that help us make quick decisions regarding a purchase. Color is incredibly important in developing a brand identity—so much so that it has been named the key attribute new brands should consider when . A color associated with positive emotions (especially around a product) will ultimately guide customers in decision making.
Evidence that color matters
When people understand how a brand is trying to position itself, people consider colors that are a fit with those positions to be more appropriate.
According to Kissmetrics, the following statistics reveal how colors affect purchases:
For more on these statistics, please see the full infographics from Kissmetrics.
The psychology of online color marketing
The impact of color is just as influential online as it is in brick and mortar stores. The overall design of your website can win or lose you customers. If a website doesn’t use the right aesthetics and design, it could lose its appeal to the majority of visitors who consider this an important factor in engagement.
How certain colors affect customers:
- Energetic; generates urgency, increases heart-rate, common in clearance sales.
- Related to wealth, health, and freshness. It is the easiest color the eyes can process.
- Assertive, useful in call-to-action; sign up, buy and sell, subscribe.
- Romantic and feminine; valuable for marketing products targeted and girls and young women.
- : Focus and attention; whitespace is used to contrast and emphasize important information on a website.
- : Sleek and powerful; valuable for marketing luxury products or services.
- : Calm and soothing; also associated with wealth and luxury but also represents, fantasy, mystery, wealth, and wisdom.
Enhancing your website and online marketing with the right colors
Now that you have an idea of how color psychology impacts consumer behavior, you can apply the following best practices to improve engagement and ROI (return on investment) on your site.
Color is tricky, but if you use it appropriately, the results can be rewarding.
There are four major principles to consider when planning color usage on your website:
Tips that will improve your conversions
Use blue to build user trust
This principle is mainly used by financial institutions. Your bank probably uses it for its website.
Yellow is for caution
Orange creates a sense of haste or impulse
While primary colors are good for call-to-action signs because they create contrast, orange inspires a sense of urgency to make your visitors act quickly.
There is no universal law when it comes to colors, though there’s plenty of evidence that it matters to your bottom line. Test your hypotheses about which colors will resonate with your audience using A/B testing until you discover what works best for your site.