Why Retail Industry Should Focus On Digital Accessibility?

Graphical picture of Why Retail Industry Should Focus On Digital Accessibility

Key Takeaways

  1. Digital accessibility expands your customer base and enhances the user experience.
  2. Improved accessibility can lead to increased revenue and profitability and enhances brand reputation.
  3. Ensure your retail website complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) by following the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG).
  4. Retailers can increase their revenue by using Augmented Reality (AR) on their websites and mobile applications to keep customers engaged, allowing them to try things out before even buying.
Digital accessibility is pivotal in the retail industry, offering significant business benefits such as increased customer satisfaction, trust, and retention. By developing inclusive digital products like websites, PDFs, and mobile apps that cater to individuals with disabilities, retailers can bolster their brand reputation, expand their customer base, and reach a wider audience.

Benefits Of Digital Accessibility In The Retail Industry

Digital accessibility in the retail industry is essential to ensure universal access to websites and applications. It encompasses designing and developing digital platforms that accommodate all users, eliminating barriers that may impede job opportunities, civic participation, and other essential aspects of life. By prioritizing website accessibility, the retail sector contributes to creating a more inclusive society.

Building an accessible website for the retail industry is an objective with multiple advantages for website owners. In addition to fostering inclusivity, it enhances the user experience, expands the potential customer base, and promotes brand reputation. By embracing digital accessibility, retail businesses can tap into a broader audience while demonstrating their commitment to equal access and social responsibility.

Expanded Customer Base

Digital accessibility ensures that websites and applications are designed to accommodate all users, eliminating barriers to accessing employment opportunities, civic participation, and more. Creating accessible websites in the retail sector brings multiple advantages to website owners.

Enhanced User Experience

A well-designed and accessible website provides a seamless user experience for all individuals, including those with disabilities. By being user-friendly and removing obstacles, people with disabilities can carry out transactions effortlessly, leading to increased engagement and customer satisfaction.

Increased Revenue And Profitability

One notable advantage of digital accessibility is improved search engine optimization, resulting in higher rankings and increased revenue for online retailers. Reaching a wider audience through accessibility measures enhances the user experience, improving revenue and profitability.

Improved Brand Reputation

Digital accessibility demonstrates a retailer’s commitment to inclusivity and accessibility, thereby enhancing its brand reputation. It also safeguards against penalties related to non-compliance with accessibility standards.

Tips That Can Help Make Online Retail Stores Accessible

Making Websites Accessible

Online retailers should prioritize website accessibility for all users, regardless of cognitive or physical disabilities. By providing a more inclusive shopping experience, retailers can avoid alienating customers, leading to increased conversions and revenue.

Providing Alternative Formats For Content

Online retailers should provide alternative formats for content, such as audio descriptions or video transcripts, ensuring accessibility for all users. Optimizing the content structure and titles with accurate descriptions of page content can drive traffic, boost conversions, and enhance the overall user experience.

Using Assistive Technologies

Retailers can leverage assistive technologies like screen readers or voice recognition software to make digital products more accessible. These technologies include specialized software and hardware that improve mobility, hearing, vision, and communication capacities, enabling individuals with disabilities to use computers and mobile devices easily.

Creating Accessible Mobile Apps

By implementing digital accessibility best practices for mobile apps, online retailers can provide a user-friendly experience for people with disabilities. Incorporating features such as alternative text for images and using clear, straightforward language helps improve engagement, customer loyalty, and personalization.

Best Practices For Ensuring Digital Accessibility In The Retail Industry

Conducting Regular Accessibility Audits

Regular accessibility audits help retailers gauge the ease of use of their websites for a diverse range of potential users, including individuals with disabilities. These audits identify and address accessibility issues, ensuring compatibility with assistive technologies and offering tangible improvements for businesses.

Incorporating Accessibility Into Design And Development Processes

Accessibility should be integrated into digital product design and development processes. Adhering to inclusive design principles allows retailers to serve as many people as possible, regardless of their sensory, cognitive, or physical capabilities. Collaboration with accessibility experts and using accessibility tools further ensure compliance with accessibility standards.

Providing Accessible Training And Resources

To create a safe and accessible environment for individuals with disabilities, retailers should provide training and resources to their employees. This ensures employees possess the necessary knowledge and skills to develop accessible digital products. Physical accessibility measures, such as unobstructed aisles, and social-emotional skills, such as offering assistance politely, are also important considerations.

Working With Accessibility Experts/Tools

Working with accessibility experts and utilizing tools like PREP (PDF and Document Remediation Platform) can assist retailers in ensuring that their documents and PDFs are accessible to all users. PREP, an AI-driven platform, offers efficient and accurate remediation of PDFs and other document formats, significantly reducing turnaround time. It includes a built-in accessibility checker that validates documents according to relevant guidelines.

Final Thoughts

Digital accessibility is an integral aspect for online retailers aiming to reach a broader audience, enhance the user experience, increase revenue and profitability, and improve brand reputation. Implementing the tips and best practices outlined in this blog allows retailers to prioritize digital accessibility and cater to customers, regardless of their abilities or disabilities. Additionally, retailers should actively seek customer feedback to continually improve their websites and demonstrate a commitment to customer satisfaction and inclusivity.

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Editors:

Debangku Sarma

Digital Marketing Associate
Continual Engine

Vijayshree Vethantham

Senior Vice-President, Growth & Strategy
Continual Engine US LLC

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