The Effects of Color and Position of Add-to-Cart Button on Click Intention: An Abstract

  • Zhen Yang
  • Yanliu Huang
Conference paper
Part of the Developments in Marketing Science: Proceedings of the Academy of Marketing Science book series (DMSPAMS)


Understanding the factors that influence consumer’s online shopping experience is an imperative but challenging task for both e-retailers and marketing scholars. Website design is one of the critical factors relevant to online conversions. Although website design may vary across different retailers, add-to-cart button, which enables consumers to select items for eventual purchase, is a common feature that shared by all websites. In this research, we are interested in exploring how add-to-cart button may influence consumer’s online shopping experience. We focus on two important properties of the button: color and position. Specifically, we will examine two major colors used by e-retailers on add-to-cart button—red and yellow and two positions of the button— right and left side of the website. We investigate the interactive effect of color and position of add-to-cart button on consumer’s button-click intention and purchase decision.

Labrecque, Patrick, and Milne (2013) propose two levels of meaning of color: embodied meaning and referential meaning. Embodied meaning refers to the original and natural meaning of the stimuli, which is automatic, is enduring, and can evoke biological reactions. The embodied meaning of red color is more arousing and exciting than any other colors, including yellow (Clark & Costall, 2007). The referential meaning, driven by individual’s semantic association, is the meaning of color that people learned from the real world. People normally associate red color with negative characteristics, such as nervousness, strength, and aggressiveness and associate yellow color with positive characteristics of optimism, friendliness, and sincerity (e.g., Labrecque & Milne 2012). Thus, the referential meaning of red color is less favorable than yellow color. Meyers-Levy and Zhu (2010) suggest that which meaning (i.e., embodied or referential) exerts influence depends on the magnitude of cognitive resources required to process the stimuli. Based on the left-to-right information processing habits, we argue that when add-to-cart button is placed on the right side of the website, information processor’s cognitive capacity is high, and the referential meaning of color surpass its embodied meaning (i.e., yellow is more favorable than red). In contrast, placing the button on the left side will restrict cognitive capacity, making the embodied meaning of color more salient (i.e., red is more favorable than red).

A laboratory-based experiment provides preliminary support to our hypotheses. We find that when add-to-cart button is placed on the right side of website, yellow-colored button promotes click decision more than red-colored button (45.0% vs. 29.5%, χ = 3.11, ρ = 0.092); when it is placed on the left side, red-colored button promotes click decision more than yellow-colored button (19.6% vs. 41.0%, χ = 6.24, ρ = 0.016).

Copyright information

© Academy of Marketing Science 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Drexel UniversityPhiladelphiaUSA

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