Survey finds people with disabilities can be excluded from online shopping

29 Nov 2019

Image: © kite_rin/

Ahead of Black Friday, a UK survey found that half of respondents had chosen not to buy an item after finding websites or apps inaccessible.

People with disabilities are being shut out of online shopping by inaccessible websites and apps, a survey suggests.

UK charity Scope informed retailers that they are potentially missing out on billions of pounds from would-be customers every year by unwittingly preventing a significant portion of the 14m people in the UK with disabilities from using their sites.

A poll conducted by the charity found half of those surveyed had chosen not to buy an item due to difficult-to-use web pages or apps.

The three most common problems experienced by the 200 people polled were navigating the website (47pc), difficult Captcha puzzles designed to block potentially harmful bots from websites (45pc), and difficulty with registering processes (34pc).

It found such problems led to 50pc of the survey’s respondents choosing not to buy the item, 48pc finding an alternative retailer and 32pc having to ask someone in the household to complete the purchase for them.

The value of inclusive design

The equality charity is launching the Big Hack, which is urging businesses, the technology industry and the design community to recognise the value of inclusive design and make products accessible.

Kristina Barrick, head of digital influencing at Scope, said: “For disabled people, buying goods and services, socialising, managing health, accessing information and working online has the potential to be truly life-changing, especially when the built environment can be so full of barriers. But Scope keeps hearing about how much the digital world is letting people down.

“Disabled shoppers should be able to take advantage of great Black Friday deals, but many are stopped by badly designed websites and apps.

“Black Friday is just one shopping day, but businesses can reap much bigger rewards all year round by making sure their websites and apps are accessible. Many are missing out on a multibillion-pound market simply because they haven’t thought about disabled people.”

– PA Media