PURPLE TUESDAY 12 November 2019
“Despite the irony that most of the 3 million people in the UK that Colour Blind Awareness represents have never experienced the colour purple, we are fully behind Purple Tuesday. It’s a fantastic opportunity to highlight to retailers and landlords how they can generate additional turnover just by taking some simple steps. Here’s an opportunity to make a real difference to people’s lives by ensuring an inclusive retail experience everyone, including those with hidden disabilities such as with colour blindness. In these competitive and uncertain times can you afford not to? Today isn’t about jumping onto bandwagons, so make the most of it. There’s nothing we like more than praising organisations who want to help, so seize the opportunities to organise some training from us, then tell us what you’ve achieved and will give you some great PR.” Kathryn Albany-Ward, CEO Colour Blind Awareness.
To understand how your business can attract and retain colour blind customers start by reading our simple two-page document Creating a colour blind friendly retail experience.
Colour blind customers are often ignored by the retail industry, see the two examples below:-
Product packaging and placement
The images below show how difficult it is for the colour blind to pick out products on supermarket shelves by colour. They also demonstrate how much of an impact blue and yellow can have on their buying choices. As a colour blind person, would you automatically be drawn to the blue product on the middle of the top shelf on the right simply because you can easily identify it? Would it then become your product of choice just because you know where it can be found on the shelf?
‘Traffic light’ food labelling systems advising customers on the levels of fat, salt, carbohydrate eyc within each product usually show high levels of each component in red, medium levels in orange and low levels in green. This set of colours is intended to show customers at a glance the average levels of each component within the product. But red, amber and green are colours which people with colour blindness often can’t tell apart, so they need extra information.
If information is also given in text colour blind can seek it out, but packaging companies don’t usually realise the importance of strong colour contrast between text and background information. Black text against a red background can be invisible to many people with colour blindness but it’s a common combination used in packaging. This can have serious consequences if your customer is diabetic and trying to work out sugar content, or worse has a nut allergy but they aren’t sure if certain allergens are present or not.
Solutions to these kinds of problems are not about removing colour, far from it – they are about how to present information in other ways as well as colour, so that information is available to everyone.
You might think that a big, red SALE sign in your shop window will be so obvious that no-one could possibly miss it, but you’d be wrong! Reds just don’t stand out to people with colour blindness so if you want to catch their eye and entice them in to your shop, you’ll have to think differently. Once a colour blind customer is inside your shop you’ll also need to be sure they can see your sale items – and they won’t notice red sale tickets either. Clever retailers keep red sale tickets for customers with normal colour vision but subtly adapt them so they can be spotted by all customers.
Then there’s the issue of how you label individual products. Our two-page document Creating a colour blind friendly retail experience explains why it’s so important that products are properly labelled with simple colour names, both in-store and throughout each stage of the purchasing process on your website (see below).
Red Sales Ticket
Yellow & Blue Sales Ticket
Finally, don’t forget how you present information in colour on your website. There are guidelines on how to present information online so it is accessible, including specific information for web designers on colour contrast ratios see the World Wide Web Consortium guidelines here.
This is only half the story! If you want people with colour blindness to buy from your online store you will need to ensure that you label all the products with a simple colour name, in text (not just by a colour swatch) and ensure that colour name follows the product right the way through the buying process.
We would be delighted to advise you further!