One of the UKs most prominent disability influencers has announced the launch of a fully accessible retail site which he says could unlock a £17bn spending opportunity for retailers.
Mike Adams OBE has initially launched EnableAll.com with a host of independent retailers with the aim of making it the world’s first truly accessible marketplace. EnableAll.com says billions of pounds is being lost by retailers who don’t meet the needs of disabled people when it comes to online purchasing and suggests major retailers need to think hard about their commitments to the disability community.
He said: “With EnableAll.com, we’ve created a very straightforward platform that puts inclusivity and accessibility front and centre and allows any retailer trading online the opportunity to trade simply with the 14.6m people with disabilities in the UK, many of whom find it impossible to complete everyday tasks such as buying products online because e-commerce sites create barriers to accessibility that do not need to exist.
“We’re still very early on in our journey, but why wouldn’t a retailer want to gain access to this scale of marketplace? The retail industry has to ask itself in 2023 why there is a need for such a platform.”
Mike has been listed in the UK Power List 100 of the most influential disabled people and explained how the idea for EnableAll.com came about during the Covid pandemic when high street and retail stores closed, with vast numbers having to rely on online retail.
Mike, who is also the CEO of Purple Tuesday, an organisation changing the disability conversation with businesses and disabled people, first introduced the concept on EnableAll.com to the world at the Dubai Expo in 2021, having seen that buying patterns online would leave people with disabilities feeling even further isolated.
The site has been meticulously built in that time to follow strict AAA standards, the highest possible conformance level in Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG). The long-term plan is for EnableAll.com to become the global go-to site for truly accessible e-commerce.
The launch of the site has won the backing from a growing number of independent retailers across homes, gardens, pets, clothing, shoes, toys, games, jewellery and accessories. Its straightforward ‘plug and play’ set up for retailers means they can be trading on the site in days and EnableAll.com is now working closely with a number of high-profile high-street brands on developing their presence on the site.
EnableAll.com has installed experienced digital retail specialist Kevin Cooper as its managing director. He said: “This site is not only for those people who share a frustration in feeling excluded from everyday experiences that able-bodied people can undertake without a moment’s notice, but also for those many millions who are either carers or are supporters of having an equitable, inclusive and accessible society for everyone.
“It’s time for influential people in retail to realise the opportunity here of not only doing the right thing, but opening up an enormous untapped commercial opportunity for a set of willing consumers who are ready and willing to spend what we estimate to be a market worth £17bn annually in the UK alone. Retailers have the opportunity to drive the quality of the online experience for disabled customers.”
The site is rapidly gaining support from a host of other influential bodies and individuals, including the likes of Shani Dhanda, a celebrated disability inclusion specialist, broadcaster and entrepreneur.
Shani said: “There has been a long-term combination of perception, awareness, and priorities that have held back progress in making online shopping fully accessible.
“One big reason is that many see it as a massive and complicated problem to tackle. Making online shopping accessible requires a lot of effort, resources, and collaboration from different players in the industry, but EnableAll.com has created a platform that now offers no reason why major retailers shouldn’t and can’t engage positively.”
EnableAll.com is working with charities to partner with that will allow users to select where EnableAll donates 10% of its revenue.