What is the best use of colour for your website, online store or blog?
Put a colourful face forward. The visual appearance in your marketing materials can turn on, and even turn off, potential customers or readers. It does not matter if it’s on paper (flyer, newsletter or other advertisement) or online (website, eBay Store, other online shop or blog), it applies to both.
Is it really that important? Well I think it is.
In fact, I’m not alone here, major corporations agree as well. These corporate giants spend billions of dollars on doing colour market research, usually in product or packaging development. Their research has discovered that people do make a subconscious decision about an environment or product within minutes of viewing and between 60% and 90% of that assessment is based on colour alone.
The colours you use
The colours you use may influence whether a potential buyer will remain and continue looking through your site, or leave!
I repeat, may. I have also seen where the use of unusual colours or visual effects by some websites, who to me do everything wrong, yet don’t seem to suffer by doing so. So these theories are not absolute.
For me, if the purposeful use of colour attracts or helps a potential buyer remain on your website, or encourages them to buy, then that is something I take into consideration. I have always believed that although content is extremely important, it is not the only factor.
Consider this. The next time you are at your favorite fast food restaurant, look closely at their use of colour. Do they decorate with reds and oranges? If so, that is because those colours encourage people to eat and leave quickly. And frankly, that is exactly what they want.
Or visit large corporate websites, these guys have spent big dollars on this type of research. Look at eBay, their search pages were previously in a pale yellow, looking for warmth and happiness, and which actually matched their marketing strategy at the time. They now focus on attracting youthful buyers and using clean white backgrounds. And what about General Motors, they often use blue (for trust and reliability) and silver (for prestige).
If you are international or target different markets, keep in mind that different cultures, classes and genders have different attitudes and preferences; so each may have another reaction to what you and I might expect.
Cultural Differences – Colours obtain symbolism through cultural references in the culture you grew up in. Depending upon the culture, colours can have very different meanings and may actually cause problems for your site. For example, in the East, white is the colour of funerals while in the West white is the colour of Weddings. In China, white symbolizes death and in Brazil it’s purple.
Class Differences – Marketing research in the United States has shown that working class people tend to prefer colours that you can name: like blue, red, green, etc. While more highly educated classes tend to prefer colours that are more obscure: like taupe, azure, mauve, etc. This is why Walmart does their store logo in blue.
Gender Differences – In many cultures, men tend to prefer cooler colours (blues and greens) while women tend to prefer warmer colours (reds and oranges).
Location – People from countries with warmer climates generally respond more favorably to warmer colours; where people from countries with cooler climates respond more favorably to cooler colours.
Pick colours for your market
First, make sure you have the right target market.
If you have a website or online store and use colours because they are your favorite colours, then you risk choosing them for the wrong target market. After all, you are trying to attract and sell to potential buyers, not yourself.
We’ve all been subjected to sites with unpleasant colour combinations. I have seen a few that although the colours used may be the owner’s favourite colours, they are either very hard on the eyes (almost blinding) or make the text very difficult to read. You want people to view your website with ease. Remember, it’s easy for your visitors to press the back button.
* IMPORTANT TIP *
Using too many colours, or the wrong combination of colours could alienate or turn off your potential buyers completely.
On average, you should only choose three colours (or shades of those colours) at the most.
Information is based on my personal interpretation of online research compiled from several articles on the internet.
Colours affect shopping habits
Did you know that…
Red, orange, black and royal blue attract impulse buyers
Pink, teal, light blue and navy attract smart budget shoppers