Mastering the colour wheel


Shopping decisions are often based on visual effect, most notably the colour. When you as bidorbuy seller set about choosing the colour palette for your listings, forget your personal preferences. Instead, concentrate on what kind of message a specific colour sends to the visitors of your page.

Let’s examine the most commonly accepted meaning of basic colours:

Red brings the text and the graphics to the forefront and stimulates quick decisions. That is why red is a good for “call to action” messages. It creates urgency and is often used in clearance sales.

Orange is also a good “call to action” colour. Many e-commerce sites use it for “buy now” buttons. It is almost as aggressive as red, but is seen as more enthusiastic and cheerful.

Yellow is often used to grab attention of shoppers with its optimistic and youthful connotations.

Blue (especially darker hues of blue) conveys stability and creditability. It makes visitors feel that it is secure and safe to entrust the seller with their money. (No wonder so many banks use blue.)

Green has a similar effect as blue. However, if you sell to the USA take note: marketing gurus say that green brings to an American mind the unpleasant thoughts of monetary outlay (probably due to the colour of American currency), at the precise moment when you want them to have only pleasant thoughts associated with possessing the item you are selling.

Pink is such a romantic colour that it can only be introduced for products targeting girls and women (and perhaps very brave men).

Black is traditionally associated with elegance and is often used for luxury objects.

Your colour scheme will depend on the kind products you are selling and on the kind of shoppers you are targeting. If you are after impulse shoppers (or when you have a special offer), you will go for a combination of hot and high impact colours: red or orange with black or strong, vibrant blue. If your target audience are cautious shoppers on a budget, calm them down and install confidence in them by using toned-down shades of blue and green. If you sell children’s toys or books, you’ll probably want to balance the brightly coloured products with a muted or pastel colour scheme of your listing, to appeal to parents and grandparents.

Selecting a basic colour scheme does not mean that you have to stick with it no matter what. Variations can be good. For example, fashion sellers will probably have a splash of cheerful green and yellow for summer and earthly ambers and browns for autumn.  It is also a frequent practice to introduce green and red combination for Christmas and red for Valentine’s Day.

Whatever scheme you opt for, do not just pile colours. The point is not to create the most beautiful listing. The aim is to create a listing that has coherence and makes a pleasing overall impression. Some surveys point that about half of your visitors will not return if your design is poor. With so much at stake, it makes sense to invest some time into exploring the secrets of colour. WebsiteTips, ColoRotate and Colour Wheel are only a few of many websites you can turn to for inspiration.