Retailers are better at dealing with consumers with disabilities, but barriers remain

Retailers are better at dealing with consumers with disabilities, but barriers remain

83% of businesses are doing more to ensure accessibility in digital marketing than in the past, demographics such as age, gender and race are more often prioritized in marketing efforts.

This is according to Accessible Marketing Survey 2022 conducted by Capterra, an online marketplace that serves as an intermediary between buyers and technology providers within the software industry.

One in four American adults live with a physical or mental disability, but are often excluded from digital marketing messages due to accessibility barriers.

In different types of accessibility, marketers typically focus on providing visual and auditory features rather than cognitive ones. This may be because they mistakenly believe that vision and hearing impairments are the most common disabilities in the US, when in fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that cognitive impairments are more common (10.8% of Americans). Although 53% of marketers consider digital content to be cognitively impaired, improvements can be made to improve functions for consumers who face cognitive challenges such as difficulty concentrating, remembering or making decisions.

The survey also reveals that marketers recognize the need to be better educated about accessibility. In fact, 45% of marketers say that education would motivate their company to be more proactive in improving accessibility. Training can also help marketers better understand specific disability compliance laws.

In addition to the need for more education, cost and technology barriers hinder improvements in accessible marketing. Cost is the biggest challenge: 69% of marketers strongly or somewhat believe that it is expensive to create affordable digital marketing. One in four marketers say that lack of technology to implement features is the biggest barrier to creating accessible content.

Implementing accessibility is a challenge regardless of the platform. Almost half (49%) of marketers rate social media as the most difficult platform to provide accessibility features – likely due to its ever-evolving and difficult nature to monitor. Despite its longevity compared to newer social media channels, 43% of marketers still cite email as the most difficult platform for accessibility, with 39% citing the same for websites.

Meghan Bazaman, senior marketing analyst at Capterra, said: “As accessibility in marketing continues to gain traction, businesses need the right resources, including training, budget and technology, to improve.

“By taking a more proactive approach, marketers can reach more customers while creating a positive brand perception.”

In addition to doing the right thing, companies that have included accessible marketing reports have improved customer relationships. Of marketers who currently provide accessibility features, 53% and 44% say it improves customer service and customer loyalty/retention, respectively.

Providing affordable marketing is beneficial, but it’s an ongoing process in the evolving online environment. Accessibility software and free online resources can help marketers implement accessibility features. View the full report for more actionable insights to help businesses improve marketing reach.

Are you interested in the world’s leading brands personally discussing such topics? Learn more about World Digital Marketing Forum (#DMWF) Europe, London, North America and Singapore.

Tags: accessibility, disability, email, Social media, Web page

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