Environmental color, consumer feelings, and purchase likelihood

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Abstract

This study tested the effects of red and blue in a shopping-related context. Red and blue were selected because of their opposite color properties. Prior color research has shown that red is perceived as negative and tense as well as physically arousing. Blue, on the other hand, has been identified as calm, cool, and positive. Two laboratory experiments were conducted. In both experiments, retail environments were simulated using predominately red or blue colors. Both experiments corroborate the differential effects of red and blue that prior research suggested. Specifically, more positive retail outcomes occurred in blue rather than red environments. More simulated purchases, fewer purchase postponements, and a stronger inclination to shop and browse were found in blue retail environments. The second experiment helps to identify a plausible explanation to color effects. The results indicate that the affective perception of color rather than the arousal dimension of color may be responsible for the outcome. The positive effects of blue and the negative perception of red may have influenced the results. © 1992 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

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