How your secondhand store can use color to sell more

August 17, 2018

Let color do the selling for your secondhand store

I wish I could tell you, “Paint your store X color and you’ll increase sales by 100%.” Unfortunately, I can’t. Color is elusive. It evokes emotion. Likes and dislikes are determined by culture, gender, upbringing or age. Ask men what color is their favorite and they’ll say “blue,” “green,” or “red.” Ask a woman and she’ll say “teal,” “moss,” or “rose.” Everyone has a different interpretation of color. But, there are ways a secondhand store can use color to encourage shoppers to buy. It’s called the Psychology of Color.

How important is color to sales

As you can see by this 2014 infographic below, nearly 85% of consumers said color was the primary reason they purchased an item. When shoppers enter your secondhand store, it takes only 90 seconds for them to make a favorable or unfavorable decision about your shop. Plus, over half of shoppers never return to a store based on the look of it alone.

Your secondhand store needs to use the psychology of color

Infographic provided by Ultralinx

The colors your secondhand store chooses for branding, marketing and store design, do make a difference to the shopper. Choose wisely.

Branding with color

The above infographic shows that 80% of buyers think color increases brand recognition of a product or store. More than choosing the right color for your brand, consider choosing the right color for your target audience. Young adults and teens respond better to bright, bold colors. Older adults prefer subtle, softer colors. In the west, white is the color for purity and weddings. In China, white is the color of death. Read What does your resale store’s visual image communicate? Know your target market and you’ll know the colors to choose for your secondhand store.

Marketing with color

Red is the color of action. Add a call-to-action button such as “Buy Now” in red or orange to your emails. Use red for all of your sale signs. On your website, always choose a very light color for the background. According to Small Biz Trends, “Choosing stark, complementary (2 colors on opposite sides of the color wheel) colors, creates an easy-to-read area.” Make sure your merchandise is the brightest element of the overall design.

Merchandising with color

Secondhand stores need to choose their colors wiselyThe color of your secondhand store has the power to keep shoppers in or drive them out. Many stores paint walls pale green or blue to add a calming influence to their interior. A deep, rich green gives a feeling of affluence and quality. Yellow and orange are associated with joy and playfulness making them perfect for children’s stores. However, according to a study by the Journal of Business Research, “Patrons are 15% more likely to return to stores with blue color schemes than to those with orange color schemes.” Pink and rose are excellent choices for clothing stores. Neutral colors such as grey, beige and white offer a lot of opportunities for adding a pop of bolder, brighter colors. Whichever colors you choose make sure they align with your branding and target shopper.

Lighting with color

Don’t forget lighting. The type of bulb makes a difference in the warmth and brightness. If you use colored lights, make sure they’re in the same color family as the merchandise your highlighting. Use pink lights for red and soft green for green and blue merchandise.

Deb McGonagle

I have been a writer for various forms of marketing for over 40 years. I've written my share of radio and TV scripts, magazine and newspaper ads as well as direct mail brochures and newsletters. Currently, as the Marketing Director for Traxia, home of SimpleConsign software, I've moved into blog posts, eBooks and website text. It's been an ever changing and ever challenging journey but I've loved it all along the way.