By Kayla Matthews

There’s a clever expression found among chefs: “We eat with our eyes.” Satisfaction with our meal begins at the moment of presentation.

While preparing a meal and preparing a website are two different things, each appeals first to our sense of sight, especially color. We’re more likely to give something our attention if we like how it looks.

How Color Affects Us

Different colors stimulate different parts of the brain and cause us to feel a certain way. While some create feelings of happiness or melancholy, others go so far as to increase or lower our pulse rate. Take a look at what each color means specifically:

Red:  energy, passion, intensity

Orange:  happiness, liveliness, encouragement

Yellow:  playful, attention-grabbing, cheerful

Green:  harmony, nature, safety

Blue:  calm, trust, intelligence

Purple:  creativity, royalty, magnificence

Black:  class, formality, power

White:  purity, neutrality, cleanliness

Now that you know what each color does to your viewers, think about which ones would interest them in your website. Remember, too much color is distracting and confusing, but with the right combination, you can send out a specific message. Let’s take a look at how to vamp up your ecommerce site with the colors.

Two Factors to Remember

If you’re searching for the perfect colors to create certain emotions and lend your website a sense of credibility, examine these two areas:

Your Audience

Your viewers are the most important thing to your company. They’re the ones browsing your site and showing interest in your product. It’s important to please them by designing a site that pleases their senses, so you should consider which colors they’ll find striking or off-putting.

For example, an insurance company might use blue, green, or white to show they are trustworthy and intellectual. A daycare could use orange, yellow, or purple to give a sense of creativity and fun. Also think about age, ethnicity, and the values of your intended audience. You may not want to include loud colors if they’re primarily conservative.

Choosing the proper combination also influences site navigation. Contrasting colors allow faster browsing, and it’s better on the eyes to read dark text against a light background. When looking for information, most people want to get in and out, and the right colors will make this process easier.

Your Image

Your website is part of your brand. Large companies, like Facebook and Coca-Cola, have used the same color scheme for years. Their brands are recognizable primarily by their colors.

Think about the core values of your company. What do you want people to feel when they see your website or logo? What can they always count on you to be? Coca-Cola is a beloved, world-famous drink. Its red and white color scheme is exciting and empowering.

Leave an emotional impression on your audience by choosing colors that inspire the best adjectives for your company, whether that’s trustworthy, elegant or happy.

Analyzing an Example

Let’s look at a sample website that does a good job of attracting the intended audience through color. The main page of CJ Pony Parts, a Mustang retailer, uses a black, red and light blue color scheme. This is appropriate since their audience is likely male.

Black as a main color gives a sleek, sophisticated look – the same look you would expect from an actual Mustang’s interior. Light blue appeals mostly to males and signifies intelligence and security. Customers will feel like they can depend on this company.

color psychology

A touch of bright red adds energy and power to the site, but it doesn’t overwhelm nor take away from the formalities of the other colors. Black, blue and red are also popular choices for Mustangs, which shows the designers know their merchandise and their audience.

color psychology

Even the smallest details can make a difference. Orange evokes a sense of urgency or encouragement and is used for the search button, phone number, and shopping cart – all things they’d want viewers to explore.

The word “online” in the phrase at the top, “Live Support Online,” is green. Green means safe, and this lets viewers know they’re entering a safe environment should they choose to accept online help.

Your Color Choices Can Increase Sales

When a chef wants customers to try the food, he/she presents a colorful, well organized plate, enticing them to take the first bite.

Persuade viewers to take a bite of your service or product by indulging their sense of sight. Know your audience and your image, and then choose the colors that will not only capture their attention but evoke strong emotional responses that encourage them to return.