Sighted individuals are continually bombarded by a dizzying array of graphical ads unseen by the visually disabled. So, it may be difficult to imagine the visually impaired going on a shopping trip. Yet, how does one market to the sizable population of visually impaired consumers in the U.S.?
When devising marketing strategies, it’s easy to just sweep the blind under the proverbial rug. After all, a sighted individual must be doing the shopping for them, so no businesses need target a marketing campaign to the visually impaired, right? Wrong. To the contrary, the blind and visually impaired purchase products and services just like everyone else. In fact, these shoppers account for over 10% of the population. If you’re not sure how to market to the visually impaired, here are some suggestions that will take those blinders off:
- Put together focus groups of visually impaired individuals to get a feel for what products they want and how they would prefer them advertised. Often the visually disabled are not consulted about their shopping preferences and would welcome the opportunity to provide input.
- Ensure your website is accessible to the blind. Visually impaired individuals use screen readers to browse the internet and shop online. Refrain from designing webpages with top-heavy navigation, because this forces visually impaired people to sit through long descriptions of menus before reaching the actual content of the page. And always include appropriate ALT and TITLE tags for images, as screen readers use these to interpret image data.
- When featuring the visually impaired in commercials, use the blind rather than actors pretending to be blind. Blind consumers appreciate the gesture of featuring visually impaired actors in advertisements. They naturally want individuals who can relate to living with visual impairments.