How to Colour Block Your Merchandise

Do you want more customers in your store and more products on the receipts you print? Here’s how one subconscious persuasion technique does just that.

Before we get to the nitty gritty, compare these 2 images:

Organising your products according to colour is so effective that it will cause customers to notice things they wouldn’t otherwise notice. Take towels for instance – a boring product, organised by colour can turn into an attractive display that customers gravitate to.

A colour coordinated display always looks new and fresh. Customers unconsciously perceive a display that is not organised as one that has been picked through, and only the leavings remain. Even thrift shops that organise their merchandise by colour appear more upmarket than those that don’t. And it doesn’t cost a cent to do – all it requires is a little bit of knowledge.

5 Points of Colour Blocking Your Merchandise:

Know Your Colours

Before you can colour block you need to understand some rudimentary colour facts:

  • Every colour is made from a combination of any of these: red, blue, yellow, black and white.
  • Colours opposite each other on the colour wheel are complimentary, and placed together will intensify each other.
  • Colours next to each other on the colour wheel are analogous, and will sit harmoniously together on a shelf without any one colour standing out.

The Left to Right Rule for Hanging Clothes

During winter, when people favour darker colours, the darkest colours of your hanging display should be placed to the left as you (or the customer) look at it. Move towards brighter and lighter colours at the right of the display. This is effective because the way most people ‘read’ is from left to right; and the dark colour works as an anchor.
During summer, reverse this so the lighter or brighter colours are to the left of the customer – these will be what they are most likely to be looking for.

The Bottom to Top Rule

Similar to the Left to Right Rule, place the darker items at the bottom of a stacked display, and move towards lighter or brighter colours at the top of the display. Unlike the left to right rule, this can be done all year around.


Say the clothes range you are displaying doesn’t have any particular variation in tint, and no other classifying factors that dictate how to set them out. Then you should adopt the reverse rainbow method of laying out your shop. That is: Violet, Indigo, Blue, Green, Yellow, Orange and Red. So; violet to the left, red to the right – of your shop, of your rack, or of your wall – and violet at the top and red at the bottom of your stack of towels.

The Power of a Colour Story

Make this season’s colours a feature and use them to tell a story – use mannequins to fill out the clothing and stack the clothing relating to this story around the scene. Use repetition to create a lasting impression.

By being aware of colour in your shop, you will be able to adapt your displays to make your shop a much more pleasing environment. Customers will enjoy being there and will return more often – that’s what you want, isn’t it?


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