How Web Accessibility Affects Consumers’ Purchase Intention
Accessibility is a word you often hear when you’re opening and running a business. For many, that means ensuring that your office or store is designed to accommodate the needs of people with disabilities. Some examples of that would include wheelchair ramps and easy-to-grasp door knobs for people with motor issues such as arthritis. Without these features, these people would be unable to physically access your public facility.
But accessibility doesn’t stop at the physical world. A big part of our lives occurs in the digital one. That’s why web accessibility is important as well. It ensures that everyone can access and use the web. The good news is, web accessibility can also positively influence the perception and behavior of all your customers, not just the ones with disabilities.
Easier navigation through your website ensures a smoother journey
Part of making a website accessible is to ensure it’s easy to navigate for all users, especially the ones with disabilities. This means making sure that the website is navigable by keyboard. It also means structuring and organizing your content in a logical way. Adding headers will help users quickly find the section they’re interested in. Making sure all the buttons and links are clickable will prevent users from getting frustrated.
88% of users are less likely to return to a website after a bad experience. When customers’ interactions with your website are fast and smooth, they’re more likely to stay on your website and buy your product or service.
Reaching out to more potential consumers with inclusive web design
Having an inclusive website enables you to reach more customers. One out of four Americans (adults) lives with a disability. Enabling all of them to fully engage with the content of your website in order to fulfill their needs will not only increase your customer base and boost sales but will also strengthen customer loyalty.
On the opposite end, an inaccessible website will cost you potential customers. It may even cause you to lose current ones. In fact, 71% of users with access needs will leave a website due to poor accessibility. This is why it’s important that business owners become familiar with web accessibility laws and standards. This should give them a clear idea of what to do to meet the requirements.
Offering products & services with detailed descriptions
According to the GE Capital Retail Bank, 81% of retail shoppers conduct online research before making a purchase. In addition, a report published by the Nielsen Norman Group states that 20% of abandoned purchases are because of “incomplete or unclear” product information. To ensure your customer’s continued journey down your pipeline, it’s important to provide detailed descriptions for products and services that are easy to understand, even for people with cognitive disabilities.
All users must be able to have a clear understanding of what your business is offering. Moreover, it’s important that the descriptions include details that would be important for a disabled customer to know. For example, a person with a disability buying clothes may need to know if there are designs that may be difficult for them to handle such as hard-to-reach buttons. The type and texture of the material will also need to be included in the description because many disabled individuals have issues with them. Without this information, disabled people feel reluctant to buy online.
Creating a better online shopping experience
Did you know that 89% of customers are willing to pay more for a better customer experience? An inclusive website does not only ensure people with disabilities are able to interact with the content and get access to information. It also makes the experience better all around. For example, adding alternative text to product images allows screen readers to inform visually impaired customers about what is being displayed. It also enables people with slow internet to know what the image should display without having to wait for the image to load.
That’s not all. Accessibility doesn’t stop at design. Store policies, for example, should be created with accessibility in mind. Also, consider a return policy that makes it easier for customers with texture issues to return clothes. Providing assistance to online shoppers when they need it through chat or phone can help improve the shopping experience for both types of customers.
Web accessibility is the right thing to do for any business, and it’s not just because it’s the law and you don’t want to be sued. It’s also a surefire way to grow your business and keep it successful. Increasing your customer base is key. So is keeping them happy. An inclusive website can help you achieve both.