How Do Colors Affect Purchase?

How Do Colors Affect Purchase? For retailers, selling is the art of persuasion. There are many factors that influence how and what consumers buy. A large part of every decision is based on visual cues, and the strongest and most persuasive is color.

Color and Marketing

When marketing new products, it is crucial to consider that consumers place visual appearance and color above other factors when shopping.

  • 1% Sound/Smell
  • 6% Texture
  • 93% Visual Appearance

NOTE: 85% of shoppers place color as a primary reason for why they buy a particular product; 15% other.

Color and Branding

Color increases brand recognition by 80%. Brand recognition directly links to consumer confidence.

Color and North American Consumers

Color is one of the most powerful methods of design. However, it is not entirely universal. Colors that entice in North America are often different from those that entice in India. Below are colors that affect North American online shoppers. Below are colors that affect North American online shoppers.

  • Yellow
    • Optimistic and Youthful
    • Often used to grab attention of window shoppers
  • Red
    • Energy
    • Increases heart rate
    • Creates urgency
    • Often seen in clearance sales
  • Blue
    • Creates the sensation of trust and security
    • Often seen with banks and businesses
  • Green
    • Associated with wealth
    • The easiest color for the eyes to process
    • Used in stores to relax
  • Orange
    • Aggressive
    • Creates a call to action
    • Subscribe, buy, or sell
  • Pink
    • Romantic and feminine
    • Used to market products to women and young girls
  • Black
    • Powerful and sleek
    • Used to market luxury products
  • Purple
    • Used to soothe and calm
    • Often seen in beauty or anti-aging products

 How Do Colors Affect Purchase? Colors and Types of Consumers

Color also has the unique ability to attract specific types of shoppers and change shopping behavior.

  • Impulse Shoppers – Fast Food, Outlet Malls, Clearance Sales

    • Red
    • Orange
    • Black
    • Royal Blue
  • Shoppers on a Budget – Banks, Larger Department Stores
    • Navy Blue
    • Teal
  • Traditional Buyers – Clothing Stores
    • Pink
    • Sky Blue
    • Rose

Other Influences

Color is not the only item that influences consumer behavior. For online shoppers, design, buzz words and convenience affect their need to shop.

Overall Design

For many online shoppers, poor website navigability and poor overall designs are the reasons they choose not to purchase from a particular website.

  • 42% of shoppers base their opinion of a website on overall design alone
  • 52% of shoppers that did not return because of overall aesthetics

The Element of Time

Speed, efficiency and convenience are some of the many reasons shoppers are turning to internet retailers. Having a website that runs even five seconds slower than your competitors could mean a huge economic loss.

  • 64% of online shoppers that did not purchase items because the website was too slow
  • Amazon found that with every 100MS of load time there was a 1% decrease in sales

Power Words

Retailers rely on the ability of words to evoke emotions in consumers. The right “power” word could prompt a consumer to purchase an item at one retail shop over an identical item at another shop.

  • 52% of consumers are more likely to enter a store if there is a sale sign in the window
  • 60% of consumers feel at ease and are more likely to purchase a product that has the word “guaranteed” associated with it

Sources:,, “The Effects of Store Environment On Shopping Behaviors: A Critical Review” by Shun Yin Lam, “The Profit of Color” by Color Marketing Group, “The Psychology of Color in Marketing” by June Campbell, “The Psychology of Web Performance”; KISSmetrics