'Tis the season to be jolly, and for eCommerce businesses, it's also the hottest season of the year for sales. The holiday season is one of the most lucrative times of the year for online retailers, with people around the world on the hunt for holiday gifts. According to our research, people with disabilities in the US plan to spend over 22 billion dollars in online gift shopping this Christmas. You read that correctly: 22 billion dollars in consumer spending just from the disability communities alone.
Ensuring that your eCommerce website is accessible for people with disabilities is not just the right thing to do and a legal obligation – it's also a business move you can’t afford to ignore. eComm sites that prioritize accessibility for the holidays will see the benefits, and those that don’t will be missing out.
accessiBe teamed up with Open Inclusion to research how important web accessibility is for eComm businesses today. Let’s see what the data says so your website can jingle all the way.
A Larger Customer Base That Gives Gifts
During the holiday season, you're likely to see a surge in online shoppers, and that includes people both with and without disabilities. If you simply ignore the incredible spending power of the disability communities, you lose a massive potential customer base. Web accessibility ensures that people with disabilities can navigate and make purchases on your website, expanding your customer base and being inclusive.
Think about how much potential sales you could be missing out on if your website isn't accessible to everyone. Actually, we can tell you exactly how much: our research shows that web accessibility difficulties can cost businesses $8 billion in holiday revenue. Luckily, you can avoid this potential loss, just by choosing to be inclusive and accessible.
The Digital Experience That Makes a Difference
The UX of your eCommerce website for people with disabilities is dependent on its accessibility. So what are the friction points that prevent gift buyers with disabilities from becoming potential customers?
- 20% had issues creating an account or logging in to the eComm website
- 39% could not find the information they needed about a product or service
- 38% had problems with online purchasing and couldn’t contact customer service for help
- 28% could not interact with the website to select the items that they wanted
- 25% had issues with checking out and completing the payment process
The truth is, that an accessible website is not just for people with disabilities; it benefits everyone. Features like clear navigation, readable text, customer service prompts, and easily clickable buttons, improve the user experience for everyone. When your website is easy to use, you can look forward to increased conversion rates, which can make an especially big impact during holiday shopping.
Disability Doesn’t Mean Less Holiday Cheer
Gift Giving in the Blind and Low-Vision Community
Some disabilities impact website navigation more than others. For users who are blind or have low vision, for example, website accessibility is make or break for their ability to use your website and purchase gifts.
Our research shows that the blind and low-vision community will spend close to 8 billion dollars on holiday gifts. In the last 5 years, over half of the people with sight loss have experienced issues purchasing a gift online, and 31% already say that they’ve experienced difficulties at online checkout.
But don’t worry. For those of you who prioritize web accessibility, 60% of people with vision loss say that they are more likely to return to an accessible website to make more purchases. This potential for customer loyalty goes beyond just the holiday season. Over 50% of blind or low-vision respondents said that they are more loyal to brands that provide an accessible experience online. So make sure to include this community for the holidays so that they fall in love with your products and your website, and keep coming back all year round.
Don’t Prevent People with Autism from Bringing Holiday Cheer
You might not think about people with autism when you think about web accessibility, but this is an important segment of society and consumer spending power and more than 1 in 5 people with autism say they will abandon their gift purchase if they face a web accessibility issue. So you want to make sure that all your customers have a smooth UX all the way to checkout.
People with ADHD Are Looking for Supportive Sites
ADHD is so common that many businesses don’t consider potential challenges for these users when it comes to online shopping. However, our research shows that 52% of respondents with ADHD struggle at least some of the time with buying gifts online. That means most people with ADHD face a digital barrier at some point in their buying journey. On the flip side, 60% of respondents with ADHD said they are likely to return to websites that provide a positive experience.
Make Your Website Sleigh!
Thanks to Open Inclusion, the numbers are in, and an accessible website is a no-brainer for eCommerce businesses. As the holidays approach, keep in mind the vast communities of people with disabilities who have gift lists and are ready to shop. Is your website ready to welcome them?
An inclusive website for the holiday season is step one to an inclusive holiday campaign for your eCommerce business. But it doesn’t stop there. That’s why we made 4 accessibility checklists so that you can make your website and your online presence sleigh this holiday season.