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Study Shows E-Commerce Excludes Those with Disabilities

29 November 2019 - 19:53 by Simon Crisp

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A survey from Scope has revealed that millions of disabled people across the UK often encounter issues when trying to carry out safe shopping online, suggesting that retailers need to take steps to appeal to this vast category of consumers.

Retail Gazette reports that half of the people questioned in the study said that they had decided not to purchase a product online at some point because the application or site they were using proved tricky to interact with.

Encountering troubles when trying to navigate e-commerce sites was the most commonly reported issue. Concerns were also raised with regards to the Captcha systems which are put in place by retailers in order to stop bots from creating fake accounts and placing illegitimate orders.

The call for improved accessibility is an important one, since in many cases those with disabilities are not able to enjoy the same level of access to high street retail, meaning that online shopping should really be a haven for them.

A third of respondents said that they had been forced to ask another member of their household to go through with a purchase online on their behalf in the past because they encountered some obstacle during the buying process themselves.

In order to address this, a new scheme is being championed by Scope, with the aim being to encourage businesses to get together with tech firms and find solutions to the current complications with accessibility which are harming sales and stifling the consumer habits of around 14 million Brits.

Report spokesperson Kristina Barrick explained that well-designed online services could change the lives of disabled people for the better, but where businesses were falling short it was vital to increase efforts to improve the experience for customers with various disabilities.