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Small to medium sized businesses expect accessible websites, survey reveals



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July 9, 2024 | 6 min read

There is growing demand for inclusive and accessible websites among SMBs, making it crucial for web design, development, and marketing agencies to include it in their services. By offering accessibility solutions, agencies can not only meet and exceed client expectations but also contribute to their clients' success and differentiate themselves in the competitive market.

Web design, development, and marketing agencies need to stay up to date with their clients’ needs and expectations if they want to remain competitive in today’s fast-paced digital world. Providing clients with accessible websites is a great way for agencies to do just that while differentiating themselves and elevating their services.

Small to medium sized businesses (SMBs) are increasingly seeking out agencies that can deliver accessibility as part of their client offering. Accessibility solutions not only increase the value of an agency’s deliverables but also boost client satisfaction, ultimately leading to increased profitability, higher levels of client loyalty, and a better reputation.

In order to gain a deeper understanding of the importance that SMBs place on web accessibility as an agency service, accessiBe conducted a survey of 341 small to medium-sized businesses located in the United States. This is what we learned.

Business owners believe web accessibility is important for their success

For companies that conduct their business online, the quality of their websites is of the utmost importance. Therefore, they look for agencies with the ability to design and develop high quality, top performing websites that will contribute to their goals.

We wanted to help agencies understand the significance that SMB clients place on digital accessibility as a factor in those achievements, a valuable piece of information for agencies deciding whether or not to add accessibility to their development packages. In order to do so, we asked SMB owners how important accessibility is to their businesses' success.

The results were clear: 64% of all respondents reported that they feel web accessibility is indeed an important factor in their success. When it comes to retail and ecommerce businesses, the answers were even more decisive, with 73% of business owners in these fields stating that web accessibility is important to their success.

Agencies can use this knowledge to position themselves as strategic partners in their clients’ growth by adding accessibility to their service offering. This empowers them to set their services apart from the competition, providing clients with a feature they truly feel impacts their profitability. It’s a great way to increase client satisfaction and loyalty.

Business owners expect agencies to build accessible websites

Awareness is growing surrounding the importance of inclusion, the laws regulating web accessibility, and the business benefits of an accessible website. SMB expectations are changing simultaneously to reflect this newfound understanding.

76% of all business owners surveyed agreed that they expect their web agencies to deliver accessible and compliant websites. Business owners working specifically in retail and e-commerce feel even more strongly about this, with 82% stating that they expect their agencies’ digital assets to be accessible and compliant.

According to these statistics, web accessibility is no longer a nice-to-have, but rather a must-have. Agencies that do not provide this service risk failing to meet their clients’ expectations, which can cause dissatisfaction and even increase churn.

Adding web accessibility solutions to your offering, on the other hand, can help your agency meet and exceed your SMB clients’ expectations while also attracting new clients who specifically seek this service.

Web accessibility can impact client retention rates

Retaining clients has been proven to be more cost-effective than acquiring new ones, so improving your client retention rates can make a big difference in your agency’s long term prosperity. We asked business owners if web accessibility plays a role in their decision to continue working with their agencies to see if offering this service can impact retention rates.

The results showed that web accessibility is indeed important for client retention. 82% of business owners reported that an agency’s ability to provide them with accessible websites is an important factor in their decision to continue working with them.

Offering accessibility solutions can therefore boost retention rates and decrease churn, proving immensely valuable to agencies.

Web accessibility can open a new revenue stream

In addition to improving client satisfaction and increasing retention rates, web accessibility can actually bring your agency more revenue.

Clients are willing to pay more for accessible websites and remediation, making web accessibility a great way for your agency to boost profits.

When we asked SMBs how much they’re willing to spend on an accessibility solution for their business’s website, more than one out of three responded that they’re willing to spend over $1,000 per year. In addition, 60% are willing to invest over $500 per year.

That means agencies can leverage web accessibility as a value-adding offering, charging clients accordingly and opening a new revenue stream.

Web accessibility solutions mitigate clients’ legal risk

Web accessibility is a great way to foster inclusion and improve website performance, but it’s also a legal requirement. Businesses with inaccessible websites face a serious risk of legal action. In the United States, digital accessibility-related lawsuits are trending upward, with a 13% increase in 2023. The costs associated with legal action for failure to comply can reach $5,000 - $25,000.

SMB clients trust their web agencies with their development and design needs, counting on your knowledge of industry standards. For many clients, that includes web accessibility. In fact, nearly 50% of SMB owners say that their agencies are responsible if they receive a demand letter regarding web accessibility issues.

If your agency offers clients web accessibility solutions, you go a step beyond simply creating high quality websites; you also mitigate your clients’ legal risk. This can be a key selling point when presenting potential clients with your agency’s unique service package. It also gives clients peace of mind and increases trust in your agency.

Agencies benefit when they provide clients with accessible websites

Offering web accessibility solutions to clients can play a key role in elevating your web design, development, or marketing agency. SMBs expect accessible websites, are willing to pay more for them, and view accessibility as crucial to their success.

By providing clients with an AI-powered web accessibility solution such as accessWidget, you not only meet client expectations but can also boost client acquisition, satisfaction, and retention. It’s truly a win-win solution for your agency and your clients.


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