New UK survey urges retailers to prioritize accessibility to prevent losing billions

A recent survey of over 2,000 UK consumers has highlighted the significant impact of accessibility issues on online retail, with 55% of respondents admitting to discarding a purchase due to accessibility problems. The study, commissioned by e-commerce agency Quickfire Digital, underlines the urgent need for retailers to address these issues, as they risk losing billions in sales and alienating a substantial portion of British consumers.

Key findings from the survey revealed that:

  • 51% of respondents believe retailers should involve people with disabilities in testing their e-commerce websites.
  • Many individuals who do not identify as disabled still face accessibility challenges, such as confusion during the checkout process (17%), difficulty with fonts and colours (16%), and a lack of personalisation (12%).
  • Additionally, 9% expressed concerns about the absence of audible information, and 7% cited difficulties understanding videos due to missing captions.
  • A staggering 54% of participants reported encountering accessibility issues while shopping on e-commerce websites.

The impact of neglecting accessibility is not just financial; it also carries moral implications. With the UK’s online retail sales valued at £224 billion in 2022, and over half of those surveyed facing accessibility issues online, UK retailers risk forfeiting a potential £120 billion in revenue.

Nathan Lomax, Co-founder and Director at Quickfire Digital, commented on the survey results, saying, “We’ve known for a while that the retail market is struggling, with inflation contributing to a sharp decline in online retail sales in 2022. We’ve also known for a while that estimates from Purple, a UK-based disability organisation, show there are 4.3 million disabled online shoppers who click away from inaccessible websites, equating to a combined spending power of £11.75 billion in the UK. But the results from our survey reveal that there is an untold cost of ignoring the accessibility market that is well in excess of Purple’s already shocking stats.”

The Purple Pound Infographic


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