Color dramatically influences brand perceptions, regardless of the industry you operate in. As a result, there have been extensive studies on color psychology.
Color psychology refers to the study of colors as they relate to human behavior. The research seeks to understand how colors affect our everyday decisions.
As such, color choices are critical to branding and marketing in eCommerce stores, including dropshipping.
So why is color psychology an essential factor for an online store? What colors work best for your store, and how do you come to those conclusions? This article will answer these questions to help you make the best color choices to guarantee online success.
The importance of color psychology in eCommerce marketing
1. Influences brand choice
Your color choices can determine whether a customer buys from you or your competitor. 85% of customers base their purchase decisions on color.
Colors that evoke positive emotions and relate with the buyer are more likely to entice the customer to shop.
However, those that differ from customer expectations or evoke negative emotions might deter them.
Your brand colors are usually the first thing customers notice when they encounter your brand online. Therefore, it is critical to choose the right colors to appeal to them.
2. Enhances differentiation
Competition is intense online, and your brand imagery plays a vital role in differentiating you. If you choose ordinary and common colors, you blend right in. If you tactfully choose unique and compelling colors, you stand out from the crowd.
Color psychology theories can help you to manipulate your brand colors to stand out from your competitors.
3. Communicates the brand message
Since colors make up a massive part of your branding, it is one of the best ways to communicate your brand message. Getting your brand message across effectively helps to shape consumers’ perceptions.
Additionally, customers form opinions about your brand in less than 2 minutes. So, your brand colors must instantly speak to them.
Therefore, color psychology best practices show you how to communicate your unique brand message through color.
Color meanings for online store brands
Color choice is a critical aspect of your eCommerce marketing. When properly understood, it helps to influence customer perceptions and decisions. That is why it helps to have the basic knowledge of different colors and their perceptions.
Red is considered an intense color in psychology. It often signals action, danger, energy, power, passion, and a range of other strong emotions, both positive and negative.
Lighter shades of red are associated with urgency and excitement. That is why many major brands like Coca-Cola, Youtube, Netflix, etc., use it.
On the other hand, darker shades of red exude more negative vibes and danger, so you want to use them sparingly.
Since it stands out, many brands use red for calls to action.
The color blue often has a calming effect. It gives off a serene, relaxing vibe and is often associated with strength, security, and trust.
However, the blue effect varies with the shade.
Blue in lighter shades gives a sense of assurance. It is the most widely used color in e-commerce stores and financial companies. Even major social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter use blue, which offers assurance as trustworthy platforms.
On the other hand, darker shades of blue carry a coldness and lack of emotion, which you must be wary of. As a result, blue may not be the best choice for hospitality brands or food brands.
Green is easy on the eye and primarily associated with nature. It often portrays relaxation, responsibility, harmony, quality, peace, and safety.
For this reason, it is common in the health, fitness, and outdoor industries. Depending on your industry, green is a great color to portray positive emotions to your audience.
In some cases, money-related industries also use green because some shades produce peace and safety feelings.
However, use darker shades of green with caution as they can easily come off as boring.
Yellow is a bright color that often represents positivity, happiness and optimism, freedom, and fun.
The color is common in online selling and often makes for a cheerful website or brand. Even a small dash of yellow can make all the difference in adding positivity to your brand image online.
Since yellow is so bright, it draws a lot of attention and can have profound effects on your overall brand image.
However, in online stores, yellow is often associated with sales and cheap stuff. The theory is evident with brands associated with good deals and value like IKEA, MacDonald’s, Lays, etc.
Therefore, this notion makes yellow a poor choice if you intend to sell something exclusive or high end.
Orange is often associated with excitement, enthusiasm, success, energy. Online, orange adds a warm and fun feel to a brand.
It is a go-to color for marketers because it brings a blend of fun and attraction without being as commanding as red.
When paired with the right colors, orange is quite an exciting color to incorporate into your image. No wonder brands like Nickolodeon, Fanta, and JBL use it to demonstrate their message of “fun” and freedom. Use orange for your online store if this is the feel you are going for.
Like yellow, orange may also relate to bargains and deals, so it may not work best for high-end offerings.
Pink is widely considered to be feminine. It often portrays beauty, sincerity, romance, playfulness, etc. For this reason, pink is the color of choice for most fashion, cosmetics, and accessories brands. Brands in other industries use pink to attract attention because of its colorful and playful nature.
The lightness also has a soothing effect and often works with other aggressive colors to create a healthy blend of color. For example, Victoria’s secret uses pink and black for their marketing messages.
Grey is a common choice for brands that prefer to keep it simple and conservative. It is widely associated with seriousness and neutrality.
Since it is a middle ground between white and black, it can appeal to wider audiences.
However, you should use it sparingly and in appropriate shades. Grey draws a thin line between simple, elegant, and downright dull. Grey is, therefore, usually a great option to have as a backdrop to other bright colors.
Black is a popular color in eCommerce, often symbolizing mystery, elegance, sophistication, formality, power, and professionalism.
Due to these attributes, it is common in luxury products and services. It sends a message of confidence and high quality to potential customers.
However, black can quickly come off as gloomy, sad, and evil when misused. Branding experts, therefore, recommend using black along with other lighter colors.
White is all about simplicity, purity, innocence, humility, goodness, etc. When used online for a brand, it gives off a modern, sleek, and clean design.
It is very similar to black in illustrating elegance and simplicity but in a more subtle way. White is the most widely used color on eCommerce stores and often as a backdrop to other colors, background for images, text, among others.
White is also tricky to execute when used as the main color. With white, it is easy to come off looking plain and lazy. However, it has a powerful effect when used well and can attract audiences without looking cheap like yellow.
How to choose the right colors for your online store
Understanding how different colors can affect your online store’s perception, you must choose which colors to use. Some of the factors you can consider when choosing colors for your eCommerce store include:
Your audience is the number 1 factor to determine your color choices. Perceptions vary among different people. What a color means to one user might be different from another.
Therefore, you shouldn’t choose colors based on generic ideas, but based on an understanding of your ideal customer too.
Gender plays a significant role in influencing color perceptions. Research shows that women like softer colors like blue, purple, and pink while men like black, blue, and green.
Therefore, the colors that you choose should depend on whether your brand is targeting men or women.
Colors have different meanings in different parts of the world. You must keep this in mind as you make color choices for your brand.
For example, white is a bright color that exudes elegance and peace, but it is a color of death and mourning in parts of Asia. Likewise, black often draws negative sentiments in parts of Africa.
You, therefore, need to research the color sentiments in the region you intend to target. That way, you can avoid the effects of using offensive colors for your brand.
Your ideal customers’ age group is also an important factor. Even within the same industry, customer color preferences can vary with age.
For instance, a brand selling apparel to an 18-25 age group may require a different color scheme that one selling to a 45-65 age group.
It helps to keep an eye on what the other players in your industry are working with. Adopting similar colors to your competitors helps with easy identification within an industry. However, if you choose a different color from other players, it can help you stand out.
Remember that customers often develop expectations for brands within an industry—for example, red for fast food, green for health and eco products, etc. You may choose to match customer expectations or go against it. Either way, your brand must be in a position to attract customer trust and purchases.
Key considerations in choosing colors
The 60-30-10 rule
Best practices suggest using contrasting colors to create a more substantial effect. The 60-30-10 rule is one way you can apply this. The rule states that a dominant color in your color palette should accommodate 60%, a secondary color 30%, and the third color as an accent, 10%.
The rule is predominantly used in interior design but works for websites too. It provides the much-needed color balance.
Test color choices
You may not always be accurate on the right colors to apply. Furthermore, consumers may sometimes display different reactions to colors than we thought.
It helps to test your color choices and decide based on data. You can conduct testing surveys, use A/B testing, etc., to understand consumer preferences.
Color is a powerful communication tool for your online store. Your choices determine brand perceptions and could even influence your sales.
Extensive research has shown different color associations that you can use to make your color choices. However, it is dangerous to rely on generic characteristics without applying context because color perceptions vary with audience and cultures.
Consider colors that best represent your brand, resonate with potential customers and industry, and drive action on your store.
Want to learn more about marketing strategies for your ecommerce or dropshipping store, check out the Wholesale2B blog.