What Color Changes Can Do For Your Conversions: Myths and Reality

Would you believe it that 85% of shoppers say that color is the primary reason for buying a product? Not only that, but color increases brand recognition by 80%. These are huge numbers, especially considering many online businesses simply choose colors at random, starting at the logo and going to call to action buttons. Similar to selecting your own selling platform, randomness is not exactly the best solution.

It’s important to realize how crucial color is to your ecommerce store, because a small change in one of your color choices could yield you large conversion increases. Plenty of myths are out there about the types of colors you should select, but the reality is that the only way to truly understand which colors work for your business is through testing.

For example, A/B split testing has been known to yield wonderful results in terms of small text changes, color modifications and even that sometimes more steps in the checkout process is a better thing!

There is no secret formula to choosing colors for your online business, but some general rules can apply, so let’s take a look at the starting points for making changes to your colors and for seeing how they can potentially improve your conversions.

Color Improves Recognition for Ads and Promotions

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Magazine readers recognize full color ads 26% more often compared to black and white ads. This proves that when advertising, or choosing between the two options for your online store, it’s best to focus on at least some sort of color to engage people and show them that your content is interesting.

It doesn’t say much about which colors you should use, but we can at least say that you should stray away from images and other content that has dull black and white shades, since it’s not as intriguing for your customers.

Call to Action Color Changes Work Wonders, As Long As You Test

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The call to action button or text is the main funnel for people to click on and navigate to your product and sales pages. Since this is such an important part of your conversions and sales, you should take a hard look into how people are responding to button and link colors. You can even start to discover that the images and text that you utilize for your call to actions have an effect on whether or not customers decide to buy.

As an example, Performable increased conversions by 21% when changing a call to action button from green to red. Now, this doesn’t mean that you should immediately find all your buttons and change them to red.

Quite the opposite actually. In fact, your business may find that the color green is more useful for bringing in sales than red. It all depends on your testing. So, setup an A/B split test and run a few colors for your call to action buttons to see how many clicks come in for each one.

Make Your Links Blue

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Links are rather commonplace when talking about conversions, since you can utilize them to prompt people to click through and buy products. Do you ever wonder why most links online are blue?

Take a look at your current website links and take note of what color they are. If they aren’t blue, you might want to consider changing them to blue and running an A/B test to see if the color modification improves your conversions.

Why is blue such a desirable color for links?

Studies show that both men and women enjoy the color blue at a high rate. In addition, almost everyone can still recognize blue if they have a color deficiency. Other colors like orange, red and purple are more commonly difficult to see for people with color blindness.

Favorite Colors Based on Genre

It’s also worth noting that the different sexes are known to enjoy varying shades of color. Therefore, if you know that the majority of your customer base if female, it’s wise to choose your website colors based on what women enjoy.

Which colors do men and women like most?

  • Women are known to love blue, purple and green
  • Women generally dislike orange, brown and gray
  • Men like blue, green and black
  • Men generally dislike brown, orange and purple

Use Yellow Wisely

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Yellow is a color for warnings. Some people say that it can cause babies to cry, but this is not exactly proven. However, it is shown that yellow can increase anxiety levels, so you obviously don’t want to increase anxiety levels when people are browsing through your site. At least you shouldn’t fill your entire website with instances of yellow. Rather, use yellow when you want to create a hint of anxiety, such as a moment where you’d like to prompt someone to buy because there is a limited time to get a promotion.

Consider Green if You Run an Outdoors or Environmental Website

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Not only does green work well for isolating buttons, but it’s known to represent the outdoors and nature, since most trees and plants are green.

If your business has anything to do with nature, it’s a wise choice to at least test out how the color works for improving conversions. Green is also known to boost creativity, so many companies that sell creative products opt for shades of green.

Black is All About Value and Luxury

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Black is often associated with elegance and luxury, and it does the trick for companies that want to increase conversions with customers who crave a more expensive lifestyle. For example, luxury vehicle, clothing and jewelry manufacturers are known to use large amounts of black to reveal a sense of power and fortune. Don’t forget that men enjoy the color black, so if you’re selling expensive watches for men, consider black as a dominant color on your website.

Most Well-designed Website Use Lots of White

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There isn’t much to say about white except that you should think about using it as much as you can. Some of the most popular websites in the world (think Google) fill their websites with white space, and with good reason. White space puts the focus on what matters most: Conversions. When you clear out the clutter and utilize lots of white space, you move customer eyes to what's most important.

Over to You…

Now that you have an idea of what colors to use to improve conversions, take a look at your ecommerce website to see which colors can be tested and potentially changed. Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Feature image curtsey of Louie Mantia

Catalin Zorzini

I'm a web design blogger and started this project after spending a few weeks struggling to find out which is the best ecommerce platform for myself. Check out my current top 10 ecommerce site builders.