Ecommerce stores make their money when clients hit the checkout or add to cart button. Your job as an eCommerce manager or marketer is to get as many people to click that button as possible. All of your marketing efforts online point back your calls to action on your store. The color of all the call to action buttons is of paramount importance, and in my career I’ve seen plenty of wrong buttons.
The size, shape and positioning of the buttons is important, but the color is influencing shoppers the most. The most effective way to optimize your checkout buttons is by choosing buttons with proper size, placement and color. While size and placement are vital in the conversion process, changing the color of your checkout buttons can be a quick adjustment that drastically impacts conversion rates for your website.
Many best practices when it comes to color selection for ecommerce sites are rooted in science. Color psychology studies reveal that certain colors propagate different feelings in consumers. Are your call to action and checkout buttons pushing the right psychological buttons for your customers? Or are they driving away those valuable clicks? In this post, we’ll explore some common colors for ecommerce buttons, and talk about other ways that you can improve the shopping experience with just a few simple color changes.
Psychologically, there’s no doubt that color can have a profound effect on people.
For instance, the color of a room can affect your mood. Red has been shown to raise blood pressure, increase the speed of respiration and quicken heart rate. Blue, on the other hand, has the opposite effect: it reduces blood pressure, slows down respiration and reduces heart rate.
In one study by researchers at the University of British Columbia, blue was shown to improve creativity, whereas red was shown to increase memory and attention to detail.
Due to these findings, it seems that marketers should be able to use the “psychology of color” to create more persuasive logos and branding materials.
And many marketers have indeed attempted this.
In fact, you’ve probably seen at least one infographic like this before:
The above infographic from The Logo Company attempts to show a clear-cut relationship between color and the psychological impact that color has on how we perceive a brand.
Restaurants, for example, have tried to use the color red in an attempt to stimulate feelings of hunger.
However, many psychological reports on the influence of color have mixed results
For instance, does the color red actually stimulate appetite? The actual studies suggest that red actually inhibits appetite in humans, and it tends to inhibit behavior in general, kind of like a “stop” sign. Red does, however, stimulate feeding in Nile Tilapia fish.
That context only gets more complicated when you look at the cultural meanings associated with color.
Let’s take the colors black and white, for example.
In Western culture, black symbolizes funerals, death, and mourning. White is associated with brides, weddings, and purity.
But in China, it’s quite the opposite: white is the symbol of death and mourning. Black is the color for young boys.
Even when you factor something as arbitrary as gender into the equation, it gets more complex…
In a study by Joe Hallock, men and women were found to favor different colors as follows:
To get the most contrast, pick a complementary color: one that is opposite to your dominant color on the color wheel.
Another high-contrast color is a triadic color: one that is a third of the way around the color wheel from your dominant color.
Your Colors Need to Be Consistent
The other thing marketers know about colors is that we can control the meaning that our users associate with them.
Remember those studies we mentioned earlier? How can the color red have a completely different impact depending on the context? The logical reason is because of the association that is created from that context.
For instance, blue is the most commonly used color for hyperlinks. Therefore, most people associate the color blue with hyperlinks. They know that if the text on a page is blue, you can probably click on it.
The same is true for call-to-action buttons. You don’t have to choose the color blue, but be aware that whatever color you assign to a button is now going to associated with action. Use this to your advantage by consistently using that color for all the calls-to-action on your site.
Don’t confuse your users by using the same color for non-action items, such as headings that aren’t clickable.
Similarly, don’t confuse your users by using a lot of different call-to-action colors on the same page.
So, which color shold I choose for my eCommerce store?
As a generalization, ecommerce sites that sell food should go with a red checkout button. Kids clothes or cutesy items would be safest with a yellow checkout button. Those sites that sell most everything else should be able to stand out with a green or even a blue button.
There is no perfect answer for your website, however. Depending on the psychographics of your target market, layout of your website and brand colors, you’ll have to try a number of color combinations to find the one that will convert highest for you. The answer is different for everyone!
Throughout the whole process of designing your checkout and other call to action buttons, remember that these are some of the most important items you’ll have on your ecommerce site! Your entire site is funneling people in to click these buttons. Follow the guidelines in this article and the suggestions from your company to make them as captivating as possible.
What color do you use on your ecommerce site? Have you tested others to see what kind of results you get? Feel free to leave a comment so we can discuss this interesting topic.