Online shopping is the art of persuasion, it is the art of convincing a visitor that they should part with their hard earned money and purchase what you are selling. We have long known that many factors influence this, including trust, authority, consensus of peers and also appearance of your website. Though a large contributing factor to the art of persuasion and the above facets is colour. Colour has the ability to change your mood, make you feel angry, make you feel motivated and more recently with the use of sophisticated colour psychology – part with your credit card details in eCommerce as a method for increasing conversion.
Why is colour psychology important?
According to KissMetrics, consumers place visual appearance above both texture and sound/smell. This means that the overriding factor of whether a consumer buys your product is whether they connect to your visual. A further 85% of people also place the colour of the visual as the determining factor upon the visual purchase.
How can colour affect whether or not you convert your user? This is the brilliant part. Colours change from culture to culture, though for the sake of discussion, I will ponder colour psychology and its affect on the US, UK and Australia. Here is what KissMetrics have discovered from their research along with some great examples of this in play.
Yellow means optimistic and youthful, often used to grab attention of window shoppers. JB Hi Fi have perfected this colour and its psychology. For online, consider how yellow might be able to draw attention to reduced prices or cut price stock – perhaps you have inventory you wish to clear? Perhaps you have an entry level FMCG product you want the youth market to pick up – the answer is yellow.
Red has been noted to increase your heart rate. It apparently creates a sense of urgency and is often used for emergency/high attention scenarios. A stop sign for instance is one of the deepest reds you will see, largely because you have to either stop – or face the fatal consequences. Use red to elevate peoples sense of urgency. If you have a limited offer and you want to convince your users they have a limited window of opportunity – red is your answer.
Blue is associated with security and trust. Banks, police and security guards tend to dominate this colour. Think of ANZ bank, NSW Police and Chubb Security. All are blue for a reason – whether they know it or not. For eCommerce, consider notifying your potential customer that their custom is securely processed by a major bank, using encrypted SSL technology. I would even put this message in a blue spotlight of predominance on check out pages.
Green is associated with relaxation, naturalness and comfort. It is also meant to refer to money (according to US researchers). We tend to use green as a way to allow people to trust a product and relax after viscously searching the internet. An example includes a user price hunting for white goods, why not use green on your landing page to convince them to slow down, look at your offer and consider it rather than jumping from website to website.
Orange is agressive and screams ‘call to action’. If you want someone to buy, sell or subscribe – tell them to do so with an orange button. There is a reason that Amazon.com – the worlds largest eCommerce website uses orange ‘add to cart’ buttons.
Pink is associated with romance, femininity and is often used to market to young women and girls. I spoke with our creative director about this and he offered an insightful view, that many women/girls often rebel against items over emphasizing pink as a way to move away from stereotypes. So pink is to be used cautiously, if not sparingly.
Black screams luxury. It is powerful, to the point and carries an element of sophistication. If your product is exclusive or you wish to make it appear that way – black can be your answer. Consider Lexus and Mercedes ads, they are nothing but black.
Purple is soothing, calm and often used for marketing beauty products. Launching a cosmetics website? Purple will likely be a predominant colour in your designs.