Website accessibility is a crucial consideration for any business, no matter what industry or market your business is in. If you have a website that sells products or services, or a website that provides users with information, entertainment, or anything directly related to your business, you need to start thinking about your website’s accessibility standards. Essentially, if your business has a website you should be thinking about updating your site to meet the latest accessibility guidelines.
It might not be your top priority, but ignoring your website accessibility can lead to significant consequences for your business. To help you understand the importance of website accessibility compliance, here are some of the penalties you’ll face by avoiding website accessibility.
Reduced Customer Loyalty
While you may want to avoid website accessibility, but the consequence of reduced customer loyalty is something you won’t be able to avoid if you don’t start to take website accessibility compliance more seriously. The modern consumer cares about much more than the lowest price on a product or service. Customers are actually willing to pay more for the same product or service in order to buy from a business that has the same values as them.
By putting website accessibility at the forefront of your initiatives, you’re showing your customers that you value everyone’s online experience when they connect with your business through your website. In turn, you’ll see greater customer loyalty.
Slower Growth and Expansion
Directly related to customer loyalty, if you’re not actively working on your website accessibility guideline compliance, you’re going to notice slower growth and expansion. Making your website accessible allows you to reach potentially millions of additional customers around the world that previously could not use your website due to a disability that impacts their ability to go online.
Website accessibility services allow you to remain compliant with leading accessibility guidelines such as WCAG 2.1 or Section 508. A valuable accessibility service will do both manual and automated reviews and remediation over time to fix any and all accessibility problems with your website.
Potential Lawsuits and Financial Losses
One of the most significant penalties you could face by avoiding website accessibility is a financial one. More and more internet users are stepping forward and filing lawsuits against companies who aren’t adhering to accessibility guidelines. Just a few years ago, websites were excluded from accessibility requirements.
Recent court rulings have changed that, setting the precedent that websites are actually an extension of brick and mortar operations, meaning websites have to adhere to accessibility guidelines. Small businesses that are just starting out may not be able to recover from losing an accessibility lawsuit, so it’s important to start thinking about your website’s accessibility as early as possible.
Lack of Inclusion
Finally, when you’re not considering your website’s accessibility, you’re not creating an inclusive online environment. A lack of inclusion is the quickest way to damage your brand’s reputation, create a bad experience for your customers, and negatively impact your business.
While website accessibility may not be the first thing on your to-do list, it certainly shouldn’t be the last.