Digital accessibility

The Necessity of Digital Accessibility in the Pandemic Era

It is certainly an understatement to say that the COVID-19 pandemic changed everyday life and business for many people around the world. One shift that businesses and all types of organizations had to make quickly—or perhaps might still need to complete—is ensuring that their online platforms and digital assets are easy to use, simple to navigate, and work reliably.

This shift has highlighted the need for digital accessibility. People with hearing loss need particular accommodations to assist them, and that includes when using websites. Now, both during the pandemic and post-pandemic, it is even more important than ever before to consider those with disabilities or different abilities. In the pandemic era we live in, digital accessibility is essential.

During the pandemic, it became obvious to everyone how frustrating it is when digital assets do not work properly. In the height of widespread lockdowns, problems like websites or apps that did not work properly could mean the difference between being able to order meals, submit grocery orders, complete your work or schoolwork, keep in touch with friends and family, and much more. While many people became more aware of these problems during the pandemic, these issues have been problematic for those with disabilities for a much longer time.

Ensuring that online content is accessible means making sure that all people can read and understand the content—while taking into account any disabilities, different abilities, or assistive technologies they may have. These disabilities may include impaired vision, impaired hearing or deafness, motor difficulties, learning disabilities, or cognitive impairments.

People with disabilities who may have formerly relied more heavily on in-person interactions (in stores and banks, for example), now find themselves forced to navigate an online world that is not always designed with their different abilities in mind. Companies and organizations must take steps to ensure that all online content is accessible. A few simple steps toward accessibility include:

  • Ensuring websites and emails are properly displayed and easily navigable on a mobile device
  • Making certain that websites and emails can be easily navigated with a keyboard only
  • Creating PDF documents that can be read by screen readers
  • Avoiding text with poor color contrast

During and post-pandemic, these shifts toward accessibility can make a big difference for all people with disabilities. Making sure that online content can be consumed and understood by all people also complies with accessibility laws.

While email was a commonly used form of communication before the COVID-19 pandemic, it has become increasingly popular—even vital—to companies during the pandemic as they have been unable to rely on physical interaction. Many companies used email to convey their business continuity plans and health safety standards to consumers during the pandemic. However, a recent study found that among financial services firms, only 25 percent were testing accessibility in their software development process. This leaves room for incredible improvement in this sector when it comes to accessibility. The pandemic has highlighted the importance of digital content and communication, and it continues to showcase the need for accessibility. To learn more about how you can ensure that your digital content and online services are accessible, we encourage you to contact us today at AudiologyPlus.

eCommerce tactics

5 eCommerce Strategies That Will Help Your Practice Grow

eCommerce is booming. By mid-April 2020, there had already been a 129 percent year-over-year growth in eCommerce orders in the United States and Canada. Many sales and finance experts believe this growth is due at least partially to the COVID-19 pandemic. While more traditional sales avenues might have suffered during widespread lockdowns, eCommerce grew.

eCommerce works not only in retail; it has been introduced to the field of audiology as well. For those in the profession who are more traditionally minded, the increasing shift to eCommerce may be more difficult. There is good reason, however, to embrace eCommerce. When done right, it can help your business thrive in a new way.

Here are five eCommerce tactics you can use to increase your conversion rate and help your hearing practice grow:

  1. Add a countdown timer.

Once a customer adds an item to their cart, the countdown begins. Adding a sense of urgency to their purchase can speed up the process. For example, you may alert the customer that their options for express or next-day delivery will expire within a certain number of hours. This will encourage them to complete their purchase more quickly and can help avoid cart abandonment.

  1. Capture your user’s data.

Learning more about your customer can help you provide a more personalized experience, which can lead to more sales. One simple and effective way to learn more about your customer is to use a behavior-based popover.

This popover appears after a customer has spent a certain amount of time browsing your eCommerce store. A typical popover of this type will offer a discount in exchange for the customer’s email address. You can also personalize these offers based on the customer’s behavior on the site up to that point.

  1. Use social proof.

When your customer is viewing a product page, your ultimate goal is for them to add it to their cart and complete the purchase. One way to encourage this is to use social proof. For example, you can add user-generated content to the page to show the customer how real people use this product in their everyday lives.

You can also showcase real-time customer reviews and ratings. Highlighting good reviews will help your potential customer make the decision to purchase as well. Another tactic is to display a counter with the number of people who are looking at or have added this same product to their shopping cart.

  1. Offer product recommendations.

Did you know that product recommendations can generate sales uplifts of up to 11 percent? You can recommend products to your eCommerce customers by showing them products that are new, most popular, or currently trending. As the customer continues to browse, personalize the recommendations based on the products they search for or look at.

  1. Display a dynamic banner.

This banner will be one of the first things a potential customer sees when they visit your eCommerce page. It should grab their attention, spark interest, and encourage them to stay on your site.

Try personalizing this dynamic banner using data from the customer. For example, you could display delivery details based on the customer’s location.

With these five strategies, you are well on your way to winning at eCommerce. To learn more about how to succeed in eCommerce and grow your hearing practice, we invite you to contact us at AudiologyPlus today.