29th April 2024

An Expert Reveals Why Accessibility Must Be A Priority For Retail Industries

According to research from the UK Parliament, around 16 million people in the UK were identified as disabled in 2021/22, which is around 24% of the population.

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An Expert Reveals Why Accessibility Must Be A Priority For Retail Industries
Woman In Wheelchair Shopping For Food In Delicatessen

According to research from the UK Parliament, around 16 million people in the UK were identified as disabled in 2021/22, which is around 24% of the population. However, ​​​​90% of retailers don’t have an online accessibility strategy to account for these shoppers, meaning they’re heavily underserved online.  

Mike Adams OBE is a celebrated disability pioneer, Creator and Founder of Purple Tuesday and also the founder of EnableAll, a boundary-pushing online marketplace that puts accessibility at the heart of its mission. He’s imploring retailers to prioritise strategies towards accessible e-commerce and tap into potential billions in unspent online shopping from the purple pound. He’s outlined the opportunities available for retailers, large and small.  

The underserved market of millions 

We created EnableAll because we understood that the millions of shoppers within the disabled community go underserved in all retail spaces, both in-person and online.

Particularly with how prevalent online shopping has become in recent years compared to the past, having a disability cannot and should not be a barrier to being able to participate. 

One thing that many vendors may not realise is that it’s not just disabled people you’re catering to but also their carers, families, and millions of conscious consumers who increasingly want to see diversity and inclusion in their brands. This is a highly lucrative market that, until now, has gone largely untapped, and the barriers to entry are much lower than anticipated. These shoppers are incredibly loyal, and once they find a retailer that suits their needs and requirements, they return time and time again. 

Think about how it would feel to navigate your favourite sites without the use of your mouse or trackpad. Or what the experience would feel like having to discern between different fonts, font sizes, colours, moving graphics, video, music etc for those living with anxiety. In short, it can be off-putting and stressful. These are just some of the accessibility issues on a wide spectrum that need to be ratified. These are fundamental accessibility concerns that should always be considered, and once amended, an increase in traffic and conversions from shoppers can be seen thanks to the inclusive efficiency that comes from removing these barriers. 

The commercial element 

On top of the ethics and legislative requirements of having a site that’s accessible to the disabled community, there’s a significant commercial opportunity being missed. The spending power of disabled shoppers in the UK alone has been estimated at around £274 billion according to statistics from Purple and is constantly rising. This extends to $13 trillion when you expand the view to a global scale. 

And with so many retailers within the industry not taking a straightforward approach to unlocking this market, many are missing out. This is why EnableAll is such an important platform for accessing these shoppers, especially with how our marketplace is incredibly low-cost with the potential for huge benefits from a commercial and social impact perspective.

Empowering disabled entrepreneurs 

Underserving disabled people in retail doesn’t end at the shoppers but extends to those on the other side of transactions too. The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has estimated that around 25% of small business owners have a disability, yet only generate 8% of the revenue for businesses of this size. 

This is another area where accessibility should be prioritised to assist disabled entrepreneurs and small business owners to get the most out of their opportunities. This can include support in the form of services, financials, and training that they can learn from to optimise their business. 

At EnableAll, we’re starting to build a marketplace that not only adheres to existing levels of digital accessibility but also pushes those boundaries beyond what most people believe acceptable. We want all shoppers who visit the site to feel comfortable while simultaneously catering to disabled people so they can take control of important basic tasks required in their lives. 

For more information on how to sign up as a retailer and unlock the millions of underserved online shoppers, visit and get in touch today. 

Categories: Articles, European Business News

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