How to Use Color to Subtly Influence Customer Behavior - Social Media Explorer
How to Use Color to Subtly Influence Customer Behavior
How to Use Color to Subtly Influence Customer Behavior

Of all the decisions you’ll make when you set up your eCommercesite, one of the most important is its color scheme. In fact, color choices can be more important than copy, images and even the overall design and layout. Ask any savvy marketing or design expert about it. They’ll lecture you for hours on the importance of using color to influence customer behavior.


Red is typically associated with strong emotions (both love and hate ironically) red increases passion and intensity. When something is really good, it’s said to be red hot. For this reason, the color works really well for ‘call to action’ buttons as it immediately grabs a user’s eye. Think stop signs, traffic signals, and emergency exits. When something is rendered in red, people give it their immediate attention and respond to it accordingly. If you want to get your customers to take note of your clearance items, use red letters when you label them as such.


Blue is associated with peace, tranquility, water and endless possibilities. The blue sky tends to be thought of as being infinite. Blue also promotes trust. This is why you often see it used for hyperlinks on web pages. Its calming effect also tends to promote productivity, which is why it is frequently employed in offices. However, because urgency and blue are not associated with one another, a blue ‘call to action’ button on your ecommerce site is likely to go unused. However, if you want to relax your users and keep them on your site longer, a color scheme incorporating blue will make your store feel more trustworthy and soothing.


Yellow typically represents happiness. It also conveys optimism, youthfulness and clarity. Reflective of a sunny disposition, yellow encourages communication, excites the nervous system and stimulates mental processes. Brands like McDonalds, IKEA, Best Buy and Sprint use yellow in their logos to convey positive energy. However, it is also hard on the eyes. For example, rendering important text in yellow on enterprise ecommerce platforms is a good way to get that copy ignored. People have difficulty focusing on yellow text, particularly against a white background.


Green’s associated with health and tranquility. It is also used to represent nature and has a strong connection to the environmental movement. One of the reasons people find forests so relaxing is the preponderance of green. In marketing, green can be employed to relax customers. The easiest color for the eye to process, green doesn’t tax the mind, so it is also used to combat depression. Shoppers on a budget tend to be attracted to green, as the color is also associated with saving.


In marketing, black exudes sophistication, luxury and affluence. Similarly, black represents elegance and seduction. Because it is so strong, black should be employed selectively and sparingly—often as a counterpoint to one of the more energetic colors such as red. Red and black look good together because they balance one another out. Tuxedoes look best in black, as do cars and evening dresses. When you want to evoke a sensation of elegance and sophistication, black is the best choice.

With this knowledge in hand, it is important to also have a firm grasp upon your target market and the image your products convey. Rather than choosing colors indiscriminately, observe the color schemes regularly found in your niche and employ them accordingly. Paying careful attention to the way you employ color can have a significant impact on your visitor’s attitudes and by extension, your conversion rate.

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About the Author

Annika Bansal
Annika is a Senior Editor at Social Media Explorer. She travels full time and has lived on the road working remotely for over two years. You can check out her Instagram to follow her on the road.

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