Did you know, that colour can instantly affect your customers’ decisions on whether to buy from you or not? Here’s a fascinating insight into how to use the right colour to attract your type of customer.
What Colours attract Customers to your Website or Store?
Visual presentation in your marketing materials can turn on, or turn off, your potential customers. It does not matter if it's on paper (flyer or newsletter) or online (website or eBay Store).
It is a fact that major corporations spend billions of dollars on doing colour market research, usually in product or packaging development. Research has revealed that people make a subconscious judgment about an environment or product within 90 seconds of initial viewing and that between 62% and 90% of that assessment is based on colour alone.
The Colours You Use
The colours you use will affect whether a potential buyer will continue clicking through your site. Colour also helps to keep these folks involved on your web site (it's not always just about the content) and how long they stay.
Colours also influence how people will respond and behave. For example, as a general rule, a black background on your web site now represents a sex-type web site. It is important that if that isn't your focus, that you don't use a black background.
Let's take a few minutes and play with this concept. The next time you go into a fast-food restaurant, look closely at the colours. Do they decorate with vivid reds and oranges because they encourage diners to eat and leave quickly like many of the fast food establishments. Yes? Well, that is exactly the response they want.
Visit large corporate web sites that have spent funds on this type of research. Look at eBay, their search pages are in a pale yellow, looking for warmth and happiness, which actually matches their current marketing strategies and General Motors uses blue for trust and reliability.
And don't forget that different cultures, classes and genders have different attitudes and preferences thus; they will have another colour reaction.
Cultural Differences - Colours obtain symbolism through cultural references in the culture you grew up in. Depending upon the culture, colours can have very different meanings and actually cause problems for your site. For example, in the East, white is the colour of funerals while in the West white is the colour of Weddings. In China, white symbolizes death and in Brazil, it's purple.
Class Differences - Marketing research in the United States has shown that working class people tend to prefer colours that you can name: like blue, red, green, etc. While more highly educated classes tend to prefer colours that are more obscure: like taupe, azure, mauve, etc. This is why Walmart does their store logo in bright red.
Gender Differences - In many cultures, men tend to prefer cooler colours (blues and greens) while women tend to prefer warmer colours (reds and oranges).
People from warm countries generally respond favourably to warm colours; people from colder climates prefer the cooler colours.
In the US and Canada, green is associated with jealousy or money.
Here are a few other colour references:
Red - (most noticeable) excitement, strength, passion, speed, danger.
Blue - (most popular) trust, reliability, belonging, coolness.
Yellow - warmth, sunshine, cheer, happiness.
Orange - playfulness, warmth, vibrant.
Green - nature, fresh, cool, growth, abundance.
Purple - royal, spirituality, dignity.
Pink - soft, sweet, nurture, security.
White - pure, virginal, clean, youthful, mild.
Black - sophistication, elegant, seductive, mystery, and yes of a sexual nature.
Gold - prestige, expensive, elite.
Silver - prestige, cold, scientific.
This also means that colour affects shopping habits.
Did you know that:
- Red, orange, black and royal blue attract impulse buyers
- Pink, teal, light blue and navy attract smart budget Shopper
- And pink, rose and sky blue attract conformists
Pick your colours for your market
First, make sure you have the right target market.
Young children materials contain large amounts of bright primary colours. These colours will attract the child yet the parents or grandparents will open the wallet.
This means that for the children you would use the primary colours and for the marketing material being read by the grand/parents you would use reds, blues, pinks and yellows for trust, reliability, security, and playful.
If you have a web site or online store and you choose the colours because they are your favourite, then you may have chosen it for the wrong target market.
We've all been subjected to sites with unpleasant colour combinations. I have seen a few that although the colours used may be the owners favourite colours, they are either very hard on the eyes (almost blinding) or make the text very difficult to read. You want people to view your website with ease. Remember, it's easy for your visitors to press the back button.
Using too many colours, or the wrong combination of colours could alienate or turn off your potential buyers completely. On average, you should only choose three colours (or shades of those colours) at the most.
This has been adapted from an article compiled in 2007 by web designer Kathy Story. Kathy can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org