Businesses have to design and create an easily navigable, functional website to give a hassle-free experience to visitors. But is the website accessible to people with disabilities?
The CDC notes that 61 million Americans have a disability that hampers their regular life activities. In the U.S. alone, there are over 266.7 million people who shop online. You must take steps to make your website accessible to all.
This is where web accessibility kicks in. Accessibility solutions ensure your site is available to all, including the disabled. Making your site user-friendly can eventually boost sales and increase revenue.
What is website accessibility and why is it important?
The ability of persons with impairments to utilize a website, application, or technology is called web accessibility.
Why Accessibility on the Web Is So Important?
The web is essentially built to work for everyone, regardless of their geographical location, ability, or language. When it meets its very aim, it’s accessible to all individuals.
However, disability changes how the web works for some people. For instance, the web must remove interaction barriers people may experience in the real world. Nonetheless, poorly designed sites are an obstacle for the disabled.
Currently, many websites and tools have accessibility barriers, preventing the disabled from using them.
Accessible websites enable people with impairments to have equal access to online information.
The Advantages of Having an Accessible Website
Most developers mistakenly believe that accessibility is a hassle and a liability, while the opposite is true. Web accessibility benefits your company, but only if you understand it. I will discuss some of the significant advantages of having an accessible website.
- Increasing Accessibility Improves Responsiveness
Instead of forcing people to interact in a manner that suits you, accessibility lets them utilize your website any way they need to or want to. Many individuals use accessible features even if they are not considered impaired. For instance, many individuals prefer the keyboard to surf websites rather than the computer trackpad.
- The Community of People with Disabilities Is Important
You cannot ignore them since they make up 19% of the American population. People who may not have had many opportunities to express their opinions in public now have a voice, thanks to the Internet. The repercussions to a company’s reputation might be severe if it is believed that they don’t help the disabled.
- Accessibility Encourages Loyalty and Trust
People with disabilities, who are more likely to purchase online, may feel more at peace and have easier access. Offering accessible services improves your reputation and fosters customer loyalty to your business.
There are six incredible ways web accessibility solutions may drive more sales
Many parts of accessibility are pretty simple to comprehend and put into practice. Some accessibility solutions are harder to deploy and need more expertise.
To avoid having to go back and re-implement, it is more practical and efficient to include accessibility from the beginning.
- Enhance the visual appeal of your website
Nothing attracts an audience more than a barrier-free website. Not only does it makes your site navigable, but it boosts their shopping experience. A visually appealing site is attractive, and people naturally love to explore anything that appeals to them.
If people with disabilities can search, find, and consume information with little effort, more people will turn to your site.
Further, it is worth noting that over 50% of online shoppers are mobile users. Even more, the number is predicted to grow in the future. Web inaccessibility increases page abandonment rates because your site isn’t appealing to mobile users.
Visitors quickly leave sites they cannot comfortably use on their mobile devices. However, incorporating web accessibility solutions boosts sales by making your site attractive to mobile users.
- Attract people with disabilities
Did you know 23% of disabled US residents never go online? This implies that you’re missing out on a major audience that can significantly contribute to your business growth.
By making your site accessible, you give the disabled a chance to shop online. This will keep them from visiting brick-and-mortar stores or depending on others to buy the items.
By offering an experience that makes them feel confident about their abilities, you’ll gain recognition among everyone. Consequently, more people would be willing to purchase from your brand.
- Boost your brand’s reputation
Reputation can make or break your business. It plays a critical role in shaping your business in a highly competitive digital world. Forbes conducted a study on 1,000 Americans and concluded the following trends:
88% of people are more loyal to brands that advocate social and environmental problems. Plus, 92% of individuals are more likely to trust that brand.
Note that social responsibility is a critical part of website accessibility strategy. It allows one to form a positive brand culture, increase consumer loyalty, and boost business.
So, by utilizing accessibility solutions, you’ll hit two targets with one arrow – people with disabilities and those who do not have any.
- Retain customers
Research unfolds that customer acquisition is 5-25 times more expensive than customer retention. While we do not discourage you from investing in new customers, you must not lose your existing customers.
They are the backbone of your business and the reason your brand experienced growth. Implementing accessibility features will help retain customers regardless of the circumstances.
By making your site accessible to all, you’ll gain long-term customers and keep them from turning to your competitors.
As such, you’ll also have to invest less in acquiring new customers. So, instead of spending more on gaining customers, improve your site’s experience. It will help you retain existing customers, and new ones will naturally be drawn to your site.
- Sell disability-specific items
Data reveals that 65% of disabled consumers feel they have limited purchasing choices, and 43% reported abandoning a site due to web barriers.
It wouldn’t be wrong to say businesses are losing billions by not targeting disabled consumers. However, investing in web accessibility allows you to make your site available to everyone. You can expand your line by selling disability-specific products.
Consider including services and items appealing to people with disabilities. Anything that upgrades their well-being can help you boost sales.
- Protect your business from lawsuit
According to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Standards, your products, services, and the site must be accessible to all, including the disabled. So, the law requires you to improve your website experience so that it doesn’t discriminate against anyone.
For instance, a person with impaired hearing must be able to navigate through your site and consume all the data. You can do so by providing a video that explains all the site features. This requires you to include transcripts or captions for the impaired people to read.
By not making your website ADA compliant, you might be vulnerable to litigation. Data unveils that over 2250 web accessibility lawsuits have been filed in the past. A lawsuit not only takes a chunk off your revenue but also negatively impacts your business reputation.
If you run a savvy online store, you probably understand the importance of addressing accessibility. However, prioritizing the problem in comparison to other initiatives could be difficult.
Fortunately, accessibility solutions relieves you of the responsibility. The solutions should follow WCAG and ADA guidelines and should be easy to implement.
The days of being recognized and succeeding as a company owner based on your excellent services and goods are long gone. In order to get an edge over its competitors and build your company, you will need to go beyond what is required.