The cosmetics of profitable ecommerce

By Deanna Utroske

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Color

The cosmetics of profitable ecommerce
Incorporating this season’s trending eye shadow shades into a website design will likely loose you customers, while having data on how color affects online consumer behavior helps brands and designers build inspiring sites.

QuickSprout, an online marketing consultancy, explains that small details persuade consumers “to either purchase or walk away,”​ and that “color accounts for 85% of the reason why [someone] purchased a specific product.”

It’s that premise which spurred the consultancy and numerous other research groups to conduct studies into the phycology of color schemes in the hope of sorting out what shades result in the best conversion rates.

“When it comes to color combinations, the possibilities are infinite, [and] it is almost impossible to test all color combinations,”​ admits Michael Georgiou in his exploration of color and conversion rates for Business2Community. So starting with information on what colors resonate with which shoppers can lead to smarter site designs and more sales.

She prefers

Consumers have spoken up, and most brands understand that using pink for women and blue for men doesn’t work best. “Although [pink] suggests femininity, it is not really appealing to most women,” ​explains Georgiou. 

He points to a University of Maryland study that reveals blue is well loved by both women and men. Indeed, 35% of women prefer blue, 23% purple and 14% green.

Some colors are commonly unpopular and maybe worth avoiding: The U of M study notes that orange and brown are disliked by both women and men and that women also have an aversion to gray. 

These findings are reflected on successful sites. “L’Oreal’s website uses black and white primarily with a purple overlay,” ​observes Georgiou. “In other e-Commerce sites that primarily cater to women customers such as Milani Cosmetics…you will find no trace of orange, brown or gray on the homepage.”

He advises brands that are building sites for women to use blue, purple, and green “to improve your site’s appeal to your female visitors, which in turn, is likely to improve conversion rate.”​ 

Subtlety counts

More nuanced details of color and design impact conversion rates too, e.g. value, contrast and typeface. Carefully contrasting page elements can function as a call to action, according to Georgiou, and nudge consumers to click, share, and purchase.

It’s easy to see how careful color choice and thoughtful packaging design influences a consumer’s relationship with a product they touch and use every day. And of course shelf appeal matters greatly. Studies into color psychology show that this same level of attention to detail and user experience can make all the difference online too—a brand’s e-commerce site is its digital product package.

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