Making and keeping an accessible website takes some extra time and attention and often requires paying for some expert help. But you can consider all of this an investment in your brand to attract belief-driven buyers.
We like to feel good about the brands that we associate with. Experts call people who are conscious of this “belief-driven buyers”. We want to buy from the local shops that invest in the community, and we turn away from brands that we discover are using sweatshops. Dan Edelman, a researcher in this area estimates that nearly two-thirds (64 percent) of consumers around the world will either buy or boycott a brand solely because of its position on a social or political issue.
Making a business site accessible, and not hesitating to make that known, broadcasts that company’s values about inclusion and making a positive difference in the world, and that can be a significant investment in promoting your brand.
Family and Friends Too
Making your site accessible is not only attractive to people with disabilities. When I have a family member, or a friend or other loved one who is affected by a disability, I pay attention to whether they are included or excluded. I want to be a part of making the world a more welcoming place for them. But more importantly, I care about their human dignity and their being able to live independently. When I have a choice between a company that supports the independence of my blind friend, versus one that doesn’t, all things being equal, I choose the brand that values my friend.
Avoid Sharing Failure
Ideally, you want to create products and and content on your site that is easily shared. But what happens if one of your customers shares something from your site with a family member or friend who has a disability and that product page is not accessible? That failure is not a good reflection of your brand.
You want your nondisabled site visitors to be able to confidently share products and other content with friends and family who may have disabilities as a positive reflection of your brand.
Share Your Commitment in an Accessibility Policy
When you invest in your brand by making your site accessible, you definitely want to make that KNOWN! Primarily, this happens through adding an accessibility policy to your website. It doesn’t have to be large or front & center. Ours is a link in the footer of this site to a page for our Accessibility Statement. You can find other examples online, just google for “website accessibility statement”.
I’ll let you read our policy specifically, but generally, accessibility policies have three parts:
- A statement that says something like: “we want everybody to enjoy this website”
- Some commitment to WCAG, or at least an acknowledgment that you have tried to make the site accessible for people with disabilities
- An acknowledgment that keeping a website accessible is an ongoing work, and users may encounter problems, and inviting them to contact you about any accessibility issues.
Make Your Site Accessible
Accessibility is not only the right thing to do, but it’s also good for business. It’s an investment in your brand that will pay off with customer loyalty, increased traffic and wider engagement. So what are you waiting for? Make your site accessible today!