How Colors affect your Customers Purchase Decisions

colors in marketing

Recent studies have indicated that your use of color might need your attention next. Digital Information World, a website dedicated to understanding how visual presentation impacts consumer habits, noted in a 2013 study that 93% of consumers surveyed indicated that visual appearance is their primary focus when making a purchase.

When using eCommerce as your primary selling platform, it’s therefore extremely important to create visuals that will encourage your customers to buy. But how? And what does each color mean? How can your use of colors affect your customers’ purchase decisions?

How Do Colors Influence Purchases?

Humans perceive colors both physically and emotionally. That means that, while we see the grass is green and the sky is blue, those colors can produce a subconscious emotional response. Seeing green grass after a long winter can bring feelings of joy. A blue sky can make us feel peaceful and contemplative.

landscape - how colors influence people feelings and decisions

Scientists believe that there may be a very deep root to some of these reactions.

Blue, for example, is the color of water, which is an important part of our survival. Red is the color of blood, which can evoke a sense of danger. At the same time, our experiences can shape our reactions to colors.

If you once ate a very sour piece of candy that happened to be yellow, your brain may automatically associate all yellow candy with that very sour experience. You may find yourself salivating, or even feeling some of the sensations you felt at the time.

Many studies have been conducted to help us understand the sensations and emotions that colors can expose, to help us understand how the human brain processes visual cues.

This is helpful information for business owners and marketers, because this information can help us understand how customers react to our products.

What Does Each Color Mean?

Not every customer will react in the same manner to each color, since personal experiences can shape a lot of the emotional value of a color. However, there have been many trends discovered in the studies conducted by scientists and marketers alike.


Red, for example, has been long associated with urgency and danger. Have you ever noticed that a lot of the “Sale!” signs you see at supermarkets or department stores feature the color red? The idea behind this is that you will pick up on the urgency that red portrays, and act quickly to take advantage of the sale immediately. Using red on “buy now!” buttons or ads that encourage users to act now can help drive them to make the purchase without thinking too much about it.

Read also: Call to Action: how to create a high converting CTA


Orange is bright and attention getting without quite the rush of adrenaline as red. Orange is clean and simple, and is attached with positive sensations. Brands that use a significant amount of this color in their marketing tend to inspire openness, activity, and the idea of working towards a goal.


At the opposite side of the color wheel, blue and green have more mellow reactions, yet they can still be very inspiring. Green, for example, is commonly associated with “go”. It is also associated with nature and the environment or creativity. Green is a color that may cause customers to consider things carefully, but at the same time, feel confident when they decide to “go” with it.


Blue is a calm, tranquil color that provides a sense of security. You might have noticed a significant number of banks and finance-related businesses use a lot of blue hues in their marketing strategies. The idea behind this is that the color will make users feel more comfortable in trusting these resources with their hard earned money.


Black is a very powerful color. Not only does the presence of black inspire thoughts of elite or luxurious items, but it can make the other colors used in your campaign stand out even more.

Top end brands tend to use a lot of sleek, black imagery to give their products a more refined appearance in advertisements. Additionally, other colors pop when the negative space surrounding images is black. 

Using Colors Effectively for Marketing

The color scheme of your website, advertising, newsletter, and more is very important to how users perceive your project, and can propel them through your site to learn more, or cause them to close the screen and walk away forever.

website design

When examining your overall online user experience (UX), you probably paid close attention to how the text looked on the screen, to make sure the text wasn’t blinding, or the background color too dark for the text.

The same concept is true when coming up with a color scheme for marketing purposes. Just because shades of red mean “act!” and shades of green mean “go!” doesn’t mean you need to swath your sight in the brightest versions of each.

First, you need to stay on brand. Some brands can get away with brighter colors, while others have existed for decades with a very basic, sedate black logo. Your company’s identity should be apparent in all of your use of color.

Testing Color Combinations

You may also wish to conduct some A/B testing on the matter. What do conversions look like if you make the “Buy Now” button orange versus green? If you change the background on your banner to blue, does buyer activity increase, decrease, or stay the same? These are all small adjustments in the grand scheme of things, but may have a great impact on your customers’ behavior. 

Our visual assessment of the world around us informs a significant part of how we act and react. Whether we know it or not, our behaviors can be altered just from our emotional reaction to a specific color.

When designing a landing page, email, or new product announcement, make sure the colors you’re using reflect how you want customers to react. You very well might see a significant change in conversions!

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