Our Thoughts
Suchismita Ghosh
Design Writer
24 March, 2022 4 MIN READ

The ROI of Digital Accessibility

Research suggests that over 1 billion people in the world have some form of disability. That is around 1 in 4 people or roughly 15% of the population, at large. Almost everyone around the world is impacted by some form of disability; whether temporary, situational, or permanent. 

Having a business module that focuses on accessibility ensures profits and user satisfaction by making your digital product available and accessible to a greater magnitude of people. Simultaneously, it aids in optimizing workflow by taking into consideration the greater number of people from before hence, increasing a business's market share. With this thought in mind, let us have a look at how paying attention to accessibility can help businesses achieve higher ROI and how to evaluate those returns.

Calculating the ROI of Digital Accessibility

By making the product usable to a greater number of people, the efficiency it entails corresponds to greater revenue and leads to profits upward of 50%. Also, ensuring your product is accessible prevents unforeseen lawsuits and public exposures, and ignoring its effectiveness can lead to customer and revenue loss. Considering a positive ROI from Digital Accessibility, requires an increase in customer retention, increase in new customers and decrease in the amount being spent on acquiring new customers.

Measuring the ROI of Digital Accessibility

Most businesses are waking up to the idea of profitability that can be achieved from providing Accessible services. There are reduced risks from lawsuits to a strengthened user-friendly brand presence, improved user experience as well as increased productivity. To consider the ROI of Digital Accessibility within an organization, the following factors need to consider -

Enhanced Usability — Accessibility affects usability. Designing for people belonging to the disability spectrum helps in benefiting many other users who might have less acute and temporary conditions and limitations. This includes those having age and other social constraints as well. A simple and clear design can help benefit all people and not just some with specific disabilities. For example - Apple’s Siri, which was initially created for visually impaired people, is now used by those having clear sight too. Also, according to research conducted by Forrester, out of a total of 319 companies, 252 have agreed that having inclusive software helps improve usability and user experience.

Increased Return on Investment (ROI) — Including accessibility into a website or an app is cost-effective since one has to carry out audits, additional marketing as well as training. But, the benefits of these usually end up out-weighing the costs incurred from these additional steps. For example - UK’s supermarket Tesco conducted research and found that by turning their website and other digital services accessible, they were able to drive up yearly sales by £13 million.

Improved Branding — A brand that cares for people and looks into their preferences and difficulties is more likely to be preferred over one that doesn’t consider all its users. The 2019 Porter Novelli/Cone Purpose Biometric Study research shows that 86% of people preferred a company that catered to all users and 64% wanted to invest in it.

Avoiding Litigation and Complaints — Most countries around the world have laws that protect people with disabilities. Thus, to avoid such unforeseen lawsuits, a company must be compliant. The idea of digital accessibility can be immense and even daunting for those that are aware of its progressing legal indications. The ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) has grown to observe the digital sphere as ‘places of public accommodation’ and Section 308 has specifically ruled for the Federal government and businesses that deal with it are to be digitally accessible. The Retail Services, Food and Education sector is the most susceptible to these charges, although it isn't limited to them only.

Conclusion

Regardless of a business or organization, accessibility is a necessity. Having a universal design is beneficial in the long run, especially if one is to look at it from a profit viewpoint of business and users alike. The need to prevent discrimination from being part of a design is important for a business to strive in the current digital ecosystem. By simply making an accessible website, a business might be saved from unforeseen litigations and save money in the long run, but what is equally necessary is, to design a product that is directly marketed to people with disabilities. This ensures usability and accessibility and that in turn plays towards positive growth for your business.

The ROI of Digital Accessibility not just helps your business seem more approachable but it is likely to get more users on board when they notice the usability of your product and that in turn leads to the overall growth of your product.

Suchismita Ghosh