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Applying Color Theory to eCommerce

What’s your favorite color? We get asked this question all the time, don't we?  Perhaps it’s because color is so influential to our daily lives. The colors we subconsciously pick out to wear each day are a reflection of our mood, personality, and often even the unpredictable weather. Thus, the colors we wear are often viewed as a reflection of ourselves.  Why should your website be any different?  Picking the right colors for your eCommerce site is just as important as which content management system you will select.

Research conducted by the secretariat of the Seoul International Color Expo found that 92.6% of respondents view the most important factor when purchasing products to be visual appearance. So, by having the appropriate color palette you will not only create an appealing shopping environment that generates increased site traffic, but you will also dramatically improve your conversion rate as a result.

The proof is in the hue.  Let’s take a look at some colors and see how they affect and stimulate customers online.


Black is commonly associated with power, strength and stability. When used sparingly, it can successfully anchor a design because of its bold impact. Even more, due to its sleek and sophisticated nature, black is popular in the marketing of luxury items such as champagne, designer watches and high-end sports cars.



Red- the color of love, passion, and energy.  It is daring and valiant and proves to be a highly stimulating color. It grabs attention and jumps out at its audience.  We use it to edit papers, show our love, and support worthy causes.  In the world of business transactions, it indicates price reductions and clearance sales and can work well as a call to action in eCommerce sites.



Blue is trustworthy and reinforces a sense of security and stability. Its personality is considered to be conservative, and it is therefore one of the most commonly used colors amongst brands. When used within eCommerce, it has the ability to instill a level of dependability with your customer base.



Green is used to set a relaxing tone and promote an earthy wellness.  The color is commonly associated with things that are natural and organic. While darker greens often have an aura of money & wealth, lighter greens convey safety and growth. 



Orange is confident, cheerful and bright. Its radiance promotes optimism and an all-around friendly environment. This vibrant hue has been shown to evoke impulse buys; thus, in eCommerce it can arguably prove effective when used as a checkout button. 



White emulates cleanliness, clarity and purity. It is essential to any eCommerce design, as it provides the canvas or backdrop for the site's contents.  The proper use of white space on a website is essential, as it ensures that the products are clearly displayed. Look to Apple, Gap and Crate & Barrel for nearly flawless executions of spatial white usage.



The color purple is closely associated with royalty, wisdom and fantasy. It is yet another hue that can have a soothing effect on its audience. However, most often, purple accents work well when dealing with high-end luxury items because of the color's royal status.



Gray is viewed to be practical and neutral.  It is a bit drab and can therefore set a very serious tone. When used in a shopping environment, it works well as a background.  This is  because it provides a subtle backdrop for products to be displayed, without taking away from the products themselves. Even more, if used with the proper lighting, gray can create a sense of depth and movement on the site.



  • Creative
  • eCommerce