Disabled consumers

UK retailers are at risk of losing £249bn a year by ignoring consumers with a disability according to the UK Government’s estimate, leading panellists at the Festival of Marketing yesterday (4 October) to debate what more retailers, brands and advertisers could do to appeal to disabled people. Over 52% of people globally are affected by disability.

Rick Williams, author of a research report called ‘The Click Away Pound’, asked brands to start by addressing the accessibility of the online experience.

According to his study, 6.1 million UK shoppers – with a combined spending power of £16.5bn – have access issues when they shop online. Some 71% of disabled consumers also report clicking away from a website because they found it difficult to use, costing brands in excess of £11.75bn.

The report also found that 82% of customers would spend more money if websites were accessible.

“If you go to a web developer and say make this website accessible they will say yes, but they have no idea what they’re doing,” Williams explained.

“Retrofitting is a very expensive way to go. The most effective way is to design a website to be inclusive from the outset. However, no one person in an organisation…