As we live in the 21st century, in a consumerist society, every retailer should make sure that, in his store, not a single scent that a customer smells or a sound he encounters (if it’s coming from the store and not from external sources, of course), is random; everything must be how it is to make the client spend as much as possible.

The retailers should know the customer’s psychology and, to approach their goal (a.k.a. to make the customers spend more money than they were thinking in their store), they should use every bit of it. Of course, these things are not necessarily working on every customer, but it’s important to know how they can be used.

As a retailer, I think you would be very satisfied to know that your customers bought much more than they intended.  And what you can do for that is learn how to use some tricks. So listen carefully.

In the following lines, I am going to present you the influence the colors have on customers’ brain when they go shopping. What, you haven’t thought that colors are as important in your store as the odours or the music? Let me tell you something: 85% of shoppers place color as a primary reason why they buy a particular product. If you have a mall, you should make sure that the colors your customers see there have been strategically placed to influence their spending.

Because, when they get there, they should already spot every shade of the rainbow on signs, labels, doors, shopping bags and a lot of other stuff.

All these colors have their role, and they influence them when they’re shopping. It’s all a marketing strategy: experts say that people subconsciously associate specific colors with specific social or cultural messages. Knowing this, you, as a retailer, should carefully select the colors you use, all to get your customers to loosen their purse strings.

Each color often evokes or represents a feeling, and you should use that to your advantage. Dr Kit Yarrow, consumer psychologist at Golden Gate University and co-author of  Gen BuY: How Tweens, Teens and Twenty-Somethings Are Revolutionizing Retail, explains that colors are associated with different things in people’s brains and this means that they have a big emotional impact on customers, even if it’s just one color or if there is a group of colors.

Another expert, Neil Patel, New York Times best selling author and considered one of the top 10 marketers by Forbes, says that “When it comes to persuasion, emotion is the primary target. And nothing- not even words or images – appeals more to people’s emotions than color.


This being said, the expert presents the conclusion: “If the right colors are used and the right customers receive the right message, you’ll get fewer objections to the purchase, regardless of the price’’. Also, according to NeuroMarketing, “if a good color sells, the right color sells better’’.

Other experts (like Adam Alter, an assistant professor of marketing at New York University; Jill Morton, the executive director of Colorcrom, a color-consulting firm in Honolulu; Lily Lev-Glick, the founder of Shopper Sense, a retail-strategy firm in Closter, New Jersey, and many others) explain how 10 different shades affect your customers’ purchasing habits.

Black-What do you think about when you have the color black in your mind? Well, I’m sure you think of something luxurios, precious; well, your customers do too.

They associate this color with something expensive, that’s why this makes even cheap lipsticks and blushes seems more upscale. Black is known as the “signature color of sophistication”.

Blue-From a color psychology perspective, this one is known as the color of responsibility and reliance. It’s a color which seeks peace and tranquility; it is also said it denotes inner security and confidence.

That’s why blue is used as a logo color for financial institutions, being the favorite color for that, as it makes people feel more secure.

This color attracts your customers into lingering more in your store. According to a study published in the Journal of Business Research in 2003, blue can also improve customer loyalty – meaning that patrons are 15% more likely to return to stores that have blue color schemes than to those that have orange color schemes..

..speaking of Orange-This color is associated with an affordable, yet good quality, which is why customers can find it at stores offering good value (such as Home Depot and Payless). The effect that orange has on people depends though on the variations you use and the colors you combine it with – for the best effect, you should combine it with complementary colors.

This color would be one of the best choices in restaurants, cafes and coffee shops, as it encourages the social communication and conversation, as well as it encourages people to eat more.

Burgundy-This is somehow a shade of red, being a dark purplish red color. It makes people think about something luxurios, rich and refined. So, if you want your customers to spend more (for example in a wine shop), make sure you cover some products -like a Merlot bottle, for instance- in a burgundy duvet, and you can be assured that they will covet that thing more than if it would’ve been in, let’s say, white or something. Burgundy’s cousin, brown, also has luxury conotations, similar to its relative.

Green-If you want to attract eco-minded clients, you should totally employ this color. You should know it is also stimulating with thirst, so it can be very well used in restaurants which rely on beverages as a major part of their custom.

You have to know that, depending on the shades of green you use, you obtain certain effects. Some shades of green, combined with a variation of either red or orange, is appropriate for all food outlets.

Also, bright green is deeply associated with nature and environmentally friendly industries, but a shade of deep green makes us think about wealth, prestige and outdoorsmen.

Pink-According to a research published in the Journal of Orthomolecular Psychiatry, pink-but not all its shades, the one that is close to bubble gum-have calming effects .

Scientists found that when they see pink, people’s endocrine systems get slower and their tense muscles are tranquilized. You’re thinking about how that might influence your customers’ wallets? Feeling relaxed may make it less painful to “splash the cash”.

Violet-When people see this color, they think about royalty. Being associated with royalty and nobility, purple creates an impression of luxury, wealth and extravagance. It is known that purple is a color which has a supremacy in the beauty industry, especially when it comes to anti-aging products. In consequence, a purple box may help urge your customers that the product is not ordinary-it has special properties, furthermore it is worth a princely sum.

Yellow-It is the lightest hue of the spectrum, its color psychology being uplifting and illuminating, offering hope, happiness, cheerfulness and fun. It is an evoking-energy color, which also increases appetite, meaning that it can be well employed in fast-food restaurants as an upholder. Perhaps that’s why your customers’ stomachs may start to growl when they pass nearby.

White-This is actually a non-color, which suggests, in branding, simplicity and purity (that’s why 75% of top skin-care brands come with white packages). White color also stands for modernity and honesty.

Red-It’s an energizing color, which excites the emotions and motivates us to take action. Although there are plenty of shops which embrace it (and still find financial success), market experts warn that a red placard may act just like a stop sign, making consumers lose speed.

It serves as an alarm, provoking the customers to be more careful about their amounts. On the other hand, there are experts who have different opinions about this color and its influences on the customer’s mind.

For example, Dr Kit Yarrow (also mentioned before), explains that “red is almost always the color associated with sales because it inspires people to take action and it’s a stimulating sort of color.’’ Studies have also shown that waitresses who wear red tend to get bigger tips, and red even makes people spend more online.

All in all, the main key of a store should be to comfort and calm customers. Regarding this, “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 also says. And happy customers are more likely to linger in your store (and, as a consequence, maybe even buy more).

The calming effect of the cool colors is associated with an encouragement of spending more. So, even if people would be drawn into stores by warm hues like reds, oranges, and yellows, once inside, colors like blue and green would be the ones that will make them loosen their purse strings.