The color scheme you use for your online store can speak volumes about your products and you as a company. They can also affect the way visitors use and shop on your site. When it comes to something as important as making sales, you really want to pick the right colors.
Whether we realize it or not, colors have the power to evoke certain emotions. That is why designers use certain colors for certain projects. So whether you’re launching a brand new ecommerce store, looking to rebrand, or just after some insider tips; you’ve come to the right place.
We all know that there is a certain psychology behind different colors, and that in different cultures they symbolize different things. The same is said for those used in ecommerce website design.
Color is one of the most powerful elements of your design. Before usability, before content, and even before great products; people will see and feel your color scheme. And though not entirely universal in the meanings, it can have a huge impact.
Let’s take a look at some of the main primary and secondary colors. What do they mean to Western web users, and what message are you putting across..:
Red has multiple meanings. It can represent danger, anger, or romance. It is a high energy color that reflects urgency, which is often why it is used to symbolize sales and mark downs. It is bold, brash, and catches the eye.
Good Examples of Red in Use:
URL: Grenson →
URL: Desina →
Orange is another color that can evoke different emotions depending on how it is used. It can be an energetic color, symbolize happiness, or even vitality. Orange is often used to create a ‘Buy it Now’ call to action.
Good Examples of Orange in Use:
URL: Talking Donkeys →
URL: Von Dutch →
Youthful and optimistic, yellow is a color that sometimes doesn’t translate very well on the web. But vibrant tones of this color can make your ecommerce store look fresh and grab your audiences’ attention. The negative connotation of yellow in ecommerce design is that it can sometimes be seen as a deceitful color.
Good Examples of Yellow in Use:
URL: Van Moof →
URL: Style & Conscience →
Green is a color with so many connotations, especially in web design. It can symbolize nature when used for beauty products, or can be a symbol of wealth. It is one of the easiest colors for the eye to process which is perhaps why it is so widely used.
Good Examples of Green in Use:
URL: absinthes.com →
URL: Made in 33 →
Calm and cool, shades of blue are often used to create a sensation of trust and brand loyalty. Many businesses and banks for example, use blue in their web design. In terms of ecommerce, trust is a certainly important; especially as customers are handing over card details.
Good Examples of Blue in Use:
URL: Helvetitee →
URL: Evoke →
Shades of purple are used to reflect different things in design. Purple is often associated with royalty and affluence, so is used by ecommerce stores to look more ‘high brow’. It is also used in the world of retail and beauty to soothe and calm, which is often why it is featured on anti-aging products.
Good Examples of Purple in Use:
URL: My Wine Box →
URL: DeFrae →
Youthful, fun, and exciting; pink can symbolize a whole host of emotions. It is often used in ecommerce stores aimed at young women and mothers. It is romantic and feminine so has a very clear target market in mind.
Good Examples of Pink in Use:
URL: Outdoor Deals →
On to the neural colors now, and white is an interesting choice for an ecommerce store. It reflects purity and cleanliness. Designers talk of using ‘white space’ to enhance their work. This color is fresh, open, ad inviting making it a great choice for an ecommerce website.
Good Examples of White in Use:
URL: S.E.H. Kelly →
URL: 7 Diamonds →
Much like red, black can symbolism a number of things – especially in an ecommerce store. It is often seen as a powerful, strong color; one that is used for luxury products. But on the negative side it can seem void of emotion and even symbolize death. This is perhaps a color you should be using sparingly on your store.
Good Examples of Black in Use:
URL: Cross Fit →
URL: Hiut Denim →
Grey is a neutral color, and one that can seem conservative and formal. Sleek ecommerce stores use this color to show their authority and reflect the high quality of their products. It is mainly used as a background color because it is devoid of any warmth.
Good Examples of Grey in Use:
URL: Hard Graft →
URL: Twelve Saturdays →
Dependable, natural and stable; brown is a color that divides designers. Some see it as a dull color to be avoided, while others will capitalize on the fact it can portray you as wholesome and reliable.
Good Examples of Brown in Use:
URL: Zaramama →
URL: Redington →
Consumer Behavior and Colors
So we know that these colors mean, but what impact can they – and do they – have on consumer behavior?
Depending on your products, and the type of customer you want to attract, it is possible to appeal to these shoppers. And all through the color schemes and variations you employ on your ecommerce website.
For example, you can appeal to impulse shoppers using reds and oranges, royal blues, and blacks. As we have discussed, these colors showcase a sense of urgency and sales.
If you’re looking to target budget shoppers and tap into the current wave of frugal shoppers, green is the color of choice. The ‘color of money’ shows that your store is great value, without scrimping on quality. Dark and navy blues are also used to attract these buyers.
Finally, ‘traditional’ buyers can be targeted with paler and softer color pallets. Sky blues and shades of pink are traditionally used by clothing retailers, as they give a sense of calm and tranquility.
It is surprising how each color can mean something different depending on its context. And that is the important thing to remember.
Your ecommerce store will say different things to different people. How you use the colors, and how you pair them can speak volumes about your company and your products. So next time you visit a website, take a look at its color scheme and see what it’s trying to say.