Color Psychology for Ecommerce

Color Psychology for Ecommerce

What's your favorite color? You can tell a lot about a person by their favorite color - and you can also tell a lot about an online store by the colors they use. A lot of ecommerce entrepreneurs don't know that the various colors they use on their website can have a significant impact on the mood of their customers. Getting the right mix of colors can mean the difference between a repeat customer and a fleeting one-time visitor.

The Psychology of Color

According to a study conducted by the Seoul International Color Expo, over 92% of people said that color plays an integral part when purchasing merchandise. Believe it or not, only 6% said that their sense of touch played a major role, whereas smell and hearing amounted to a tiny 1% of people’s votes - unless of course they were buying air freshener or music. 

Further research carried out by the Institute for Color Research showed that shoppers subconsciously judge people, the environment, and the product within the first two minutes of the initial viewing. Crucially, 60% to 90% make an assessment that is solely based on color. Therefore, it goes without saying that catching the customer’s eye with an intelligent layout of colors is integral to ecommerce success. 

Here is a brief look at eleven widely used colors and the effect they have on online customers:



Brown is a strong and dependable color which is very reassuring to shoppers. It gives off an aura of confidence and, if used in the right amounts, can help convert a potential customer. Above is a free ecommerce template in the Shopify Theme Store - it's called Radiance and is extremely customizable. 


Orange radiates ambition and energetic warmth. It also represents passion, originality, and fresh beginnings. Orange paired with cool shades of blue can give off a positive and exciting vibe. Above is a premium template from the Shopify Theme Store - it's called Contrast and is a part of our Square line. 



Yellow is a cheerful and playful color that can really grab the customers’ attention. However, it should be used in moderation because an excessive use of yellow can turn customers off. Above is a gorgeous ecommerce template called Flyer and is a part of our Cogify lineup. This premium theme is $150 and is designed by the all-star team at Jeffrey Zeldman's Happy Cog. Check out more yellow ecommerce templates here


Green has a natural and organic aura, which is why it is considered to be very easy on the eye. When shoppers see green, they often relate the color to positivity, relaxation, safety, and harmony. Above is an extremely customizable theme called Adaptable. Check out some green ecommerce templates here



Even though pink is usually associated with femininity, it can appeal to males as well since it exudes kindheartedness, romance, and love.  Pink has a soothing effect so it can be used to offset more aggressive colors like black, orange and red. Above is a premium ecommerce template called Broadway and is a part of our New York portfolio. 



Red taps into the deepest, most primal, emotions of shoppers. Since red is usually associated with love, life, and confidence, it can convert potential buyers into lifelong customers if used correctly. But beware, too much red on a webpage can be visually overwhelming. Above is a popular template called Rustic, and it's apart of our Zenith portfolio. Check out some more red ecommerce templates right here



White exudes purity, wholesomeness, and clarity, and it is essential to most web pages. Always include empty white space around your content so that customers don’t feel boxed in. Above is a free ecommerce template that has all the social media functions you can handle. The template is called Social and can be found in the Shopify Theme Store. Check out all our white ecommerce templates here. 


Purple has long been associated with royalty, power, and affluence. Intelligent use of this color can help the customer into making a positive purchase. The template above is called Carleton, and is designed by Pixel Union. Check out all our purple ecommerce templates here



Blue conveys feelings of trust, peace, and productivity. Although blue is one of the most common colors on the web, it should be avoided if your webpage is involved with the hospitality industry, especially with restaurants as blue is said to decrease appetite. Above is another free template from the Shopify Theme Store - it's called Monochrome, and is a deeper greyish blue. We have more blue ecommerce templates here


Grey is usually connected with seriousness and a conservative mindset. The right shades of grey can serve as a great backdrop for other more vibrant colors such as orange, red, and royal blue. Above is a theme called Corporate Edge and is a top-level theme with tons of functionality. Check out all our grey ecommerce templates here



Black is associated with strength, power, and dominance. When used in ecommerce, it sends a confident message to potential customers. Excessive use can give off a bland and gloomy ambiance, so it should be used in moderation, along with other tranquil colors. Above is an awesome free ecommerce template called Faust - it's designed specifically for high-end fashion shops and features all the latest web technologies. Check out all our black ecommerce templates here



  • Shopaholla
    December 12 2011, 11:18AM

    Great post Mark! At Shopaholla we do our best to incorporate the ability to change our themes to unlimited color schemes giving every store it’s own unique look. Good stuff!

  • Sally Lee by the Sea
    Sally Lee by the Sea
    December 12 2011, 02:58PM

    Interesting info about color – I’ll definitely keep this in mind for the future.

  • Chris Dawson -
    Chris Dawson -
    December 13 2011, 04:31AM

    It would also be great to see some comparative A/B style objective testing of the effect of colour choices on key elements such as ‘buy now’/‘add to cart’ buttons (everything else being equal)

  • Mirren Fischer - Luxuryhound
    Mirren Fischer - Luxuryhound
    December 22 2011, 04:39AM

    I have to agree with Chris. I clicked on the link hoping to actually learn something, but basically just got an advertisement for your templates. It would be nice to see some more hard-core, useful information in the blog.

  • Dinah Nitschke
    Dinah Nitschke
    January 03 2012, 03:26AM

    As I am planning a new theme, I found this info informative for me as I am not a web-designer and appreciate all the tips to use when planning my colours.

  • Chris
    January 05 2012, 12:16AM

    I love this information but I would agree with Chris as well. I would like to see more studies on the actual button colors and which color on buy now/ check out buttons work the best

  • Rick Davies
    Rick Davies
    September 03 2012, 09:38AM

    +1 for some research-based results on effects colour has on call-to-action..

  • Carl Lindberg
    Carl Lindberg
    November 29 2013, 07:30PM

    Thanks for this post! So can anyone argue for one or a combination that is the overall best to sell more to consumers buying under $1000? Would be nice to know, wouldn’t it :)

  • Kevin
    February 16 2014, 08:00AM


    Thanks for the great post! I really found if interesting. The only problem I found is that you had something good to say about every color. So I’m still not sure if I should be looking to make a change, they all seem so good!

  • Gowtham
    November 29 2014, 10:45AM

    Could you tell me what is that white theme name?

  • V.S.
    April 07 2016, 05:08PM

    This article is factually misguided, and is certainly not based on any scientific fact. There are legitimate academic studies on the impact colors can have on consumer spending behavior, and none of the suggestions in here match scientific evidence!

    “Buyer” be ware before adopting this article’s advice.

  • Bobby Saint
    Bobby Saint
    November 10 2017, 09:00PM

    Wow! This is a very interesting article. I like the fact that you mentioned that the color of an item or merchandise plays a big role or impact in someone’s decision whether to purchase it or not. I personally like white which you mentioned exudes purity or cleanliness. Plus, I feel white shows your transparency, whether it be your personality or outlook in life. This article surely caught my attention, and I will surely be reading more about color psychology. Thanks.

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