The Importance of Supporting Disabled Customers Online with Ross Linnett

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In today’s world, so much of our everyday lives take place online – banking, shopping, applying for a new job, booking a holiday, and so much more! Yet so many organisations still aren’t prioritising online accessibility, and disabled customers are being left behind in this digital era.

I know first-hand how difficult it can be to navigate the online world when websites are not designed with the needs of a diverse audience in mind. I have always struggled with reading large amounts of text and was diagnosed with dyslexia shortly after finishing university.

Since my diagnosis technology has advanced exponentially, allowing for more creative ways to access the world wide web. Tablets, phones, and even watches have all found routes to the internet, but I still find that accessibility doesn’t get the attention it deserves. Online accessibility should be a priority for all organisations. 


Even Tim-Burners Lee, the creator of the World Wide Web, spoke about inclusivity himself…

“Worldwide Web access should be a human right”

The Rise of Online Shopping

I think we can all agree that COVID-19 left its mark on billions across the globe. When the lockdown commenced, all shops were left with no choice but to close, causing the e-commerce industry to explode. Internet shopping was already rising, but COVID-19 was a catalyst for its inevitable popularity. Below are some recent statistics that help put this into perspective:

Online shopping icon

Why is the Disabled Online Customer Experience Important?

The rise of e-commerce is changing the priorities of accessibility on websites. It isn’t something you should do, it’s something you must do. With that being said, here are a few stats & figures to get you thinking.

  • There are 1.3 billion disabled people in the world that represent 17% of the population (Purple).
  • The spending power of disabled people worldwide is estimated at $13 trillion, increasing by 14% per annum (Purple).
  •  75% of disabled people and their families have walked away from a business because of poor accessibility or customer service (Purple).

First Impressions Matter

Do you remember your first job interview, I certainly do. Sitting nervously, waiting for the interviewer to arrive. Do I look smart? Will I shake with the right hand? The first impression is always the most important.

So, you can imagine the frustration of many potential customers attempting to shop at their favourite retailer online for the first time. Just to be pushed away by something that they can’t help. The Click Away Pound Survey found that:   

  • 69% of consumers click away from websites they find difficult to use.
  • 75% of disabled shoppers feel web accessibility is more important than price.
  • 82% of users with access needs would spend more if their experience is barrier-free.

It’s a huge domino effect when you think about it. A customer logs on and discovers that it’s too difficult to shop from your e-commerce store. As a result, they visit a website that prioritises their accessibility needs.

Read more about why accessibility is a necessity for online retailers.

Purple Tuesday, Improving the Disabled Customer Experience

I could not be happier that Recite Me has joined forces with Purple Tuesday as a UK sector partner. Purple Tuesday is a fantastic global movement that focuses on improving customer experience for disabled people 365 days a year. The initiative inspires the leadership and staff of organisations of all sectors and sizes to promote awareness, develop understanding, and implement solutions for better accessibility in their customer environments. 

It is fantastic to see the Recite Me assistive toolbar on the Purple Tuesday website. This will allow website visitors to access vital information and resources barrier free.

As part of Purple Tuesday 2022, a Disabled Customer Survey has been produced to find out and learn from those with lived experience of disability. Purple will produce a report of the findings and work with organisations to ensure solutions are put in place to overcome challenges.

Complete the Disabled Customer Survey here

For me, and for everyone at Recite Me, the goal has always been simple. To be inclusive. For this to happen, we need to come together and work as a team to spread awareness & implement change. It’s fantastic that Purple Tuesday has partnered with Recite Me as we take another step toward inclusion.  It has been a pleasure to be able to share my experiences and thoughts with you on this topic. I can only wish that what I have said, can inspire change for the better.

To find out more about how Recite Me can help provide an inclusive online experience for your customers contact our team who will be happy to have a chat with you.

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