What Your Ecommerce Store Colors Say About You

By: on September 22, 2015 Categories: Blog, e-Commerce

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Color is one of the most powerful elements of your design. Before usability, before interface and content, and even before great products; people will probably see and feel your color scheme. And though not entirely universal in the meanings, it can have a huge impact.


e-Commerce market have used the color psychology in their favor for a long time. For example, fast food chains prefer “appetizing” red, banks prefer “reassuring” green, taxes prefer “passing” yellow etc. This is an effective color strategy used by huge companies in the world. But how can ecommerce business owners apply this strategy in their website?

Firstly its necessary to learn the meaning of every color:

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.

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.

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.

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 that makes it surprising that it is not used more often.

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.

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.

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.

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, and inviting, making it a great choice for an ecommerce website.

Much like red, black can symbolise 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.

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.

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 an ecommerce store as wholesome and reliable.

Consumer Behavior and Colors

So we know what 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 ecommerce color schemes and variations you employ on your 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.

Final Points

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 tell you.

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