A new version of a survey to assess the online shopping experience of people with disabilities has launched, to find out whether businesses have improved their websites.
The first Click-Away Pound (CAP) survey launched in 2016 and uncovered a range of issues. A key finding was that 70% of people with impairments simply ‘click away’ from unusable websites when shopping online. Additionally, 80% preferred to spend their money through accessible websites rather than the cheapest.
The report also estimated the ‘displaced’ spending of these customers (money not being spent on inaccessible sites) to be almost £12 billion. Using the calculations behind this figure and predicted spending data, figures accompanying the launch of the new survey estimate that £446 million of potential spending will have been lost by businesses with inaccessible websites over the Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping period.
The new Click-Away Pound survey aims to find out if the picture has changed for online shoppers with impairments in the two years following the first edition. Rick Williams, the report’s lead author and Managing Director of disability consultancy Freeney Williams Ltd, told e-Access Bulletin that the new survey has been launched because “we thought that was enough time for businesses to address the issues [the first survey] raised.”
Speaking about his predictions for the results, Williams said: “If I am honest, I don’t expect major changes. However, pressure is certainly building and in the United States this is now a major legal issue. In the UK the subject is being discussed more, but we don’t know how things have changed.”
Williams said the continued use of inaccessible websites by many businesses is ‘puzzling’. He said: “No director of a major company would knowingly turn away business and annoy potential customers, but they continue to do so with inaccessible websites and apps.”
The latest Click-Away Pound Survey is open now and anyone with an impairment who shops online is encouraged to take part at the following website: www.clickawaypound.com.
The survey will be kept open until at least the end of January and results will be published in summer. Williams said he expects that the results “will play a key role in improving businesses’ approach to this issue.”