DESPERATE TO RAISE THOSE END-OF-YEAR E-COMMERCE NUMBERS? TRY ACCESSIBILITY.

There may be no better, quicker growth hack to significantly raise your traffic.

A lot of ink has been spilled, of late, about the new web accessibility regulations that will come into force in the New Year – and how non-compliance threatens your business. But far less has been written about the good news regarding accessibility. And there is very good news, indeed, for sales and marketing departments, especially. Complying with accessibility requirements could really help your bottom line.

Everyone knows that conversion rates are notoriously hard to raise. E-commerce budgets are soaring, $170b was spent on e-commerce marketing last year alone. But across most industries, the rate of conversion remains as low as 2-5%. And, as marketers are only too keenly aware, that rate won’t budge, no matter what you throw at the funnel.

Those in the know who want a better way to improve their ROI need to focus on increasing traffic to their sites. And that is where ensuring website accessibility and compliance with the new rules may represent a windfall. There may be no better, quicker way to increase your traffic than accessibility. If, however, you do it right.

The first thing to realize is that the number of potential new customers, people who suffer from some disability and are currently prevented from navigating countless sites, is enormous. We’re talking tens of millions of potential new visitors to your site, in America alone. For example, in the United States, nearly 20 million people, over 8% of the population, cannot fully lift or grasp objects, including a computer mouse. Often these people can’t use a keyboard, either. Ensuring that your site meets accessibility requirements will not only shield you from potentially huge fines, it opens your business up to those 20 million new potential customers, in one fell swoop. But it doesn’t end there.

Over 15 million Americans suffer from some cognitive impairment, making their engaging with typical e-commerce content difficult or impossible. That, too, is something you could solve by implementing the right accessibility solution for your platform. Those 15 million people need not be lost to your business if you ensure your site’s accessibility in the right way. Similarly, over 8 million Americans have vision impairment and another 7.6 have a hearing impairment. They, too, another 15 million people, would be able to navigate your business’ site if it is made accessible and compliant with the new rules about to be issued.

Overall, that’s tens of millions of potential new customers, more than the population of many states – added to your potential base by doing the right (and legally required) thing. In fact, ensuring accessibility to your site is the equivalent as adding entire countries to your operation. And it’s not just people with disabilities; about one-third of seniors suffer from severe hearing loss, for example. That’s a lot of potential clients.

 

 

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And while we are on the subject of countries… For companies operating in foreign markets, the upside of accessibility is almost unlimited. According to the World Health Organization’s statistics, over 285 million people worldwide suffer from eyesight impairments. Another 360 million – more than the entire population of the United States – are living with hearing impairments. Imagine the potential of opening your site up to even a fraction of that population. Well, you could do that by implementing a simple, turn-key accessibility solution.

But it doesn’t end there. Ensuring website accessibility could do wonders for your SEO results. See, there is a tight correlation between the qualities in a site that make for good SEO scores, and accessibility. In other words, Google rewards accessible and compliant websites by making them rank higher in searches. And ranking higher in Google searches means much higher traffic… Just like doing the right thing and ensuring that your site treats everyone with the basic respect and dignity they deserve regardless of disabilities won’t do any harm to your brand reputation either. Wouldn’t you prefer a brand that you know is acting ethically than one that is not? Anywhere you look, accessibility spells traffic.

And accessibility could present a huge upside for businesses with retail operations, too. According to Google, 85% of customers use their smartphones in store. According to MasterCard, customers who shop in store as well as on that store’s website purchase 250% more, on average. See where we’re headed? Ensuring website accessibility will likely increase in store sales as well.

As Make-Sense VP Global Marketing & VP Sales Europe, Ofer Mandelberg notes, “What people don’t realize is that ensuring accessibility gives your business the true access — to millions and millions of new potential customers. These people not only deserve the same access to goods and services online as anyone else, they are eager to shop just like you and me. And with the right solution, ensuring compliance can be done very affordably, painlessly and intelligently. It’s really a no-brainer.”

Ensuring that your site meets all accessibility requirements is not only doing the right thing, it is the ultimate growth hack. And it can be done very easily with the right turnkey solution.

So spend a few extra dollars on a solid, one stop accessibility solution, do the right thing, avoid legal problems, and reap the rewards.