Marketing Sherpa (subscription required) just published a report, showing yet again that one size does not fit all when it comes to optimizing shopping carts.
Not much marketing data exists regarding color choices on Web sites. This is one reason why so many marketers go with trendy colors or gut feelings.
One office supply retailer wanted real answers, so they tested five specific color and button size design elements. The results didn’t go as expected [...]
In terms of the Buy Now button appearing after one click on the individual product pages, they tested:
o Light blue – the existing color
o Dark blue – because it fit with DYMO’s color palate in mock layouts
o Red – because it stood out as a call-to-action element
“Red was the most contrasting color we could imagine working on the page, while really jumping out at the same time,” Klazema says. “At this point in the sale process, we weren’t really worried about the cultural connotations in terms of red symbolizing ‘STOP.’ ”
In some cases, the testing system simply declared winners and didn’t compute percentages when one outperformed another by such large margins:
- For the *select quantity* page, green soundly defeated the existing light-blue color.
- The existing light-blue version of the shopping-cart button on the cross-sell page easily outperformed red and green.
Amazingly, a larger ‘Add to Cart’ button lifted conversions 44.11% over the existing one. Of course, the design team scrambled to make the permanent switch. On the cross-sell page test, the words ‘Proceed to Cart’ beat ‘Add to Cart’ by 21.8% — and, therefore, replaced it across the site.
“It was interesting to see some colors having a positive effect at certain stages and a negative effect in other places,” Klazema says. “Green works for one shopping cart button, but not as well for the same function at different point. People are in different states of mind when they go the checkout process. Rather than apply a consistent look and feel across all buttons on the site, our key learning is that we have to continue testing in order to make sure we don’t make false assumptions.
Back in February we wrote about how large red buttons were all the rage, despite some pretty shaky evidence to support it (do yourself a favor and read the comments ). Of course, knowing what to test is everything. Color is just one element, and it would stink to live in a world where everyone’s cart looked the same as a byproduct of tired “best practices” mentality. Still, I wonder, is this enough to quiet the red button boosters?