In fact, it cn account for up to 85 percent of the reason people buy one product over another, according to the Color Marketing Group, a professional organization for color designers in Alexandria, Va.
Color’s influence on consumer behavior isn’t confined to just merchandise. The colors surrounding customers while they’re shopping also can influence whether they make a purchase. “Colors in a store format can create different emotions and store retailers can use that,” says Rich Kizer, a St. Charles, Ill.-based retail design consultant.
Here are five ways store colors can affect the shopping experience and help turn browsers into buyers:
۱. Tell a story with color. Rather than simply select colors you like, it can be more effective to start with a theme and choose colors that represent that concept. For example, you could capture the essence of the beach with colors reminiscent of sand, water and sunshine. That would transport customers to an environment they associate with relaxation and enjoyment and make them want to stick around your shop longer.
“There are hardwires we have about colors,” says Jill Morton, a Honolulu-based color psychologist and brand identity expert. “Blue is associated with water, green with grass, red is fire.”
When Jennifer Albaugh chose a color scheme for Quiltique, her Henderson, Nev., sewing and quilting supply shop, she first decided on the theme of antique gardens. This prompted her to find colors that suggested garden spaces, rather than pick random paint swatches at the hardware store. She painted her walls celery green and used a brick red accent to call to mind foliage and garden pots.
Accessories from the Heart in Oswego, Ore., uses a burnt orange color for the walls and floor to create a warm, welcoming environment.
۲. Comfort and calm customers. Warm colors like oranges and browns are inviting and reassuring to shoppers, while cooling colors like green and blue can have a calming effect, says Georganne Bender, a partner and retail consultant with Rich Kizer.
“Orange makes you happy,” she says. And happy customers are more likely to linger longer in your store. When Carol Winston moved her Lake Oswego, Ore., women’s shop, Accessories From The Heart,
to a new location, she decided to change the white walls to burnt orange. At night, under the store’s halogen lighting, the interior gives off a warm calming glow.
“When it gets dark, the store looks like a jewelry box,” Winston says. “It’s really inviting.”