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Did you know that an astonishing 85% of North American shoppers place color as a primary reason for purchasing a particular product?

The idea that color can be a powerful sales tool is not new. Surely, you have been approached by a salesperson before who proclaims that the expensive sweater in front of you brings out the beautiful color in your eyes.

Indeed, color has a profound ability to affect purchases, appropriateness, and emotions. A fuchsia suit at a funeral, for example, may not be appropriate, but seeing your sister in a beautiful white dress as she walks down the aisle may bring a joyful tear to your eye.

The Hidden Meanings of Color

So, what color is the most likely to put the most dollars in your pocket? The bad news is that there isn’t a magical color that consistently performs well on all websites. The good news is that there are some rules of thumb that can help you use color to your advantage. For instance, remember the importance of contrast. To get your consumers excited about your content, you have to make sure that it is legible and that your calls to action stand out from the background. Having to similar colors on top of, or next to, each other will not stand out on a page. You must use dissimilar colors, like black and white or blue and orange. Be mindful that certain colors, like green and red, are commonly misperceived by those suffering from color-blindness, so using them as contrasting colors may create a misperception among a sizable amount of your viewers. (Color blindness affects approximately 8% of the male population.)

Aside from triggering particular emotions, colors have the tendency to attract particular types of shoppers. For example, the colors red-orange, black, and royal blue attract impulse shoppers. Colors such as navy and teal attract budget shoppers. “Traditional shoppers” gravitate more towards pink, sky blue, and rose. While the aforementioned “types” of shoppers can be attracted by certain colors, all colors evoke emotions in consumers, whether they are aware of it or not. Using color strategically can help your consumers view your brand as more trustworthy, luxurious, and optimistic. In fact, most North American consumers unknowingly associate these colors with the following:

  • Yellow is associated with optimism and youthfulness
  • Red is associated with energy, urgency, and hunger
  • Blue is associated with trustworthiness and security
  • Green is associated with wealth and serenity
  • Orange is associated with confidence, calls to action, and friendliness
  • Pink is associated with romance and femininity
  • Black is associated with luxury and sophistication
  • Purple is associated with royalty and calmness.

The Full Picture

When considering how color affects conversion rate, keep in mind that color works in conjunction with overall design to help with sales. Eye catching colors won’t save poor design. When 42% of shoppers base their opinion of a website solely on its overall design, it’s worth ensuring that your site’s layout is appealing, easy to navigate, and legible; don’t just rely on great colors to carry your design.

While layout, design, and color are critical to any website’s success, don’t discount the importance of site speed! You may be surprised to learn that 64% of online shoppers did not complete a purchase due to site speed. So if you have a great looking site, a product that consumers find desirable, and a slow site speed, you still will not close a sale.

Lastly, remember that with the rise of inbound marketing, content is king. You must include engaging content and “power words” on your site. Examples of power words are “sale” (which can make a customer 52% more likely to enter an online store) and “guaranteed” (which make consumers 60% more likely to purchase a product).

When you combine fantastic content, amazing site design and layout, and the right colors, your site will surely be a success.