Colors that sell – a practical guide to evoking emotions in customers’ minds

Ideal for e-commerce owners!

Colors on your e-commerce website can subtly influence the emontions that your customers feel. They can push them forward on their conversion path or, if you are not careful, turn them in a completely different direction. 65% of customers report that color is the most important feature that they look for when they choose which everyday products they should buy.

The real perception of color happens inside the brain

The subject matter of color psychology is not the physical mechanism of colors, but their influence on human mind.

And scientists agree on this one – colors heavily influence the brain. The right choice of color schemes can positively influence customer’s mood and as a result – increase your conversion rates.

Apart from the influence that colors have on the mind, there are many effects that they have on the body as well. It has been proven that human reactions are 12% faster than normal when the room is lit with red light. Warm colors are better in commanding attention than cold color schemes.

That is why color theory is an essential craft to master by marketers and advertisers.

Did you know...

According to the research done on Harvard University, intense red increases your blood pressure, while color blue has a calming, reassuring effect on the mind.

Color Wheel - a short and concise introduction to color theory

Colors on the Color Wheel are separated into 2 types of emotions: on 1 side there are warm, active colors, such as red, orange and yellow.


Boutet's Color Wheel from 1708
Boutet's Color Wheel from 1708

On the other side there are cold, passive colors, such as blue, violet and green.

This is the basic differentiation that was used to formulate the Color Wheel – the basic tool for fusing colors together.

The Color Wheel is constructed in such a way that putting any of the colors next to each other will look good (in principle).



The basic rules of mixing the colors together

Advertising books talk about a lot of color combinations that are considered especially good.

These are color harmonies, and they consist of two or more colors with a regular pattern on a color wheel.

Cool and warm colors

The Color Wheel can be divided into warm and cool colors. Warm colors are usually lively and full of energy.

Cool colors give a sense of calmness. White, black and grey are considered neutral colors.

The name Tint is often used in an inappropriate way, although it describes a simple characteristic of color. If a given color is brighter than base color (by adding some whiteness to it), we end up with a tint.

When we add some black to the base color, we end up with a shade – a darker color (e.g. dark green)

If we add some gray color to the base color, we end up with a tone of the base color.


See how colors work with each other in different surroundings

  • 1

    Example 1 – a big rectangle and a small line in the same color, placed against the white background – it will appear as if they have a different tint.

    The color of the line seems much darker because the line is surrounded by a white background, which creates a greater contrast.

    surrounding colors


  • 2

    Example 2 – when two tints of the same base color are composed in relation to each other – the brighter tint will appear brighter, and the darker tint will appear darker than in reality.



  • 3

    Example 3 – Surrounding a color with a shade of this color will accentuate it and encapsule it, so that it does not „spread” over the edges. Surrounding a color with a tint will do the opposite – it will „spread” the color to the surrounding space and reduce it’s strength.



Which colors matter the most in sales?

It’s obvious that different colors play a different role in sales and marketing.

Every color has the power to influence clients and encourage behavioral patterns.

We have all noticed how vivid colors, such as red, are often used on packaging – but what do we know about other colors?

Learn the color psychology from the practical side and choose the right colors for your business!


The meaning of red

Red is a color of great emotional intensity. It moves text and images to the forefront of the composition. It should be used as and accent to stimulate people to undertake a fast decision. It’s the color of blood – that’s why it is a great color choice to transfer emotions associated with war, strength, danger, determination and passion – as well as love.

It’s a great color for headlines such as: special offer or limited offer. In advertising, it is often used to convey a sense or eroticism.

Light red – conveys happiness, sexuality, passion, intimacy and love
Pink red – conveys romanticism, love and friendship
Dark red – conveys liveliness, willpower, rage, leadership
Brown red – conveys stablity, accentuates prestige.

The meaning of orange

Orange is a mixture of the energy of red and the lightness of yellow. It is a colorful expression of happiness, fascination and determination. This color is targeted mainly towards the youth. It stimulates the apetite, thanks to which it is often used in the advertisements of food and products used my millenials. What is the meaning of color orange?

Dark orange – conveys a sense of suspicion, fraud
Red orange – conveys desire, pleasure, domination and agression
Gold – conveys prestige and high-quality

The meaning of yellow

Yellow is the color of the sun. It is directly connected to happiness, intelect and energy. Use yellow to convey a pleasing sense of warmth. You can use this color to promote products targeted towards children or offers of leisure time activities. For sure it should not be used to advertise luxury products, but it is a great choice if you want to convey the feeling of safety.

Light yellow – conveys a sense of happiness and freshness

The meaning of green

Green is a color of nature. It symbolizes growth, harmony, freshness and fertility. Opposite to red – it conveys a sense of safety. In traffic lights it is used to show drivers that is is safe to move their cars. Green should be use to accentuate the lack of hazard (in case of medical products) or natural origin (of food). What is the influence of green on human mind?

Dark green – conveys greed, jealousy and ambition.
Sea green – conveys safety and good health
Olive green – conveys a sense of peace

The meaning of blue

It’s a color of sky and the ocean. It is a symbol of stability. Blue symbolizes truth, loyalty, wisdom and faith. Blue is best used to promote products or services connected with water and purity (water filters, fishes…) or with sky and air (airlines, weather channels…). It should not be used to advertise food, as blue color is known to supress the apetite.

Light blue – conveys the sense of understanding, health and softness.
Dark blue – conveys the sense of wisdom, power and congruence.

The meaning of black

Is is associated with power, elegance, mystery, but also with death and evil. Black conveys a sense of perspective and depth. It slims down the packaging. It symbolizes high status – that’s why most luxury cars are sold in black. In photography display, black or grey is used to accentuate other colors. The most agressive combinations are black-red and black-orange.