What's your favorite color? You can tell a lot about a person by their favorite color—and you can also tell a lot about an online store by the colors they use.
What is color psychology
Color psychology is the study and application of using colors to influence decision making, such as improving conversion rate on ecommerce store. A lot of entrepreneurs don't know that the various colors they use on their website can have a significant impact on the mood of their customers.
Getting the right mix of colors can mean the difference between a repeat customer and a fleeting one-time visitor. In marketing, this is called color psychology.
Free Worksheet: Brand Storytelling
Use this handy exercise as a guide to help you craft a compelling brand story and build a loyal audience through the power of storytelling.
Get our free Brand Storytelling Worksheet delivered right to your inbox.
Almost there: please enter your email below to gain instant access.
The psychology of color
According to a study conducted by the Seoul International Color Expo, over 92% of people said that color plays an integral part when purchasing merchandise. Believe it or not, only 6% said that their sense of touch played a major role, whereas smell and hearing amounted to a tiny 1% of people’s votes—unless of course they were buying air freshener or music.
Further research carried out by the Institute for Color Research showed that shoppers subconsciously judge people, the environment, and the product within the first two minutes of the initial viewing. Crucially, 60% to 90% make an assessment that is solely based on color. Therefore, it goes without saying that catching the customer’s eye with an intelligent ecommerce color palette is integral to ecommerce success.
Here is a brief look at eleven widely used colors and the effect they have on online customers:
Brown is a strong and dependable color which is very reassuring to shoppers. It gives off an aura of confidence and, if used in the right amounts, can help convert a potential customer. Above is a free ecommerce template in the Shopify Theme Store—it's called Radiance and is extremely customizable.
Orange radiates ambition and energetic warmth. It also represents passion, originality, and fresh beginnings. Orange paired with cool shades of blue can give off a positive and exciting vibe. Above is a premium template from the Shopify Theme Store—it's called Contrast and is a part of our Square line.
Yellow is a cheerful and playful color that can really grab the customers’ attention. However, it should be used in moderation because an excessive use of yellow can turn customers off. Above is a gorgeous ecommerce template called Flyer and is a part of our Cogify lineup. This premium theme is $150 and is designed by the all-star team at Jeffrey Zeldman's Happy Cog.
Green has a natural and organic aura, which is why it is considered to be very easy on the eye. When shoppers see green, they often relate the color to positivity, relaxation, safety, and harmony. Above is an extremely customizable theme called Adaptable.
Even though pink is usually associated with femininity, it can appeal to males as well since it exudes kindheartedness, romance, and love. Pink has a soothing effect so it can be used to offset more aggressive colors like black, orange and red. Above is a premium ecommerce template called Broadway and is a part of our New York portfolio.
Red taps into the deepest, most primal, emotions of shoppers. Since red is usually associated with love, life, and confidence, it can convert potential buyers into lifelong customers if used correctly. But beware, too much red on a webpage can be visually overwhelming. Above is a popular template called Rustic, and it's apart of our Zenith portfolio.
White exudes purity, wholesomeness, and clarity, and it is essential to most web pages. Always include empty white space around your content so that customers don’t feel boxed in. Above is a free ecommerce template that has all the social media functions you can handle. The template is called Social and can be found in the Shopify Theme Store.
Purple has long been associated with royalty, power, and affluence. Intelligent use of this color can help the customer into making a positive purchase. The template above is called Carleton, and is designed by Pixel Union.
Blue conveys feelings of trust, peace, and productivity. Although blue is one of the most common colors on the web, it should be avoided if your webpage is involved with the hospitality industry, especially with restaurants as blue is said to decrease appetite. Above is another free template from the Shopify Theme Store—it's called Monochrome, and is a deeper grayish blue.
Grey is usually connected with seriousness and a conservative mindset. The right shades of grey can serve as a great backdrop for other more vibrant colors such as orange, red, and royal blue. Above is a theme called Corporate Edge and is a top-level theme with tons of functionality.
Black is associated with strength, power, and dominance. When used in ecommerce, it sends a confident message to potential customers.
Excessive use can give off a bland and gloomy ambiance, so it should be used in moderation, along with other tranquil colors. Above is an awesome free ecommerce template called Faust—it's designed specifically for high-end fashion shops and features all the latest web technologies.
What colors should you be using?
When you're setting up an online store, the color palette you pick has an impact on all the collaterals you create.
From popup templates to product pictures, the theme of product videos, announcement bars and more, the palette you make use of can impact them all and eventually the visual experience you deliver to buyers.
This is why we recommend going through an extensive ecommerce branding exercise to identify who you're targeting and what you want to be perceived as in that target market.
To help you with the same, we have created an extensive guide on how to go about branding your new store with minimal investment - read it here.
Additional resource: How to design an online store logo to nail your branding