Brick or Mortar Retail or E-tailing “Colors Matter “!!
By Dheeraj Dogra MRICS “Retail & Realty Analyst”
Us humans are visual creatures. 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual, and visual information is processed 60,000 times faster than any other type. Consumers place visual appearance and color over all other factors while shopping, and 85% of shoppers believe color as their primary reason for why they purchase a certain project.
We react fundamentally to colors because they help us make sense of our surroundings. It means that we are instinctively more comfortable when colors remind us of something familiar — for instance, a soft shade of blue triggers associations with the sky and a psychological sense of calm. Color can be everything to a successful store, if the palettes work well across the whole shop and complement other elements such as product displays and lighting. The point isn’t about creating the most beautiful store, but one that has coherence.
Color is central to coherence because we react instinctively to it. Red means ‘stop’ and green means ‘go’. Our brains are hot-wired to respond to colors and, and, for modern retailers, the trick to using colors is to understand both its physiological and psychological influences. Even the prisons and hospitals in the Western countries now use color to influence the behavior of inmates and patients.
Color psychology perhaps explains why people are allegedly more relaxed in a green room and why weightlifters perform better in blue gyms. It’s certainly the reason why some paint manufacturers now have color cards setting out the therapeutic aspects of each hue, and why some cosmetic companies have introduced “color therapy” ranges. We all share similar responses to color, although some cultural variations exist. For example, white is the color of marriage in Western societies but is the color of death in our country as well as in China. In Brazil, purple is the color of death.
People from tropical countries respond most favorably to warm colors; people from Northern climates prefer cooler colors.
Our heart rate and blood pressure rise when we look at intense reds; conversely, we can become tired or anxious by looking at large areas of bright whites or grays. In a retail environment, understanding those responses can be crucial to enticing a customer inside, and then enticing them to open her wallets.
To make things more complicated, the success of a retail store isn’t so much influenced by the chosen color scheme, but by how their target customers react to it.
Is the store aimed at teenagers, thirty-something’s or senior citizens? The success of the store depends on how the customer reacts to both the products on display and the sales environment. Younger people like the energy of bold colors; older people prefer more subtle palettes. Get those colors wrong, and a retailer will find that their customers simply won’t relate to the brand.
Color association also extends into food retailing. For example, most fast-food restaurants are decorated in vivid reds and oranges. These are colors that encourage us to eat quickly and leave — exactly what the fast-food operators want us to do. Luxury brands, on the other hand, favor softer colors that appear more sophisticated. In classier restaurants, those are the colors that encourage us to linger — and to order another drink, another coffee.
By recognizing how color influences us, retailers are better able to induce feelings of warmth, intimacy or serenity — or, by using more vibrant palettes, to excite or stimulate. It’s about understanding target markets, the product lines to appeal to them and the kind of brand the retailer wants to convey.
Colors and E-Commerce Connection
When you’re shopping online, all you have is your eyes. There’s no way to feel the shirt you’re considering or smell the just out perfume you intend to buy. The website is the only resource at the time of purchase. So as an online retailer, making sure your customers not only have a method to purchase your goods, but that it’s on an aesthetically-pleasing website is a big priority.
Colors impress the most important button of E-commerce online store – the “Buy now” button.
If you can create a color match between visuals, texts, banners and buttons in your site, you can guarantee a visual harmony which would satisfy your customers.
Whether its Retailing or E-tailing, the legacy of Colors is here to stay.