A huge amount of market research focuses on colour and how it influences people’s purchase decisions. In most cases it is proven to be a massive factor, so when it comes to web design it makes perfect sense to focus on it. With a website, almost all of your strategy for selling your products is going to be focused on visual elements, and you will want to optimise your conversion rate, so an understanding of colour psychology seems essential.
The basic concept revolves around the fact that the brain interprets different colours in particular ways, mostly without even realising consciously what is happening. To supplement your actual marketing message, you can subtly incorporate clever use of colours to help influence users to act in a certain way i.e. encouraging them to go ahead and commit to a purchase. Some of the research so far into colour psychology can be a little vague or subjective, but there are a few general rules that are mostly based on common sense and extensive proof. Plus, you can always conduct research of your own (for example, using A/B testing) and draw your own conclusions about using colour correctly.
Generally, there are a few differences on average between genders, but the most popular colours among all people are blue and green. Blue in particular is considered the most trustworthy colour (although it has poor results when advertising any kind of food). Somewhat predictably, green exhibits the best results when used on websites connected with environmentally friendly or organic products. Meanwhile, brown and orange are the most disliked colours, although orange can have great results when used very sparingly (we will revisit this point in a moment).
As a result, we can look at ecommerce web design with this in mind and perhaps choose a colour scheme that’s likely to be more pleasing to a wider audience. Moving away from conventional notions of gendered colour may be a good idea for boosting your conversion rate, such as using pink purely because your products are aimed at women. Research indicates pink is not a high performing colour when it comes to conversions for women, and especially not for men.
Yellow also has mixed results, as it can be interpreted as a warning sign, but for some people it triggers strong positive associations, all depending on the individual. Black, on the other hand, is associated with luxury and designer items, so if it fits your brand this may be a good choice for your overall colour scheme. It’s a good idea to be careful with dark colours, though, as they may interfere with other elements of your user experience, and as a web designer you must strike a balance to get the best results.
What we do know for sure is that in most cases, using colours sparingly is great for conversions. Having small but crucial buttons such as “Buy now” or “Add to cart” in a colour that stands out from the rest of your colour scheme generally works very well, regardless of the combination of colours used. Green (for positivity) and orange (for urgency) sometimes have particularly good results, but as long as there is a significant contrast there, the results tend to be positive. Your call to action can be any colour as long as it stands out and looks satisfying to click on.