6 colours that increase sales and why

Does colour really affect the way your customers think and behave and, ultimately, buy from you?

If you choose to cloak your business premises in a bright, glowing orange versus a powder blue, are you, in effect, chasing away perfectly good buyers?

If you adorn your point of purchase or your key sales areas in a vibrant red, are you then stimulating action and encouraging a positive purchase decision?

Well, the answers are not black and white (pardon the pun!!), but there are many studies that point to colour as being an influential, key component in the psychology and the emotion of the customer experience.

Some studies suggest that as much as 60%-90% of impulse buying decisions, or ‘snap’ decisions are made on the basis of colour and that as many as 52% of customers do not return to certain stores because they do not like the store’s aesthetics!

We all know that some of our bigger purchases are influenced by visuals such as colour – like buying a car – the styling and colour of the car play an important role in how the buyer feels about the car. When buying a house, we look at the styling and the interiors of the house to determine how comfortable we will feel when we live there.

Perhaps you have even heard that the colours of product packaging and branding play a major role in influencing our decisions.

All of that is true, but what about the environment in which the purchase takes place – your business premises? Can you gently encourage your customers to buy from you through your choice of color in your place of business? And if so, how so?

In this post, I will explore the theories behind this concept and give you some real-life examples of how I use colour in design to influence the buying decision. AND, I have some major results to tell you about too!


The Theories:

The main thing you need to know is that colours create emotional reactions.

Those emotional reactions are influenced by a number of factors including our gender, our culture, and our memories and so our reactions can be a little subjective.

There are however, guiding theories that suggest that, in general, the following colours influence our emotions either positively or negatively. The rule of thumb when choosing colour for your business is to think of your target market – what gender are they? what age? what culture are they from? what is their lifestyle? And most importantly, what are their interests? I say this is most important because it probably relates to what you are offering in your business. You should also examine the ‘fit’ of your chosen colours with other brands similar to yours. The reason for this is that consumers will often, subconsciously, make associations with other brands based on the colours you use. Finally, consider the ‘personality’ you wish to give your business and the context in which you are operating. For example, brown can be associated with the great outdoors for ruggedness , but equally is associated with chocolate! Have a look at the examples below to see how the theories unfold and relate to different types of businesses targeting different types of customers.



Green is associated with nature, creativity and money. It is  generally considered to be a positive colour that evokes positive emotions.

It is thought that green sparks productivity and is often used in office spaces for this reason.

The association with nature is a strong one and for this reason green is often used in an interior space where businesses wish to convey the natural elements of their product or  business or indeed their environmental friendliness.

Green is also said to have a calming effect – as if being immersed in nature and the great outdoors. Combined with other natural queues, green can create a tranquil, relaxing atmosphere, encouraging customers to stay longer, to relax and unwind!

So, in summary, if your target market are people who are looking for a calm, relaxing, tranquil or natural experience, or perhaps searching for natural products with pure or natural ingredients, then green is your go-to colour.





Red is a colour of power, passion and action!

Red grabs people’s attention and stimulates action. It is, however, a colour that evokes strong feeling and so should be used sparingly, as an accent, or to highlight a particular sales area or product.

Red is also said to reduce analytical thinking and decisions tend to be made impulsively, on a very base, emotional level when red is involved – this is the reason that red is often associated with sports cars! It may not surprise you then, that red is also associated with increased heart-rate!

It is also a colour associated with increased appetite and so it is often found in abundance in restaurants, particularly fast food.

The major marketing use for red is in sales – to encourage impulsivity.

Depending on your business and your product, you might choose to use red in an area where you wish to encourage impulsive buys or a passionate response (for example at your point of sale) or indeed just to subliminally tell your customers to stop! and pay attention to a particular area of your business.





Orange is often associated with excitement and enthusiasm. It is considered to be a warm and embracing colour and is also thought to demonstrate a confident, cheerful and friendly brand.

Like red, however, orange is a colour that may need to be used in moderation. It is a passionate and energetic colour and is sometimes considered to encourage impulsivity. For this reason, like red, it may be a useful colour at a point of sale or to highlight or draw attention to areas of your business where you might wish to encourage that impulsive action from your customer.

Again, look at how other brands use orange and keep this in mind. For example, orange is often used in value brands like Easy-Jet and Home-Depot. Orange does not generally evoke thoughts of luxury and opulence and so may not be entirely fitting for your premises if you are a high-end business.

Bright and primary colours will also attract children, but often, softer colours attract their parents and grand-parents (the real buyers) so make sure to have a good mix of these colours throughout your premises if you are aligned with children in your business.





Yellow is often said to represent cheerfulness and warmth, optimism and youthfulness.

It is, however, another one of those energetic colours like red and orange that should be used sparingly.

Despite its cheerfulness, yellow is actually reported to be most commonly chosen as people’s least favourite colour! It also has associations with unease and for that reason is useful where you want your customers to be in and out quickly.

Think about fast food restaurants you will often find combinations of yellow – to move people through the business quickly, red – to inspire impulse decisions and white to represent cleanliness.

Lidl also use yellow effectively to keep their customers moving through the stores.





Blue is often reported to be a calming, soothing colour. It is also said that blue evokes feelings of trustworthiness, steadiness and loyalty.

It also promotes productivity and, for that reason, is a common choice in office and other corporate spaces.

When asked what their favourite colour is, the most popular answer from people around the world is blue. So, painting a space blue is most likely to satisfy the majority of people.

Blue is a comforting and calming colour for most people because it is associated with blue skies, water, wide open spaces and nature.

If you want to be seen as a trustworthy and steady business, blue might be the colour for you. It will have a calming effect on your customers, encouraging them to stay longer.

Of course, using accent complimentary colours will guide customers through a range of emotions when visiting your business premises.





Purple is often thought to represent royalty, wisdom, wealth and success. It has traditionally been the colour of robes worn by kings and it often conjures up feelings of luxury and opulence, if used in the right way.

It can be used to denote high quality or a superior product and , for this reason, it frequently represents a premium tiered level of service.

It is often used in beauty or anti-aging businesses, particularly at the luxury end of the market as it is said to heighten people’s sense of beauty, fantasy and dreams.

Purple is also thought to be related to the spiritual life and experience and can be used as a calming colour.

It also represents creativity and imagination.

Just be mindful of your target market when using purple, however, as it is not popular with men and in fact is commonly listed as the least favourite colour among some men.