Did you know? Nearly one in every five people in the UK has a disability or impairment! I didn’t think you did! Did you also know, their collective spending power, (the Purple Pound), is worth £249 billion to the UK economy? I thought not!
The Purple Pound is probably the largest untapped market today. That’s a whopping £249 BILLION that your company is missing a chunk off…….Why? Because it has been argued that the social model of disability holds that a person is not disabled because of their impairment but due to the physical and attitudinal barriers in society. By becoming more equal, inclusive and accessible it makes core business sense and will empower so many. In plain English? Your company is NOT doing ENOUGH to include disabled people in your design process, thought process or any process whatsoever!!
There are many real (and perceived) barriers that make it harder for disabled people………When a company excludes disabled people from their business, this sends a clear message that you either have simply not thought to include disabled people or worse, you don’t want our custom!! This has a knock-on effect for your business, these customers will not recommend your business, in fact, they will do the opposite.
Your company reputation; businesses that are ‘disability friendly’ tend to have a better reputation, both amongst disabled and able-bodied customers. Trying to fix a bad reputation is costlier than efforts to make your business more accessible. By doing this, you will attract more customers and your profit will increase. By making your business visibly attractive to disabled people you will win new customers. Errm, is that not the main purpose of your business, to make money? So why turn your nose up at such a large market?
How Can Your Business Benefit?
- Conduct an accessibility audit of your organisation
- Provide disability-focused customer service training to your staff
- Sign up to the government’s Disability Confident scheme – https://disabilityconfident.campaign.gov.uk/
- Appoint a member of your senior leadership team as “disability champion”
- Introduce regular “quiet hours” in-store
- Introduce or expand personal shopping services and promote them to disabled customers
- Provide the option to buy now and collect later, or buy in-store for home delivery
- Commit to employing more disabled people
- Improve the physical accessibility of your locations
- Improve store wayfinding
- More inclusive marketing and product photography (for example, using disabled models)
- Improve the accessibility of your websites and apps
- Put up “Not all disabilities are visible” signage on accessible toilets and changing rooms
- Include specific accessibility questions in customer feedback surveys
- Recruit disabled mystery shoppers to give feedback on the customer experience – I am available, please Contact Me for more info
Website accessibility is just as important, (as Dominos pizza is in the process of finding out the hard way). Issues can often be fixed in around two hours, with a good Website Designer. Did you know, if you put everything in caps, screen readers for blind people will think it’s an acronym and read it out letter by letter? Not good practise getting your message across! Such a shame, as people are clicking away because of poor accessibility, but it could be sorted overnight.”