The Fundamentals of How Colors Influence Buying Decisions


Colors play an important conscious and unconscious role in purchasing decisions.

If you bought a car, the color of it undoubtedly played into your conscious decision-making. The same goes for house buying and interior decorating. The colors inside your house need to complement each other well and create a certain environment and sense of “warmth”.

But perhaps the most common purchases you make are influenced by color. Some studies have shown that snap judgment purchases are influenced by color. One study showed that 62-90% of snap judgments made about products are based on color alone. This effect is limited; obviously you don’t buy a particular brand of toothpaste solely because of its color. But it is not inaccurate to say that these purchases and their equivalent are influenced by colors.

These same color influences also have an impact on the web, even when you’re not shopping. With almost every website you visit (there are some rare exceptions) you see an array of colors. How these colors affect us and our purchasing decisions is the subject of this post and a recent Neil Patel webinar.

How Colors Affect Us

As a human, you can see about 10 million different colors. That’s more than just the blue, red, orange, purple or yellow.

The main thing you need to know is that colors create emotional reactions. Some colors can be pleasant, while others are not so pleasant. There has been research on how specific colors influence emotions. Ideally, you would be using colors that are pleasing to the eye in order to increase conversions. In general, women prefer soft colors, while men prefer bright colors. Color preferences can also vary among age groups.

A study by Rajesh Bagchi from Virginia Tech shows how red and blue background colors on websites and stores influence a consumers willingness to buy. He summarizes his findings in this video:

How Colors Influence Website Conversions

We know that colors influence on purchasing decisions isn’t limited to brick and mortar stores. Many websites have had conversion success changing elements on their website. Much of what you’ll find is anecdotal (“we changed our sign up button color to green and doubled our conversions”) because there is such little empirical evidence to positively correlate any website color change to increased conversions. In general, contrast is key when deciding button color.

If you’re looking for a breakdown on color psychology and how they could increase conversions, you can watch the webinar Neil Patel has recently done:

Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, we will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, we only recommend products or services we believe will add value to our readers.

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