Color plays a significant role in our lives - from affecting our mood, choices, and state of mind. It is also an integral part of digital signage, as color influences customer's decision making and purchasing habits.
A study conducted by the Institute for Color Research proves that most consumers make an assessment of the product, location, website, etc. based on color.
Thus, using the right colors and combinations can mean a difference between a one-time visitor and a repeat customer. Aside from attracting customer's eyes, color can significantly increase brand recognition. But not just any color will do. Understanding the psychology behind colors, how colors affect people, and how consumers react are vital aspects to be considered.
Role of Culture and Context
There is a certain psychology behind colors, but it is not an exact science. It depends on two factors - the consumer's culture and the context to which is it presented.
Colors can symbolize contradicting things for different cultures. Take for example the color yellow. It signifies courage for the Japanese culture, but it is associated with cowardice in the Western culture. The color yellow is sacred for the Hindus, but it is attributed to jealousy in France and sadness in Greece.
Here's another example - people from northern countries respond favorably to cool colors while those from the tropics prefer warmer ones.
Context provides additional meaning to colors. For instance, yellow is used to indicate caution, thus, it is used in warning signs and traffic lights. In this context, yellow can be associated with danger and caution, rather than cowardice.
Warm and Cool Colors
Colors are classified as warm and cool, where each temperature range has a psychology of its own.
• Warm Colors: Red, Orange, and Yellow. These evoke feelings of excitement and energy.
• Cool Colors: Blue, Green, and Purple. These give feelings of calmness and possibly melancholy.
When it comes to digital signage, understanding how to use the psychology behind colors can work to your advantage. Given the right context and color combinations, an e-commerce message can convey an emotional response.
Colors and Their Attributes
Colors play a pivotal role on whether a customer will do business with you. It defines the personality of your company and directs the people's eye to areas in your store or website that need to be emphasized. Using certain colors can prompt visitors to browse your website, click on the call-to-action button, or make a purchase.
One critical aspect in figuring out how to use colors in your e-commerce strategy is to understand the various meanings of each color.
What do colors mean and what are the messages they bring across?
Red: Love, life, confidence, excitement, energy, passion, aggression, strength
Red taps into the deepest emotions of shoppers. This is one reason that red is used in the context of Valentine's Day and Christmas Day, as the color is associated with love and passion. This is the best color in promoting sales events, discounts, markdowns, and every time you need to create a sense of urgency.
Use this correctly to direct attention and to convert potential buyers into long-term customers.
Orange: Optimism, joy, ambition, energy, warmth, enthusiasm
Orange is friendlier than red and stronger than yellow. It also signifies originality, fresh beginnings, and positive excitement. Pair orange with blue to give off a positive and exciting vibe. These two colors combined are known as complimentary colors.
Orange is best used to add engagement to a site and in creating a "Buy it Now" call to action. Alternatively, to create excitement or adventure when combined with blue.
Yellow: Hope, cheerfulness, happiness, optimism, energy
Yellow is a playful and youthful color but is often associated with caution. This tends to grab customers attention which is best in areas where you want customers to explore. Use it to give life to your site and keep your offerings fresh.
Use this in moderation as some perceive it as a deceitful color and too much can turn customers off and strain the eye.
Blue: Trust, integrity, security, calmness, intelligence
Blue conveys feelings of peace, trust, and loyalty. Most financial institutions use this color in their website and marketing campaigns as this signifies a safe environment for conducting business.
The hues are to be considered as well. The lighter shade is friendlier while darker shades of blue denote more sense of security.
Though, the hospitality industry and restaurant businesses should not use this as a prominent color as it tends to decrease one's appetite when used in restaurant menus, logos, signage, etc.
Green: Nature, growth, life, wealth
Green has a natural aura and is closely tied to nature and the environment. It is the easiest color on the eyes as it denotes a relaxing feeling, safety, harmony and positivity. The shade of mint can also be associated with wealth.
This is popular with environmentally-focused businesses and organic products. Putting this color on your e-commerce site will lengthen the stay of your visitors.
Pink: Romance, femininity, gentleness
Pink has a soft and soothing effect that can be used to offset bolder colors such as black, red and orange. Since it is romantic and feminine, pink is the way to go for e-commerce stores targeting girls, young women, and mothers.
It can also appeal to men since it exudes kind-heartedness, calmness, romance, and love.
Purple: Royalty, luxury, mystery, wisdom, status, dignity
Purple is usually associated with power and affluence. Using this color intelligently can help customers make a definite purchase. It is best for online stores offering high-end products or services and those marketing to older consumers. Since it is also soothing and calming, it is prominent in retail and beauty shops, particularly those catering to anti-aging products.
White: Purity, cleanliness, clarity
White has a connection to purity and cleanliness. As it exudes a sense of wholesomeness and clarity, adding "white space” around your content and in your website is essential as it can make your space more open and inviting so that customers will not feel "boxed in."
Black: Power, strength, prestige, luxury, elegance
Black is often associated with dominance and luxury. Using black in e-commerce sends a strong, confident message to customers. However, be weary of using black or dark backgrounds.
This color works best in combination with other colors. For instance, luxury products can add gold and silver. Think of credit card companies who offer black cards as their most prestigious credit card.
However, excessive use can seem void of emotion, give off a gloomy ambiance or even symbolize death, so use it sparingly.
Grey: Authority, seriousness, and conservative mindset
Grey is commonly used as a background color since it is devoid of any warmth. Using the right shade of gray will be great to compliment vibrant colors such as royal blue and orange.
Though, some e-commerce stores use this color to reflect the high quality of their offerings.
Grey is a very neutral color and can often be used to make user-interfaces seem professional.
Gold: Wealth, prestige, energy
Gold is often used to emphasize luxuriousness of a product, and bring excitement.
Silver: Prestige, excitement
Silver has a lower luster than gold. It is often used to add highlight.
Influence of Colors for Best Viewer Impact
Each color and color combination has a subconscious meaning to the viewer. Consider their application in your website and your brand. Choose the best combinations for creating your website and marketing campaigns based on the color theories outlined above.
The right color selection depends on the interests of your business, your products, and your target customers. Also understand their behavior and lifestyle. For instance, use green for frugal shoppers and softer palettes for traditional buyers.
How you use colors speaks volumes about your business and your products. Consciously and consistently using color psychology will result in greater impressions, increased website readership, stronger brand identity and boosted sales.
The perfect color blend is out there for your brand, and you simply have to understand and discover it.