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How Colors Affect Our Purchase Decisions

Dhanashree Patane
Colors have a strong influence on human psychology. It wouldn't be a surprise to say that they also create an impulse to shop! So, how exactly do they lure consumers towards a purchase? Let's find out.

How's That?

Color is the most powerful and influential part of design; however, it is not universal. Colors that influence North Americans are different from those that influence people in India.
On my way home, I stopped by a window that read "big clearance sale!" It was written in big, bright, bold letters in the color red. Within a second, I was drawn to at least getting to know what was inside.
And no, I was not even close to interested in window shopping that day. That was the power of red. It is appealing, calls for action, and sends blood all gushing down in excitement. So in this instance, I am sure if the sign was in a dull gray or blue color, I wouldn't quite notice it, no matter how big and fancy the display!
Colors undoubtedly affect the human eye and mind. Unconsciously, they create an array of emotions. And this visual appeal is what matters the most when it comes to making choices and decisions.
Marketing strategies have thus explored the depths of color psychology. Using the basic science principle that color is the primary need for neurological stimulation, they know exactly how a visitor can be visually influenced towards being a potential consumer.
And all this solely with the right use of colors in their branding, marketing, and advertising. An interesting finding that supports this fact is that color not only affects the mood but it also affects the buying habits and preferences of people.
According to statistics and information by the analytics website -- KISSmetrics, 95% of shoppers considered the appeal and attraction of color more important that other considerable factors, like presentation, smell, sound, and texture when it came to buying.

Colors and their Effect on Consumer Behavior

Visual appeal is the most striking way to connect with consumers, and color undoubtedly plays an important role, or rather, the most persuasive role in it. When asked about the strongest cue to shopping or buying a certain product, consumers mentioned that it was the color that drove them towards the final purchase.
Colors also play an important role in branding, which also affects our shopping choices. According to KISSmetrics, brand recognition increased by 80% with specific preference of colors used in branding. Recognition of brand and popularity directly increases consumers' trust and hence improves sales.

How Each Color Affects a Shopper

Have you ever felt the influence of colors while buying? There may have been instances when a certain place or ad makes you feel energetic, while some make you feel secured and comfortable.
All this can be related to the magic of colors in branding, advertisements, and products. We have an interesting compilation of colors and their effects on a consumer and his purchase decisions. Take a look.


Yellow is a warm and pleasant color. It represents happiness, clarity, warmth, and intelligence. Yellow is also a fast-traveling color for the eye. For shoppers, this color creates an optimistic impression. The impact of this color is such that it makes you take action. With the brightness of this color, it is inviting enough for window shoppers too.
Yellow color grabs the spotlight and attention of buyers. Ever wondered why leading fast food chains and eateries use the color yellow? It is because this color makes you travel fast and take action. That is what fast food outlets want you to do -- grab a bite and move out!
Leading brands using yellow: Yellow Pages, DHL, McDonald's, Subway, Nikon, Hertz, National Geographic Channel


Red is a bold color bursting with energy and enthusiasm. It excites the senses. For an average shopper, this color increases the heart rate and calls for urgent action. So, now we know why most of the signs and other advertising material for sales are always in red.
A surprising fact about using red in advertisements is that, while traditionally red is used as a stop or danger sign, for shoppers, it actually works as an inviting element. Red also creates hunger. Hence, it is used in most food businesses.
Leading brands using red: McDonald's, Kellogg's, Coca-Cola, CNN, Nintendo, Virgin Mobile


Green is an easy color to the eye. It is associated with purity and naturalness. It also symbolizes wealth and money. For a shopper's psychology, this color is relaxing. Often used in health products, green has a calm and soothing effect, thus creating the right and pleasant mindset for people to buy products related to nature, self-care, and the like.
Leading brands using green: Tropicana, Starbucks, bp, John Deere, nVIDIA


Blue color is a soothing shade, and it creates the feelings of trust and security. For a shopper, this color can create an impression like that of a clean or judicial and credible product. Many brands, especially those of banks and businesses, use blue color to draw prospective consumers. Blue also defines purity. Products related to water, like bottled water, use the color blue.
Leading brands using blue: Dell, HP, JPMorgan, Twitter, Facebook, Walmart


Black is a strong color. It defines power and elegance. Products marketed under this color come across as direct, accurate, and also luxurious. Most brands, like luxury cars, high-end products, like those of fashion and cosmetics too use black for increasing sales and brand value.
Leading brands using black: Nike, Vogue, Dolce&Gabbana, Puma


For centuries, pink has always been looked upon as a feminine color. For marketers, this point has earned a lot of success, when it came to branding. Most products for women use the color pink. It comes across as a romantic and warm color for a buyer.
Products, like women's clothing, jewelry, cosmetics, and the like have a prominent use of pink in marketing and advertisements.
Leading brands using pink: Barbie, adidas kids


Orange is a warm yet powerful and fun color. For a buyer, products or advertisements with orange dominance call for action. It can be subscribing, or purchasing. So, when you reach out for a pack of orange detergent, you know it's the color that attracts you first. Most food malls and commercial products use orange to get a good consumer base.
Leading brands using orange: Harley-Davidson, Fanta, JBL, Penguin Books, Nickelodeon, Blogger, Lego


This color creates a sense of luxury and royalty when perceived. Products marketed with purple create prestige and elegance. Shades in purple also denote creativity and imagination. Purple is a color that soothes the eyes too. This makes it suitable to be used in beauty and anti-aging products also.
Leading brands using purple: Yahoo, Sify, Cadbury, Hallmark, Monster
With color psychology making marketing more precise and effective for products, does it affect all consumers universally? Well, no. Stimuli created by color may vary for different reasons, mainly, culture, upbringing, and gender.
It is observed that most women loved shades in green, purple, and blue, while men loved black, blue, and shades of green. Another factor worth noting is that, brands and products marketed in a specific color may attract different or specific type of shoppers. Impulse shoppers get more attracted to products that use red, orange, or yellow shades.
Consumers that come with a specific budget in mind, like at departmental stores and banks, get attracted to shades of blue and green. The next category of shoppers is traditional buyers. People with leisurely shopping in mind get drawn towards products and brands in pink, blue, and soothing colors.
So what's your take on colors influencing your purchases? The next time you go shopping, look carefully. Is it you choosing the product or the color blinding you into it? Happy shopping!