Audio Description is the primary aid that connects the visually disabled with the rest of the world in terms of education, entertainment, consumption, fun and etc. In today’s fast-paced world, social apps like Instagram, Twitter, Tik Tok primarily function on short video forms from entertainment to personalized marketing. Simply put, current trends of being up-to-date heavily rely on videos.
As videos take over the world like a storm, there are no proper platforms that provide equal consumption. Leaving out leisure, there are many industries that focus on video as their primary first impression material in the online arena. Accessibility in these places is still in question despite the strict norms imposed by the government.
Audio Description Services, under the American Disability Act(ADA), is mandated by law in all of the US. Any business that runs online, other e-commerce platforms, and retailers have to provide the descriptions in a format that the visually impaired are comfortable with.
Around 65% of the disabled abandon their purchases due to the difficulties faced to navigate through the websites and due to content availability in an inaccessible format. Especially, the visually impaired are affected by this disparity. As vision is for normal humans, the visually disabled use their touch and feel senses to make a decision.
To make the purchase disabled-friendly, Audio description comes in handy to provide an experience to the visually impaired. Usual templates include pictures, 360° animation of the product, and videos describing the key elements of the product. These additional features provide easy accessibility to the purchase.
As a prevailing industry, the norms have been clearly set by the government to provide equal importance for the disabled. The WCAG guidelines clearly state the rules to be followed while creating a website. However, from major e-commerce websites to small-time freelancers, these guidelines never matter. This is a pressing issue that is waiting to be addressed right from the inception of the Internet.
Around 90% of the website across the globe is not following the guidelines suggested by the w3.org website, which set the labels and the framework of accessibility services worldwide.
Product descriptions are the lifeblood of e-commerce platforms, as they inform potential customers about the features, benefits, and specifications of the products being offered. For individuals with visual impairments, accessing such vital information can be challenging. By incorporating audio descriptions into product descriptions, e-commerce businesses can convey essential details, colors, and design elements to visually impaired users, thereby making product information accessible to everyone.
Moreover, with audio descriptions, businesses can also infuse a more personalized touch to their product descriptions. Instead of relying solely on generic text, an engaging and emotive narration can be used to connect with customers on a deeper level, potentially increasing conversion rates and customer satisfaction.
In the highly competitive e-commerce landscape, providing an exceptional user experience is paramount. Audio description plays a crucial role in this regard by enabling users with visual impairments to interact seamlessly with the platform. Not only does this improve overall usability, but it also fosters customer loyalty and positive brand perception.
Imagine a visually impaired user exploring a clothing website through a screen reader, but the only information conveyed is a list of product names without any context or description. This lack of visual context can be frustrating and lead to an unsatisfying shopping experience. However, with audio descriptions, users can navigate effortlessly, gather necessary information about the garment’s quality, comfort, and size, and make informed decisions, leading to a more fulfilling and enjoyable shopping journey.
By embracing audio description, e-commerce businesses can tap into lesser-known markets and demographics. The visually impaired community represents a significant portion of the global population, and catering to their needs opens up opportunities for businesses to expand their customer base and drive growth.
Moreover, inclusive practices resonate with customers, regardless of their abilities, leading to a stronger brand reputation and increased customer loyalty. Word-of-mouth and positive reviews from satisfied visually impaired customers can further amplify the business’s reach, attracting even more customers from various backgrounds.
While the benefits of audio description in the e-commerce industry are evident, implementing this accessibility feature comes with its challenges. Creating accurate and engaging audio descriptions requires careful consideration and resources. Businesses must invest in producing content, and a website that is accessible and inclusive to improve the overall image of the brand.