Have you ever been frustrated when using a website? As a ‘non-disabled’ user I can certainly say I have felt this way. From a complicated checkout process that obliges me to subscribe or register to something I don’t want to, to hidden prices, privacy or security concerns…, among others, have made bounce out of a website to never return, or even abandon a cart with something I really needed but rather go and find elsewhere. So what does this have to do with accessibility?
I am fortunate enough to be considered ‘non-disabled‘ -for the time being-. So… how about disabled users? How about seniors? How about your cousin that is partially color-blind, or your father that needs 200X augmentation and higher contrast to comfortably read? Or how about your sister, that just had a baby and has a hard time using her phone while holding her child? Cause look, if you think you have to be seriously disabled to need what web accessibility brings to the table -or just enjoy a less frustrating experience while using the web in some situations-, you’re in for a big surprise.
For starters, the market segment of disabled people might be bigger than you think. There are different estimates you can find on the web, ranging from 12% to 26% of the population –if you take the US as an example-.
When they say accessibility is for all, they are not just saying it.
But let’s also think of how the US population -and the world’s- is aging, and how seniors have many overlapping needs with the disabled. 2 in 5 adults age 65 years and older have a disability. We are talking about disabilities that may not be prevalent, might be situational, derived from temporary or changing health conditions.
And finally, think about how you -if you are a non-disabled user- may use website accessibility in a situation of temporary disability like an accident, or simply because you are in a loud place where you cannot hear well, or a bright sunny day outside where you can scarcely see your device’s screen.
Accessibility in rough numbers.
So let’s think about this in numbers. Add to the disabled market segment, our seniors, and all others in any other situation in which they cannot use a website in a “regular manner” -whatever that is-, and you’ll see why stating that 15% of the people that reach your website might be experiencing accessibility obstacles that can deter against consumption in YOUR business is a conservative statement.
What does these 15% mean to a business owner?
In a rough-conservative estimate, it means that if you have 100,000 visitors per month in your store, about 15,000 of your visitors have some form of disability.
So you have to ask yourself how much would your monthly profitability be impacted if your site is accessible?
How much will your shopping cart abandonment rate decrease with just accessibility?
No money put into marketing or ads to increase your website traffic, but instead investing in an overlooked market segment that decreases the average bounce rate of people already visiting your store. Not even mentioning what it can do for your brand, customer retention rate and loyalty in today’s circumstances.
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