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Is online shopping accessible?

Ross_ScopeRoss_Scope Posts: 4,114

Scope community team

edited December 2020 in Coffee lounge
Today is Cyber Monday, an annual event that follows Thanks Giving weekend and Black Friday, which is intended to encourage shoppers to do their shopping online.

Even before 2020, people didn't need much encouragement to do that, but after nearly 9 months of a global pandemic the appeal of online shopping has never been greater.

For disabled people, who have been disproportionately impacted by Coronavirus and are much more likely to be in a higher risk category and shielding, it is essential that online shopping is accessible and fit for purpose. 

Taking advantage of the Purple Pound

The Purple Pound refers to the spending power of households in which at least one occupant is a disabled person. The Purple Pound equates to an estimated £249 billion per year to the UK economy but yet very few businesses have direct strategies to tap into this consumer market and therefore a lot of that money goes unspent.

In fact, less than 10% of businesses in the UK have a strategy in place to utilise the spending power of those falling under the Purple Pound category. With approximately 14.1 million disabled people in the UK, and around 82% of the public regularly shopping online, you can start to see an emerging picture of a fundamental failing of the system to make accommodations for disabled people and their families.
5 pound bank note

Online shopping, is it accessible?

Being able to independently use the internet gives disabled people access to vital medical, travel and financial services. But also everyday services like grocery shopping and buying clothes online. And while the accessibility of online shopping has come a long way in recent years, and continues to evolve, there is still a long way to go. 

From my personal point of view, as a screen reader user, I find myself increasingly put off from doing my online shopping through a web browser on my laptop. I find that so many of the top websites these days, such as Amazon or eBay, have so many pop up graphics that interrupt the flow and focus of the screen reader, therefore turning what is supposed to be an enjoyable process into a rather tedious one. 
I much prefer to do my online shopping through an app on my phone, for the following reasons:
  • I generally find the mobile versions of shopping websites much more screen reader compatible
  • it is much more likely that there will be a dark mode option on a phone app
  • I find the zooming functionality easier on a phone, rather than a laptop
  • the condensed version of a shopping platform makes for much less clutter on a phone, and thus better navigation

The Big Hack by Scope has surveyed disabled people around the UK to find out about their experiences of online shopping, because one of the best ways to improve digital accessibility is to get feedback from those that good accessibility is there to benefit. 

When trying to find out what industries disabled shoppers experienced the most difficulty with, at the top of the list was groceries with 39% of respondents saying they experienced difficulty purchasing or ordering food or drink online. Train-booking websites were the second most common area, with 38% of users reporting difficulty using train travel services online. In third place, 36% of respondents reported poor digital experiences with clothing and footwear retailers.

It is thought that fewer than 1% of website homepages would meet current accessibility standards, and likewise that 97% of the largest websites out there would not be considered accessible. Let's have a think about just how many of those websites will be trying to sell something, a very high proportion I would imagine.

The Big Hack has also published data on what disabled customers are most likely to do when they are failed by a business online, the results are as follows:
  •  50% of respondents would not buy the item​ they are trying to get
  • 48% would find an alternative provider to buy the item more easily, such as a provider with a more accessible website.​
  • 32% would ask someone in their household to complete the purchase for them
  • 20% would do something else.

How accessible do you find online shopping?

Looking at this data, you would conclude that online shopping isn't accessible, nowhere near it, and when even large brands like Dominos have shown resistance to the concept of accessibility, it's clear there is still a very long way to go.
  • how do you like to carry out your online shopping?
  • are there any accessible websites you'd recommend, or contrarily any inaccessible ones you wouldn't?
  • is there a specific industry you think needs to do better?
  • How accessible do you find online shopping overall?
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Replies

  • Tizzy695Tizzy695 Member Posts: 5 Listener
    I shop on line for everything now as I am more or less house bound.It is a godsend!!! I am autistic with mobility problems and Agrophobia.
  • Ross_ScopeRoss_Scope Posts: 4,114

    Scope community team

    Thanks for the reply @Tizzy695

    I very much value online shopping as well, as you say when you don't or can't go out often at all it's such a useful tool to have, providing it is accessible.

    Do you have any favourite shops?
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  • Tizzy695Tizzy695 Member Posts: 5 Listener
    I know shopping at Amazon is frowned upon by many Abled  people but it is an absolute godsend to me as I can get all my shopping from one source,hasselfree
  • Richard_ScopeRichard_Scope Posts: 2,833

    Scope community team

    I love Amazon! Revolutionised shopping for me.
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  • Tizzy695Tizzy695 Member Posts: 5 Listener
    Amazon is amazing! I buy anything from shoes to armchairs to a bolt to lock my door!!!Fuss free!!!
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 1,651 Listener
    I've done a LOT of online shopping during both lockdowns, there's deliveries for me most days from Amazon, eBay or wherever, in fact I've got Cyber Punk 2077 on Xbox coming from Game on Thursday.

  • LeelinkLeelink Member Posts: 16 Connected
    My only issue with online shopping is the minimum spend you have to do to qualify for delivery. For supermarkets its like £40. When you don't have that much or don't want to spend that much it seems unfair.
  • janer1967janer1967 Member Posts: 11,139 Disability Gamechanger
    I do most of my shopping on line was a necessity when I was housebound. I can go out with assistance now so sometimes do go shopping . I have done all my xmas shopping on line this year and without it I think everyone would have just got vouchers

    I like amazon, sports direct, simply be, yours clothing 
  • Ross_ScopeRoss_Scope Posts: 4,114

    Scope community team

    Leelink said:
    My only issue with online shopping is the minimum spend you have to do to qualify for delivery. For supermarkets its like £40. When you don't have that much or don't want to spend that much it seems unfair.
    Yep, this is a big one. It's especially off putting when you sort of have to rely on online shopping, then the delivery fees end up being so high. 

    I love Amazon too, like everyone else here, and I think £20 is a decent threshold to qualify for free delivery
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  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 1,651 Listener
    The most I've ever spent shopping at Tesco would be about £25 for a BIG shop, plus I live literally round the corner from the local one, so why should I pay delivery charges?

  • Ross_ScopeRoss_Scope Posts: 4,114

    Scope community team

    Same here @MrAllen1976, I live 200 seconds from ASDA and thankfully can get there and back safely, so shopping is a doddle :) 
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  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 1,651 Listener
    Yeah and there's also an Aldi 10 minutes down the road.

  • Tori_ScopeTori_Scope Posts: 4,997

    Scope community team

    200 seconds is oddly specific @Ross_Scope...

    Aldi is my favourite supermarket @MrAllen1976
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  • Ross_ScopeRoss_Scope Posts: 4,114

    Scope community team

    I felt like counting one day @Tori_Scope, because I'm odd like that :) 
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  • Ross_ScopeRoss_Scope Posts: 4,114

    Scope community team

    edited December 2020
    The Festive Find present hunt

    image of the Christmas present for the festive find game
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  • 66Mustang66Mustang Community Co-Production Group Posts: 5,052 Disability Gamechanger
    @Ross_Scope

    That is the second present I've found.
  • Ami2301Ami2301 Community Co-Production Group Posts: 7,738 Disability Gamechanger
    @Ross_Scope 4th present!
    Disability Gamechanger - 2019
  • chiariedschiarieds Community Co-Production Group Posts: 9,128 Disability Gamechanger
    5th one....eventually found @Ross_Scope :)
  • lisathomas50lisathomas50 Posts: 4,324 Disability Gamechanger
    I shop on amazon  and its great now because you can get shopping from morrisons on amazon now which is alot easier   my nearest town is five miles one way and 15 miles the other  and being on lockdiwn most of last year and still in lockfown helps alot 

    I also shop online at lush as I love my bath bombs  I also shop online at boots and argos  and Marks and Spencer  I love online shopping  as there is more choice I live in a village  so most people here shop in the same place  and prople have cloths the same it was funny one year we had a Xmas ball  and six people had the same dress 

    I did drive to town today  now I can drive again and got some bits and pieces  but I didnt like it iwas glad to get home  the world is a different place at the moment 
  • 11190821119082 Posts: 258 Member
    I find it really difficult to do online shopping I rather prefer going to the shops instead .
  • 11190821119082 Posts: 258 Member
    How about you 
  • deannadeanna Member Posts: 17 Connected
    edited February 12
    I am fine with online shopping, both for goods and groceries.  Unfortunately I am finding it expensive shopping for groceries as I don't always want to buy £40 of food to get free delivery, but have to to get fruit, bread etc which doesn't last a week.  I also miss being able to go to a couple of different shops to get all I need at the best prices.  That just doesn't happen anymore.  I am high risk so shielding as much as possible.  I have my favourite shop (Aldi) a mile down the road (and things I can only get from there no one else does them or a substitute) but they don't seem to have a link with the couriers that are supposed to pick up from Aldi for some reason.  That is a bit peeve making lol.

    With buying goods I buy quite a lot from Amazon. Generally it works out well.  But there is one annoying problem.  If something is big and heavy, and broken or something, they expect you to organise the collection.  Which was a pain with a couple of monitors I ordered that weren't as described for a Xmas present for my son.  Nightmare two weeks later it was finally picked up.  I just couldn't have dropped them off myself.  I think Amazon is missing a trick with this, as it means I now don't order things I will have difficulty returning to them anymore.  I have explained how difficult returns are for someone with mobility problems but no one wanted to know.  To my mind, it does limit accessibility. I told them I'd be prepared to say pay half of the delivery cost if necessary.  Blanked.

     One thing about the lockdowns, I have learned to bulk buy some things to make best use of online delivery costs and to make sure I don't run out of an essential.  So its not all bad.

    I now hate even more than usual shopping in shops.  The rules as to what you need to do in a shop change, they don't have a sign in the door explaining what you need to do.  I have burst into tears several times (autistic), experienced low blood sugars (diabetic and no where to sit to eat something). breathing problems (asthma) so it can be a nightmare.  So yes, I prefer online shopping. I can't queue for more than ten minutes (rh arthritis) so when lockdowns start its very difficult if I can't find someone somewhere with a delivery slot.  

    But I miss the exercise shopping used to give me.  I just wish retail outlets online and actual would realise how dreadful shopping can be for people with physical or mental health conditions.  Why oh why can't they employ one or two of us in headquarters (I can't believe they do already with how they are set up).

    It does make you feel devalued and worthless sometimes.  And even more isolated.
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 1,651 Listener
    deanna said:
    I am fine with online shopping, both for goods and groceries.  Unfortunately I am finding it expensive shopping for groceries as I don't always want to buy £40 of food to get free delivery, but have to to get fruit, bread etc which doesn't last a week.  I also miss being able to go to a couple of different shops to get all I need at the best prices.  That just doesn't happen anymore.  I am high risk so shielding as much as possible.  I have my favourite shop (Aldi) a mile down the road (and things I can only get from there no one else does them or a substitute) but they don't seem to have a link with the couriers that are supposed to pick up from Aldi for some reason.  That is a bit peeve making lol.

    With buying goods I buy quite a lot from Amazon. Generally it works out well.  But there is one annoying problem.  If something is big and heavy, and broken or something, they expect you to organise the collection.  Which was a pain with a couple of monitors I ordered that weren't as described for a Xmas present for my son.  Nightmare two weeks later it was finally picked up.  I just couldn't have dropped them off myself.  I think Amazon is missing a trick with this, as it means I now don't order things I will have difficulty returning to them anymore.  I have explained how difficult returns are for someone with mobility problems but no one wanted to know.  To my mind, it does limit accessibility. I told them I'd be prepared to say pay half of the delivery cost if necessary.  Blanked.

     One thing about the lockdowns, I have learned to bulk buy some things to make best use of online delivery costs and to make sure I don't run out of an essential.  So its not all bad.

    I now hate even more than usual shopping in shops.  The rules as to what you need to do in a shop change, they don't have a sign in the door explaining what you need to do.  I have burst into tears several times (autistic), experienced low blood sugars (diabetic and no where to sit to eat something). breathing problems (asthma) so it can be a nightmare.  So yes, I prefer online shopping. I can't queue for more than ten minutes (rh arthritis) so when lockdowns start its very difficult if I can't find someone somewhere with a delivery slot.  

    But I miss the exercise shopping used to give me.  I just wish retail outlets online and actual would realise how dreadful shopping can be for people with physical or mental health conditions.  Why oh why can't they employ one or two of us in headquarters (I can't believe they do already with how they are set up).

    It does make you feel devalued and worthless sometimes.  And even more isolated.
    I applied to the Amazon Depot in Page Hall last year, I got to the telephone interview and they said they wouldn't even interview me because I was silly enough to declare my disability on the online application! Surely under the 2010 Equality Act that's legally questionable?!


  • dkb123dkb123 Member Posts: 121 Pioneering
    The new law on  Increased Security authorisation of credit and debit cards is a pain, as they want to send you a text with a number to complete your online purchase, but what happens when you don't have a mobile phone and are denied access to paying for the goods 

    They are forcing people to buy something that they might not be able to afford or use, very ill-thought out law 
  • lisathomas50lisathomas50 Posts: 4,324 Disability Gamechanger
    I havent had to do that I always shop on line unless it could be  the company your buying from 
  • GeoarkGeoark Member, Scope Volunteer Posts: 1,375 Disability Gamechanger
    @dkb123 I was aware that this had been set up by Visa and Mastercard  to reduce fraud, but  was unaware it was law, as the company has to register to use the system, and it does not happen on every purchase.

    The system does allow for either a password to be used or a one off pin code. The default is the one off pin code, as this is more secure, however if you are having issues with this you should contact your bank and see if you can arrange to use a password instead.

    As an individual I stood alone.
    As a member of a group I did things.
    As part of a community I helped to create change!

  • MarkN88MarkN88 Member Posts: 1,265 Pioneering
    I havent had to do that I always shop on line unless it could be  the company your buying from 
    From what I have read online its coming into force everywhere, so in the future you may find it starts asking you 
  • dkb123dkb123 Member Posts: 121 Pioneering
    What concerns me is if people who are shielding order online food, you will not be able to shop without a mobile 
  • MarkN88MarkN88 Member Posts: 1,265 Pioneering
    dkb123 said:
    What concerns me is if people who are shielding order online food, you will not be able to shop without a mobile 
    I agree there are drawbacks and I think if any business is going to implement this fully then there needs to be mechanisms implemented to assist with this sort of situation. 
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 1,651 Listener
    dkb123 said:
    The new law on  Increased Security authorisation of credit and debit cards is a pain, as they want to send you a text with a number to complete your online purchase, but what happens when you don't have a mobile phone and are denied access to paying for the goods 

    They are forcing people to buy something that they might not be able to afford or use, very ill-thought out law 
    Indeed, thought up by clueless jobsworths in London who've never set foot outside their swanky Offices and seen the real world.

  • GeoarkGeoark Member, Scope Volunteer Posts: 1,375 Disability Gamechanger
    @dkb123

    Sorry but you can keep repeating yourself, it doesn't change the fact that it can still be used without a mobile phone. As mentioned you would need to speak to the bank/building society/credit union regarding this. The code comes through to my mobile, but it is also sent to my email address. As mentioned above the system is set up to accept a password. So simply continuing to insist that without a mobile phone you would not be able to use the system is not correct.

    As an individual I stood alone.
    As a member of a group I did things.
    As part of a community I helped to create change!

  • GeoarkGeoark Member, Scope Volunteer Posts: 1,375 Disability Gamechanger
    @:MrAllen or indeed smart people who are helping to protect banks merchants and consumers.  Plus enabling people to feel more secure shopping online and allowing more people to benefit from online shopping. Then again I do appreciate you feel a need to rage against those in paid jobs.

    As an individual I stood alone.
    As a member of a group I did things.
    As part of a community I helped to create change!

  • dkb123dkb123 Member Posts: 121 Pioneering
    The Bank I use and I don't think it is worth naming them, suffice to say they are a large everyday Bank, say Mastercard only allows the Pin to be sent to a Moblie, and yes the bank does say that without a mobile I can not continue to make online purchases.  ít Is not about rage or controversy it is about the control the banks have over ordinary people lives.  I am not in the habit of repeating myself and I do realise that you are somewhat of a combative  character on these boards  but  to put down genuine comments in such a dismissive way, is not particularly attractive 
  • GeoarkGeoark Member, Scope Volunteer Posts: 1,375 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @dkb123

    Yes I will challenge something that I do not believe is right. But I will also apologise when I get things wrong. In this case on two issues. First I had not realised that this had been passed into legislation and second that the response has been very different between the banks. For both of these I unreservedly apologise.

    In general the amount of control any service provider has over us is that which we allow them. As with any service provider you need to work out what you want from it and select the provider which best meets your needs. Usually there is some compromise. I have listed below how some of the main banks are dealing with this.

    If, and I do not disbelieve you,  you were told by your bank that Mastercard will only accept verification by mobile phone then I believe this is wrong. As I said I get it sent to me via sms and email and I have a Mastercard debit card. Even if this was true, how would it be the banks fault for applying terms and conditions insisted on by an external supplier?

    That aside, I do agree with you that the more restrictive they are in how they will pass this code on then it will make it harder for some people to benefit fully from being on the internet.

    Barclays Bank - will send you a card reader with details which will give you a code that you can use to authorise payment. Otherwise it is  via its app or by sms message.

    Lloyds bank will post a code to your mobile, or call you on your landline and get it authorised.

    HSBC only use mobile phones to give you the passcode, however they are currently reviewing this and intend to supplement them later in the year.

    Royal Bank of Scotland primary focus is on IOS and Adroid, however if you don't have a mobile or suitable mobile you can arrange for them to send the passcode to you by email or call them to authorise the payment.

    Santander only mention via the mobile.


    As an individual I stood alone.
    As a member of a group I did things.
    As part of a community I helped to create change!

  • GrinchyGrinchy Member Posts: 342 Pioneering
    We do most of our shopping online, supermarkets, amazon and ebay, i struggle with mobility so being able to sit at the computer and order something i need is a godsend, i find most websites easy to navigate through, but agree that more should be done for those that struggle 
  • GothfrogGothfrog Member Posts: 1 Listener
    I'm getting annoyed with it. I moved to a new area just before lockdown. They don't have me on the priority services. So online shopping is a nightmare and I'm lucky if I can get a delivery slot. Deliveroo adding shops to their service has become my saviour 
  • jakeweatherald28jakeweatherald28 Member Posts: 1 Listener
    Online Shopping is very beneficial in this present era because recently I bought katana swords online and that’s the reason people are liking the online platform for doing shopping for anything they require.
  • marybottomleymarybottomley Member Posts: 42 Connected
    not always but most of the time 
  • lisathomas50lisathomas50 Posts: 4,324 Disability Gamechanger
    I love online shopping 
  • marybottomleymarybottomley Member Posts: 42 Connected
    When it goes right it is brilliant 
    when it goes wrong it’s horrible 
  • DragonslayerDragonslayer Community Co-Production Group Posts: 1,125 Pioneering
    I find Amazon one of the best sites to navigate and shop on, just recently I have bought a good deal of things on there with absolutely no problems and there is literally any item you want to buy. My wife joined Prime so everything comes next day, 98% of things eligible anyway. Even things that do come from China arrive in five days.
    She also does all our grocery shopping from Sainsburys it arrives every Monday at the same time and they gave us this guaranteed slot during lockdown and we still have it. Curry's - PC world is also good with next day delivery on electricals and so is Premier man for clothes. We have been in lockdown a year now but had no problems with online shopping and bought everything we need on there.
    I use a desktop computer, I prefer the big screen, my wife uses her laptop. I hardly ever use my phone for online things.
    Best thing about Amazon Prime is not only next day delivery and films and shows on TV, but Amazon music is free, along with kindle for books, a great deal of which are also free and other benefits. And only my wife had to join and pay then added me at no extra cost. 
  • CaleyCaley Member Posts: 21 Connected
    We live in a rural area, are high risk from covid and have impaired mobility so online shopping is a godsend for us.  Managed early in the first lockdown to get priority delivery slots for Tesco groceries which have been brilliant, and we use Amazon or Ebay for most non-grocery stuff.
    We have found the item limit on Tesco deliveries a bit of a pain at times, there being 2 diabetic adults and 2 fussy older teens all wanting/needing different things, but I can totally see why they had to do it to make sure they could fit as many orders into one van as possible so as many customers as possible could get a delivery.  The fussier of the teens has now gone off to university so it's become a lot easier to stick to the item limit shopping for 3.  Being a family, we have no problem meeting the £40 minimum spend, but I can imagine if you're a single person or even a couple on a limited budget, that would be really difficult, and if you're high risk or shielding to avoid covid risk, it must be very worrying.
    I do get a bit annoyed if I look on things like clothing websites and I'm immediately faced with a pop up telling me to register to get offers etc.  I'm not visually impaired, but I can imagine for someone who is, that would be a real challenge, specially where there's fancy flashing graphics to try and grab your attention.  
    Once covid-19 becomes a thing of the past, I will probably stick to mainly online shopping.  We did do a lot of our shopping online before covid but I did enjoy an occasional scout round the shops on my mobility scooter, but it's so much easier to just shop from my living room, cup of tea in hand, at whatever time I like and not have to worry about parking, finding a disabled toilet or queues.
  • Kathy_BramleyKathy_Bramley Member Posts: 133 Pioneering
    I find it very variable as with most things with having autistic, ADHD & dyspraxic traits combined, but generally it is a bit awkward, but then most disability based charity websites are not much easier: too much going on on most and all the popping, sliding graphical elements can be distracting and impossible to wrangle. Even from my mobile. 

    But sometimes you just pop your number in and you're done. It seems to be easier for me on the smaller sites with more focused product ranges. Maybe that's because it's easier to concentrate through. I've found really good florists and eco Christmas present stuff. But then I didn't but everyone the same and got anxious about prices heh.  It was the first time I'd tried that route this year. I feel like a saunter through the crowds and lights is part of doing Christmas properly but I usually *try* and keep purchasing simple, stress later divvying up. It's been ages since I used online supermarkets. I did something wrong and couldn't get logged back in at Asda. And possibly Tesco as well. Or it just was too much hard work. And anxiety over ethical concerns goes up and down. 
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  • 22Putney22Putney Member Posts: 27 Connected
    Hello, I used to use one of the big supermarket, they went to tray liners a nightmare, I was told the delivery man would help to to put the items in bags no, he dumped the stuff in bags by the door half in and out my neighbours came to my aid, I did complain to avale, I now use Morrison's door step delivery, order by phone, a call handler takes the call and arrives the next day in bags, pay by card to the delivery person, (with a machine) delivery £2.50 now it was £1.50 you have to order over 5 items, I have zero connection with anyone at Morrison's just the delivery driver, I herd about the service from the warden here, they are continuing the service....I use eBay etc, like many I cannot use my laptop now I can't lift it, I am on my tablet, very light! I haven't herd the expression purple pound before it makes  sense to cater for everyone, Thank you I have learnt something. 
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