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Scents, colors and surfaces have indisputable roles in our mood, decision-making and propensity to purchase products.
Brick & mortar stores usually use all of these sensors to manipulate and encourage customers to buy. Meanwhile, ecommerce marketing can rely only on images, colors and convincing copywriting.
Some things about color psychology in marketing you already know, some of them, I hope, you will discover just like I did while writing this article.
There are many studies about the impact of colors on human beings. I’m going to share with you the most valuable resources and analyze three different examples of the role of color in communication.
Never ever underestimate the color of elements in your communication
Research reveals that 93% of customers look at visual appearance when purchasing. Moreover, people make a subconscious assessment about other people or things within 90 seconds of initial viewing and that between 62% and 90% of that assessment is based on color alone (Source: ColorCom.com).
The numbers are huge. This means that understanding color schemes and their influence on your customers is vital.
Color your brand identity according to your mission
Like everything else in this world, your perception of color is relative. It depends on the experience of each human being. However, in most cases, there are messaging patterns in color perception. For example, blue is associated with confidence. It is great for finance but have you seen blue restaurant logos?
Probably not, because different colors initiate the desire to eat – green (healthy food), yellow, red, or black, but not blue.
Perhaps you have already seen the mood color palette when choosing the right solution for your company logo. However, it is worth recalling what mood and message your brand declares to your customers. Look at the illustration below.
Use colors to create the proper mood on your website
Look at the three examples below. What messages of the particular homepages can you read at first sight? What is your first impression?
I will try to describe each of them as I perceive them and I guess the authors also. 🙂 Feel free to comment and give your opinion!
The online store of the famous singer Adam Levine sells young people’s clothing. The logo is minimalistic, and the colors are black&white, which, according to the guide above, means a balance and I would say – style.
The store management has made a decision to change their homepage for Valentine’s Day and make it straight to the point for the target group. “Wow, – I think, – this online store is ready for love, for special Valentine’s deals!”
The shape of hearts, beautiful ladies and a nice burgundy red create a feeling that the shop knows what I am looking for – something youthful, nice to wear on Valentine’s Day.
Keep in mind that the design solution doesn’t have to be attractive and look appropriate for people of all ages or social status. It has to be in the language your target audience understand. I bet the young visitors to this site will appreciate its design for sure!
So I enter the store, get the feeling “how cool is that they know what I’m looking for” and click the call-to-action button which is at the center of my attention. Whether the visitor purchases in your store or not depends on many other factors, but their initial attention has been captured.
What I love about the Adam Levine Collection is its email campaigns. The last one was like a mirror of the Valentine’s homepage. Every time they keep the same style but easily customize the colors of newsletters according to the particular ideas. See the example below.
Find more of Adam Levine newsletters on Pinterest.
4moon boutique is an online store that sells design pieces created by fashion manufacturers and designers. They focus on creative and craft production. Perhaps this is the reason why the website looks so modest and at the same time eye-catching, artistic, and unique. It makes the impression that the brand cares about quality, not quantity.
I would say that the target audience of this store is a fashion lover that lives above average, and values exclusivity, simplicity, and uniqueness.
In this home page, there is no clear call to action buttons. The four equally important categories fill the entire page.
I was wondering what the website would look like if it were colorful. It would look childish whereas now it looks stylish and high-end. Again, my mom would say that it is too black and looks a little bit mournful. Her personal perception says different things about black color because of her environment and experience.
You have to choose who your buying persona is: either younger people with higher incomes and modern attitudes or middle-aged women living in the countryside. You cannot be relevant for both.
The third example is different. This time, the dominant colors are white and yellow (!).
The Monabello online store sells accessories for mobile phones as well as small electronics. Look, so white and pure! The website for me looks positive and clear.
In this example, again (as in the first one), there is a clear focus – YI Action Camera and a bright, well-placed call-to-action button. Speaking about the right color for a CTA button, in one of the articles about colors I found a valuable observation which I think should be shared with you:
“Factors affecting color effectiveness include color contrast and color complementarity.
1) Color contrast. This element is important because if the button color does not get the attention of the potential customer you don’t get the sale/sign-up…
2) Color complementarity. If the only factor in the equation was the color contrast, we would choose the most striking and flamboyant color. But reality tells us that most of the time this is not the right answer. Color contrast must be coherent with the rest of the colors used on your website.
Therefore, use a high contrast color, complementary with your website color chromatic range.” – explains Francisco Moriones, e-commerce expert and the author of CreandoNegocios.com
Returning to Monabello, this brand sends beautiful emails that reflect the initial impression of clearness and professionalism. The image of the recent campaign is below.
Monabello creates and sends email campaigns with Omnisend.
Interesting and in-depth articles as well as infographics about the psychology of colors:
- How Colors Impact What We Purchase [Infographic] by Amanda Sibley at HubSpot
- Logo colors: what’s best for your brand? by Kelly Morr at 99designs.co.uk
- Why All Sale Signs Are Red: The Science of Color in Retail by Humayun Khan at Shopify
- How To Use Color Psychology To Give Your Business An Edge by Amy Morin at Forbes.com
- Which color converts the best? by Ott Niggulis at Conversion XL
- Psychology of Color [Infographic] by First Site Guide
- Complete Guide to eCommerce Photography by Jake Rheude at RedStag Fulfillment
- Infographic Design Guide by Venngage
Also, a cool tool for looking the colors and thematic palettes: Color Adobe.
Even after reading all these articles I realized that there is no unique formula for colors that fits all. You have to test a lot to discover what color works best for your customers. I hope this article will inspire you to experiment more in your websites.