Can colors affect the mindset of the shoppers, and increase apparel sales? Retail, one of the most competitive and dynamic sector, is trying innovative, and cutting edge strategies of psychology to enhance sales.

A psychological research reveals that 50% of the items purchased are bought only on impulse. Apparel industry is driven by fierce competition, and sellers are desperate for new strategies to convince, and convert customers. Currently, retailers are adopting a new technique to allure customers, influencing their minds by applying color psychology.

Psychological variations of people:

A science of variation does exist between men and women. A survey done on decisions regarding the choice of apparels among men and women states that 65% of the men who try their apparels in the fitting room of the shop, decide to buy them, while from the feminine part it is only 25% of women who decide to buy. Likewise, a women shopping alone is likely to spend more time inside the shop browsing for apparels than a women who comes with her husband, or child. It has been observed that customers walk around the shop, the same way they drive a car. The Americans, and Indians tend to keep right, while and Australians and British keep left while entering a store.

It is on the retailers part to entice a shopper inside his store, and make him or her to take the buying decisions. Today, research based observational techniques have gone further in trying to understand the customer psychology. This strategy is fast developing, particularly in the apparel retail sector. Latest retail strategy uses colors to manipulate the customers psychology. Colors can give a positive message and encourage sales.

Color - the new retail power:

Color is a strong retail tool, because people react instinctively to it. Their sub-conscious minds are programmed to respond to color, and for the smart minded retailers, customer centric approach is the key. The retailer has to decide the color scheme of his store based on the age and sex of his target customers; men or women, is the store for teenagers, middle aged, or senior people etc.

Younger customers are enticed by the energy of vibrant and bold colors, while women prefer pink in the environment, and older people like subtle hues. Wrong choice of colors will make the retailer find customers moving away from the product. A comfortable in-store environment makes the customer feel relaxed and make them linger around the shop. This can ultimately make them take the buying decision, if also supported by persuasive front line sales staff.

A striking balance between the two ranges of colors:

Color association is related to using every aspect to convey the brand message. The color of the wall, curtain, shelves, and even the floor covering must be chosen with care. Softer shades are used for a relaxed feeling while darker ones are used to create an excitement, and stimulate the customers. A successful retailer should be able to bring a striking balance in between the two.

A carpet in soft hues and feel will make the room appear larger, while a dark shade will give an intimate effect. A narrow store can be adorned with a lighter hue in the carpet, deep color on short walls, and lighter shades on the longer walls.

What can colors do? effect of the color palette:

Too many bright colors will irritate the eyes, and delude the shoppers attention. Too much of the same color will irritate the shoppers. Care should be taken to avoid visual clutter.

  • Deep purple is associated with richness, and gives a royal appearance to the environment.
  • Lavender and pink is more a feminine hue, and can also appeal to customers caring on the romantic side.
  • Black gives a look of sophistication, but it is good not to over use this hue.
  • White gives an accent to any color or object, and hence can be used as a background color, and even on a wide space.
  • Orange color is good for moderation, but care must be taken, not to over use it.
  • Yellow, like red attracts the eye, but will be irritating if overused.
  • Blue and green does not require the focus of the eyes, and therefore objects seem far away. Gives a relaxed feeling to the customer.
  • Grey color can be avoided, as it indicates gloominess.

Color schemes:

Color is the first thing that is registered in a persons mind. 80% of information reaches the brain through eyes, and colors appeal to the eyes. The color palette must work well across the store, and complement the lighting and product displays. By choosing the right mix and match of colors, a retailer can add a dazzle to his in store arrangement. Focus should not be on creating a beautiful shop, but on creating the one that has coherence.

Monochromatic color scheme:
This is using the same color with varying shades. It gives a soothing effect to the eyes.

Complementary color scheme: This scheme uses high contract of shades by selecting hues that are totally opposite to each other, but are complementing. E.g.; pink and lime green.

Triple color scheme:
This scheme uses three colors that are spaced equally in the color wheel. This gives a harmonious color scheme, and effect to the eyes.

Colors are extremely symbolic. Success of the retail store, to some extent, depends upon the chosen color scheme and how the customer reacts to it. A good shopping environment opens the minds of the customers, and their purses later on.






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