Color choices that lift performance for e-commerce ads

November 17, 2022

Does color really make a big difference in eCommerce ads?

As human beings, the first thing our brain processes is color when seeing an ad. It’s easier to process colors than to read words or remember a logo. Yet very few marketers have taken the time to understand the theories behind colors, brightness, saturation, etc.  

It’s not uncommon for a marketer to pick colors based on what “looks good” with no regard to design or brand principles.

A designer will optimize for good design and brand but may need to learn that some colors perform better than others. 

It may be best not to let your designer alone decide on colors; instead, include someone from marketing to help make those decisions. Involving marketing and design will ensure colors are optimized for the campaign, design, and brand. 

If you need help figuring out where to start when it comes to using color in your ads, keep reading. 

This article breaks down the data and will show you how color can impact your e-commerce campaigns and influence your audience to buy more (or less) of what you have to offer.

Let’s dive in.

Light content performers great for e-commerce ads

The best way to get your ad to stand out is to use light content. 

The goal of any ad begins with getting noticed. You want to draw your audience in so they see your offer in an endless sea of competing ads.

The brain sees bright images before seeing dark images. This happens because white, consists of all colors, sending more waves or information to the eye.

The impact of using light content in eCommerce ads is demonstrated below. 

We see that light content performs 70% better than dark content and neutral content performs 39% better than dark content.

As the content darkens, the purchase rate decreases.

Now what we know using light content makes a huge difference in ad performance, you might be wondering if there’s ever a time when using light content is a disadvantage. 

We’ve got the answer to that.

Black Friday is exception

November is the only month where light content doesn’t outperform dark content. 

Black Friday deals dominate in November. Consumers are online expecting Black Friday promotions to reflect a black or dark theme.

Audiences are looking specifically for special deals and big savings. 

When potential customers skim your ad in milliseconds, it’s easy to see it’s black, which in their minds means it’s probably on sale.

This is why dark content has an 86% higher purchase rate than light content and neutral content performs 39% better than light content.

During Black Month, it’s best to make your content stand out by creating ads matching what consumers are looking for.

What about the ads you see with really crazy colors? 

It’s hard not to notice an ad that uses really bright colors, they look great. 

But do these bright colors mean that the ads will perform better? 

Let’s take a look.

Saturation Vibrant colors

Think neon yellow, hot pink, vibrant blues…

It turns out using these vibrant colors does in fact make a difference in purchase rate.

Bold, vibrant colors create contrast and draw attention due their brightness and intensity. This is why you often see these colors being used in ads announcing BIG sales or LIMITED TIME offers. 

When we compare the effectiveness of vibrant colors to less saturated or muted colors, the data shows that vibrant colors outperform by 19%. Natural colors also perform better against muted colors by 14%.

Remember that the more saturation, the more intrusive the color is because of the intensity which leads to content being more visible to the consumer and overall better performance for eCommerce ads.

Colors can help with ad performance

So, does color really make a difference when it comes to eCommerce ads? 

The data shows us the answer is a definite YES.

Taking the time to learn and understand color theory gives marketers an advantage. Being able to share insight with designers allows color to be implemented in the correct way. This is especially important when it comes to eCommerce campaigns. The data shown above proves this.

Here’s a recap of how you can use color to improve your eCommerce ads.

  • Choose content that is light or neutral rather than dark for your ads.

  • The only exception to using light content is for Black Friday advertising. During November, go with darker content.

  • Use bold, vibrant colors to draw your audience in and watch sales improve.

Looking for an easy way to edit your eCommerce ads?

Try a free demo of Confect today and see the difference that editing and customizing your ads can make on your campaign performance!

More to read

This article focuses purely on the impact of colors in eCommerce content. To learn how to optimize your ads further, read these blogs:


The dataset from this article is based on 5.6B+ impressions and 6k+ pieces of individual content on Meta (Facebook) platforms. It takes into account data from all countries and only e-commerce brands, with the campaign objective of Conversions. The period is from 1st of September 2021 - 16th of September 2021.  Numbers are looking at correlation only, not causation. Remember to check your own data: numbers for different brands, industries, and contexts will vary. If you were intrigued about a specific insight, you can go in-depth into the various dimensions and how data can be segmented in Confect,  here