Color has a larger impact on what people think about a website – and the actions they take once there – than you can imagine. While the majority of website designers consider the colors of a site in terms of how they work together and whether or not they’re appealing, research has shown that 52% of the people surveyed said they would not return to a site for visual and artistic reasons.
Hundreds of books have been written about the psychology of color in buying habits. It’s a subject that has been extensively studied. A significant number of marketing degrees include at least an overview of this topic.
To save you time and the tuition, here some of are the basics of what colors mean, who they might appeal to, and how they should be used.
Color by the Numbers
Some of the following statistics concern the color of individual products; still, they demonstrate the influence color can have in the minds of consumers.
According to a recent KISSmetrics (an internet marketing consultancy) report:
- 93% of consumers place color and appearance above other factors when making a buying decision.
- 85% of shoppers state color as the primary factor in their decision to buy a product.
- Brand recognition, which links directly to consumer confidence, is increased by 80% when the right colors are used.
What Do Different Colors Mean?
Knowing what specific colors mean to people gives you an advantage when designing products, marketing materials and websites. Psychological research has shown that certain colors invoke definite feelings in people.
Here’s a quick key to the hidden messages colors are sending:
Youthful. Optimistic. An attention grabber. Usually not suitable as a background or primary site color.
Energy. Creates urgency. Increases heart rate. Appeals to impulse shoppers.
Creates feelings of trust and security. This is why many banks use it in their logos.
Communicates wealth. Relaxing. Teal can be used to appeal to people on a budget.
Aggressive and excitement. Good for calls to action and impulse buying.
Feminine. Romantic. Used in marketing to women and girls.
Powerful. Sleek. Used for marketing luxury products. Appeals to impulse buyers.
Soothing and calming. Frequently found in anti-aging product ads.
Studies conducted by KISSmetrics confirm that the colors your site visitors see when they arrive at your site, from the overall design to the colors used, makes a difference on whether or not they buy from your site.
Designers: don’t doubt for a minute that the colors you choose in website design (and the design of all marketing materials) are not vital to the success of the business for which it will be used. It’s one of the most important decisions you can make.
Steven, a native of Los Angeles, is an advertising and marketing copywriter with over 20 years of writing experience in a wide range of subjects. He writes for Next Day Flyers, the online printing company offering business cards, brochures, and other custom printed items. An eBay addict, Steven has way too many hobbies and arcane interests – but it all makes good cocktail party conversation.