A Simple Trick With colour To Make People Buy Your Stuff

Bidders at auction

Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Everyone knows that different colours influence our moods in different ways, but they also may affect how much we spend on products.According to a recent study from Rajesh Bagchi, Pamplin College of Business and Amar Cheema, McIntire School of Commerce, seeing the colour red increases aggression and makes us bid higher on products during auctions. This can make a big difference if you’re selling your items on eBay and want to motivate buyers to bid higher and quicker.

However, in negotiations and fixed price situations, red tends to make buyers bid lower; calmer colours like blue are better used in these situations.

All of this can be a very useful and easy way to maximise your sales, whether online or at a physical store according to the paper:

Our results suggest that incidental exposure to colour on webpage backgrounds or on walls in brick-and-mortar stores can affect willingness-to-pay. Our findings therefore have important implications for website and store design. It is fairly straightforward to change background colours of websites and firms could even customise colours based on selling mechanism and product characteristics. For instance, in situations where consumers compete with each other to buy a scarce or a limited edition product, firms may increase consumers’ willingness-to-pay by exposure to red versus blue backgrounds. By contrast, in situations where a product is readily available and the consumer competes with the seller to get a lower price through extended price search or through haggling, consumers’ willingness-to-pay may be enhanced via exposure to blue versus red colour backgrounds.

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