3 tips to create an accessible retail experience

The importance of accessibility

Many retailers are embracing accessibility to create a welcoming experience for all customers. You may already have priority parking spaces or a ramp installed. Perhaps even height-adjusting dining tables. But what about visually impaired and blind people? They likely need some assistance to navigate your retail premises safely and independently.

Here are 3 tips to help you create an accessible experience for everyone.

TIP 1: Keep it clear

Make sure your entrance way is free of obstacles. A-boards, outdoor seating, raised paving stones, etc. can interfere with how people access your premises. And once customers are inside your store, make sure the aisles are clear and the walkways are safe.

A clear path through your venue makes your space look clean and inviting. It also helps guide your customers exactly where you want them to go. Whether that’s to order at your counter, or to take a seat in the lobby. Take the hurdles away from the experience by keeping it clear.

TIP 2: Show off your signage

People with visual impairments often rely on other senses to interpret their environment. Here are some ways you can enhance your signage to make it more accessible:

  • Include tactile features such as embossed text and pictograms. This way, customers can use their sense of touch to garner meaning from your signs or menus.
  • Include appropriate lighting and contrasting colors. This ensures signs stand out from a distance and can be read more easily by those with poor vision.
  • Install a solution like RightHear to have your signs “talk” to customers. A real-time, geo-specific audio guide helps customers safely navigate around your premises.

Indicate where you want people to go, and make sure it’s clear where they are.

TIP 3: Train your staff

Invest in training courses for your staff. Give clear guidance on how to assist customers in an appropriate and professional manner. Apart from the usual retail training such as doing inventory; operating a barcode reader; solving day-to-day problems; working the checkout counter; and more, employees may need to be trained better on how to help customers who may face extra difficulty during shopping. This makes your staff more understanding, which in turn provides a better customer experience. Here are some additional benefits:

  • Empower employees to feel confident assisting blind or visually impaired people.
  • Encourage staff to identify areas for improvement in your restaurant`s layout, design, and more.
  • Instill empathy for people with disabilities.

You can also provide a toolkit for your staff – such as an accessibility handbook – to outline your company’s principles. This helps everyone create an inclusive experience.

The value of being inclusive

There are many reasons why companies should be inclusive. Firstly, it’s just good business sense to make your venue more accessible to everyone. The Global Economics of Disability 2020 annual report found that the Disability Market influences over $13 trillion in annual disposable income. That’s an enormous market share to leave on the table. Secondly, being inclusive is a way of being kind and courteous to customers who have historically been overlooked in terms of diversity and inclusion. As a result, companies can attract new customers and ultimately increase sales by being inclusive. Lastly, for anyone who is still skeptical or unsure about accessibility in general, it’s worth considering this: there is no longer a singular idea of what disability looks like. In other words, we are all unique and special. Understanding that someone’s disability might be physical, mental, invisible, or otherwise, means you just never know who is entering your store, or what accommodations they might require. So building inclusivity into the fabric of your business is the best way to reach all of your customers. It is unlikely that anyone will have a problem if you are an online retailer. Customers do not need to walk all the way to your store to purchase your products, they can purchase online from you. However, this can only happen if your customers trust your brand. Know that the products you offer will be bought if you have earned their trust by presenting them with quality products and if you have delivered your orders on time in the past. Remember that it is crucial for you to offer fast or trackable deliveries (which can be accomplished by taking the help of fulfilment services offered by firms like James and James Fulfilment) to your online customers. Nobody likes to wait a month for the packages to arrive at their doors! Having to wait for a long time may discourage customers from buying from you! That is why it is imperative that you pay attention to both– creating quality products and providing fast delivery.

Anyway, besides this, to grow your online business, it is also critical that you market your brand in such a way that it captures the attention of your potential customers. Furthermore, you may want to build an online reputation by hiring a reputation management service provider who can effectively persuade your consumers to check out the products that you offer on your website, resulting in increased traffic to your website.

It is unlikely that anyone will have a problem if you are an online retailer. Customers do not need to walk all the way to your store to purchase your products. However, in order to run a successful business, you must also ensure that your office environment is also nice. You might need to see that your employees are happy and they are involved in important company discussions. The reason is that your business goals cannot be met if your employees are dissatisfied. You can use software similar to OKR to accomplish this. OKR Software and business goals are inextricably linked. This type of software can assist you in analyzing how well your retail business is performing and where you may need to improve. You can keep track of your employees’ individual goals as well as your company’s overall goals. And the better your business goals are achieved, the more accessible it is to your customers. No retailer can afford to be complacent about accessibility. The more you can do to make your premises welcoming and inviting, the more society will benefit. Learn more about RightHear’s accessible wayfinding solutions at right-hear.com