An inaccessible website means your business is leaving profits on the table. Here’s how.
Web accessibility aims to provide equal access to all sites on the internet to all—despite any mental or physical disabilities. Companies have the social responsibility to ensure that their websites are designed and developed so that people with disabilities can use them just as those who are fully able can.
Yet not every business has caught up with the times. And beyond the ethical and moral reasons, having an inaccessible website is costing companies everywhere—especially in the hospitality sector. As a result, these businesses are leaving huge profits on the table.
The costs of ignoring web accessibility are huge for hospitality brands. Let’s break them down.
Inaccessible Sites Drive Away Potential Customers
Many businesses spend money on designing a visually appealing website, taking beautiful photographs of their establishment, and creating compelling marketing campaigns in the hopes of converting web traffic into paying customers. However, that all goes out the window when a large percentage of consumers are unable to interact with your website and content in the first place.
Your business automatically excludes a significant portion of the population when your website isn’t optimized for accessibility. Those living with disabilities make up a significant portion of all potential customers. 1 in 4 adults in the U.S. alone (61 million people) have some type of disability. On a global scale, there are more than 1 billion people worldwide living with a recognized disability and account for a spending power of $6 trillion.
What’s more is that this population segment is growing, especially in countries with a life expectancy over 70 years. As it stands, 2 in 5 Americans aged 65 and older currently live with a disability. As the population ages and healthcare advances, many more (who currently don’t identify as a “person with a disability”) will acquire a disability of some sort in the future.
The reality is that those unable to engage with your website are far more likely to turn to a competitor who caters to their needs instead. And when they leave, they’re not coming back. You have missed your one and only shot to convert a quality lead into a long-time customer.
If it sounds simple – that’s because it is simple. Hospitality brands are missing out on billions in revenue each year by driving away potential guests with disabilities who are left unable to access your website.
Instead, businesses who invest in accessibility make their website available to the greatest number of customers possible.
Retention and Loyalty
In hospitality, delighting your guests with a great experience is a sure-fire way to build brand loyalty and turn them into repeat customers. This is because loyal customers tend to trust in the quality of service they will receive after they’ve had a positive experience, and they’re even willing to spend more to ensure all their expectations are met.
Ignoring accessibility decreases brand loyalty and drives away repeat customers. This means your marketing and sales departments are forced to spend significantly more time, effort and resources on attracting and re-attracting customers.
At its core, web accessibility is centered around providing an inclusive and welcoming experience for all your guests. In the same way your business would accommodate a guest in a wheelchair at your physical location, taking care of your customers’ digital needs beforehand is equally important.
In today’s age, the guest experience extends online from the moment they interact with your website. If you deliver quality service from beginning to end, customers are much more likely to become repeat visitors in the future. Web accessibility is the latest practice for businesses to establish valuable trust and confidence with their customers.
Ignoring Web Accessibility Damages Brand Reputation
Not only do inaccessible websites drive away customers and revenue, but they also affect how your business is perceived in the public eye.
We live in an era of conscientious consumerism. Customers care about the social stances that companies take on important issues—and even decide where to shop and visit based on these positions.
In a world that’s rapidly moving towards diversity, sustainability and inclusion, brands who fail to recognize web accessibility in the digital age become increasingly out of touch with their target audience. Digital accessibility is a growing issue that affects over a billion people worldwide. You can be sure that ignoring this section of your customer base (along with their entire network of friends and family) will cause serious damage to your reputation in the public eye.
An accessible website is no longer seen as a “nice-to-have” luxury for businesses. It’s legally mandated and expected as a baseline from all customers. If your business begins to earn a poor reputation among guests with disabilities, news quickly spreads online and it negatively affects how your brand is perceived.
Brand reputation and recognition are vital for the success and growth of your business. Aligning your values with those of your customers is essential—it takes a lot more than offering the cheapest price or latest design to win over today’s consumers. An accessible website shows that you value all customers and stand on the principle of inclusivity.
By prioritizing web accessibility, you can turn potential PR nightmares into a competitive advantage for your business. Become an ally for those living with disabilities and you can actually be winning frustrated customers from your competitors. Your brand will be seen as caring about the social environment, which resonates with all guests. This makes it easier for all clients to support you and your culture, become customers, and turn into your biggest advocates.
How Can Web Accessibility Benefit You?
It’s time to take web accessibility seriously as an investment.
Not only is accessibility the obvious choice from an ethical and moral standpoint, but it also makes sense for your bottom line.
It boils down to creating an inclusive environment for all your guests. It has several business benefits—but how do you get started?
Accessible websites need to be built according to specific guidelines by certified technicians. At Access Design Studio, we’re the world’s leading expert in creating accessible websites for the hospitality industry.
Get in touch for a FREE accessibility assessment of your website today.