If we polled companies that haven’t yet made digital accessibility a priority and asked “Why not?”, it’s a safe bet that a majority would cite cost and time as barriers. Yes, doing digital accessibility the right way comes with a price tag and an investment of resources.
But the arguments for digital accessibility, from doing the right thing to avoiding liability, leads to one inevitable bottom line:
Digital accessibility just makes good business sense.
Here are 5 reasons to view digital accessibility as a savvy investment in your customers and your business.
1. Make Your Content Available to Everyone
According to estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly one-quarter of American adults identify as having a disability. Vision and hearing impairment, cognitive impairment and mobility limitations all impact web users’ ability to access web content.
Aligning your digital content with Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 (commonly referred to as WCAG 2.0) is the accepted standard for providing equal web access. Adhering to these standards also helps protect against lawsuits alleging violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 508 (see reason #4).
Ensuring that your content is accessible to everyone is a guaranteed way to broaden your market reach and build your customer base.
2. Increase Online Sales
Particularly for ecommerce sites, a more accessible website can translate directly to better sales. When the shopping cart, checkout process and associated forms are properly coded to support keyboard navigation, screen readers and other assistive technology, a higher percentage of customers can make purchases.
Not to mention that a simpler and more accessible online shopping experience can lead to higher rates of conversion among all site visitors. Basic principles of digital accessibility, such as adequate contrast and easy navigation, enhance the user experience for everyone.
3. Elevate Your Brand
Making your digital content accessible to everyone communicates dedication, social responsibility, and a high level of commitment to customer service – all attributes that can benefit any brand. (Don’t forget to include a written commitment to accessibility on your website.)
In short, a digitally accessible website can help secure brand advocates among the disabled population … and their friends, family members and the general community through positive word-of-mouth.
4. Protect Against Liability Exposure
The last few years have seen an increase in lawsuits alleging digital accessibility errors that prohibit equal web access. In several high-profile cases, courts have sided with plaintiffs and ordered companies to remediate their websites and pay legal fees.
Digital accessibility helps organizations avoid unnecessary (and expensive) litigation brought by customers who are unable to complete a purchase, obtain information or generally take advantage of the intended uses of your website.
5. Attract Top Talent
Research shows that disabled employees often rank among the workforce’s most valuable and dedicated workers, according to the publication HR Dive. Don’t inadvertently prohibit your company from hiring talented workers who can make a positive impact on the bottom line. Companies should ensure their career pages and online application tools are optimized for digital accessibility.
Maximize your digital accessibility efforts – along with your bottom line – by partnering with an expert. Make-Sense’s solution focuses on reducing the cost and time involved in ensuring your web content is accessible. The platform allows immediate changes to bring you into compliance with WCAG 2.0, while providing recommendations for back-end fixes to ensure continuous 24/7 accessibility.