To Be Accessible, Stores Must Invest in Grocery Technology
As technology evolves and shopping habits shift, grocers must stay up-to-date on ADA compliance regulations for their physical and online stores. Following these guidelines isn’t just about avoiding expensive lawsuits and bad press, it’s an important part of making your grocery store accessible for all types of customers. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 61 million adults in the United States live with a disability. When broken down, that’s one in 4 individuals who have cognitive, behavioral, visual, auditory or other types of disabilities.
Since there’s such a wide range of disabilities individuals can experience, retailers must consider more than just installing ramps into their business, they need to ensure their online store is accessible as well. Online shoppers with visual impairments, for example, may use a screen reader, Braille display, or tools to assist with contrast. Retailers who don’t consider these needs will lose out on business in the short and long term.
Inaccessible environments create barriers for people living with disabilities, causing shoppers to have a negative association with your business. A report from the American Institutes for Research found the total disposable income for U.S. adults with disabilities is about $490 billion. So, if your grocery store isn’t accessible, another business that is will reap the benefits.
Maintaining compliance isn’t always an easy feat. Stores should be proactive about maintaining accessibility, otherwise, they risk spending more money down the line. In fact, it’s less expensive and easier to manage digital accessibility from the get-go rather than treating it as an afterthought. To successfully cater to customers with disabilities, grocers must extend the shopping experience from in-store to digital environments through retail technology.
E-commerce solutions make it easier for grocers to maintain accessibility in addition to reaping unexpected benefits. Digital accessibility methods can help companies see a boost in search engine optimization, causing them to be more easily found on Google or Bing. Methods like adding in alternative (alt) text (or a short description of an image) and improving site navigation can go a long way in enhancing the user experience for all shoppers.
As shopping trends and technology advances shift, it’s important to work with businesses that know the ins and outs of maintaining digital accessibility and the online shopping experience. The team at STCR can consult with your store and provide you with grocery technology and retail solutions that will put your business on the map. From e-commerce solutions to self-checkout and inventory management systems, STCR helps grocery stores find the best technologies for their needs and their shoppers’ needs. Learn more about our retail solutions.