It is no surprise that people with disabilities were classified as a "minority" and too much of a niche market to cater to in the past. Today, that "niche market" consisting of 15% of our global population has a spending power worth $8 trillion annually.
Recently, the status quo has certainly changed since additions to legislation have been passed to enable people with disabilities the opportunity to live their lives to the fullest and as independently as possible.
We have come a long way and seen the rise of Accessibility's popularity, and it's found itself being a buzz/hip word that seems to be the tip of most people's tongues. The reality is that for people with disabilities, Accessibility has been continuous, at the forefront of their lives, and with very little focus on it from society.
There is a lot of focus from the media, government, and the corporates because the world is slowly but surely starting to understand the vital importance of including everyone, especially in post-Covid times!
Is a Return of Investment Even Possible?
The general consensus between decision-makers and business owners seems to be pointing out that they deem calculating the digital transformation return of investment as near impossible. So why don't we look at some of the evidence out there?
According to NASDAQ (2017), online sales are on track towards making up more than 90% of total sales by 2040. With statistics before Covid, one can easily suggest that the results and figures have grown substantially. A clear indication of how "going" accessible can be seen when looking at the following businesses that have already taken the not so daunting task when you view the results.
The NHS succeeded in rolling out a major digital transformation which resulted in a reduction in the average time spent on their website because users could find the information they were looking for far quicker. Their daily visitor engagement also increased by 73%.
Tesco, in 2001 took the initiative to develop an accessible website which led to their average everyday customers finding the new version far easier to use. This resulted in the decision to include Accessibility throughout their online presence. These pioneering decisions within the retail industry culminated into the following results:
Tesco.com sales went from £52 million in 2000 to £235 million in 2001 (that's an increase of 352%!)
Revenue from online sales increased to £13 million annually
Pre-Christmas orders increased to 700,000 per week (compared to 28,000 deliveries per average week in 2000 and 70,000 per week in 2001)
Apart from the increase in revenue, there are other motivators for being accessible. Internet browsers want to deliver only the best search results to their users. Search engine crawlers are also interested in the user experience of your website and rank them according to their usability. Another fun fact is that accessible content is actually, by default, search engine optimized content! And, last but not least, it's about doing the right thing and how that impacts your brand's reputation and why it makes you more desirable by 80% of consumers globally because you are supporting a cause!
Whether businesses have doubts about taking their first steps towards being accessible to all or not, there are clear facts to imply that this should be an easy decision to make to increase growth, revenue, and branding. The massive divide between those who can and those who can't access goods and services digitally needs to be closed, and this needs to be done now! The need for inclusive design in any facet of life is never going to disappear. Nor is the need for businesses to find new ways of generating revenue after the massive devastation the Corona Virus has caused.
All the knowledge, skills, and technology required are easily and readily available to ensure that you're targeting every market sector and not just the ones you think suit you best.