7 Ways the European Accessibility Act (EAA) Will Accelerate Your Business
June 28, 2022 marks the deadline for EU member states to adopt the European Accessibility Act (EAA). The EAA’s guidelines require that by 2025 all privately owned companies are completely compliant. By harmonizing accessibility regulations, the EAA offers equal access to consumers of all abilities.
For many companies this landmark moment may be interpreted as a compliance challenge. We take a different perspective here and see the EAA as a constructive pivotal point to help you reach your customers and grow your business.
Let’s explore how these new requirements can drive greater business efficiencies, propel revenue opportunities, and help to reinforce brand trust.
7 Key European Accessibility Act Advantages for Your Company
Through the lens of a strategic business posture, the EAA should be viewed as an opportunity rather than a To-Do list. To get ahead of the curve and leverage this regulatory directive, here are 7 essential steps:
1. Eliminate barriers and drive consistency to enhance the flow of international commerce
The EAA will assist companies by expanding market opportunities throughout the EU. How is this possible? Uneven regulatory requirements across different countries have impacted business costs in member states—roughly €20 billion in 2020. The EAA is estimated to reduce that figure by 45% to 50%.
By adhering to a single set of accessibility requirements—and by being consistent across all websites and other digital touchpoints—businesses can act right now to take appropriate steps and mitigate financial risks. This mandate will ease the process of cross-border trade within an organization, and companies will reap the rewards when all nations are compliant.
2. Gain a competitive edge with a workforce and partners educated in digital inclusion
While awareness and support for digital accessibility has increased, widespread barriers to equal access online remain. According to the WebAim Million 2022 Report, “97% of the million most visited websites have accessibility issues impacting people with disabilities.”
Now is the time for corporate leadership to adopt digital accessibility business practices across the EU. Over the next three years companies are tasked to ensure they are EAA compliant. This requires employee education, training, and upskilling across all departments. From Marketing to IT, developing, designing, and deploying accessible experiences is paramount.
3. Reap the benefits of better website performance and SEO
Complying with accessibility standards will improve the performance of your company’s website(s). The process to provide equal access translates to next level digital development environments. Ultimately, market-facing content will be easier to access, SEO will improve, and brand loyalty will grow.
Watch this 2 min video to learn about the crucial link between digital accessibility and SEO.
4. Delight your customers with an inclusive digital experience
Many companies are not exceling in the accessibility arena. This gap is a glaring market opportunity. By implementing the prescribed standards for all your websites, and across countries and business sectors, you will be able to deliver a heightened brand experience for all. Further, consumers with disabilities possess nearly half a trillion dollars in spending power. Offering an inclusive digital experience will help you gain a new consumer base or foster deeper loyalty to those with whom you already count as customers.
Download our easy-to-follow playbook for learn how to build an accessibility program for your organization
5. Build brand trust by ensuring your customers don’t fall victim to scammers
Data-gathering phishing schemes are an ever-growing issue. By ensuring all your websites adhere to the same high accessibility standards, your brand reputation and trusted brand status will eclipse your competition.
6. Customers (and potential hires) notice when you walk your talk
Following EAA guidelines is a tangible and measurable way for companies to publicly demonstrate a commitment to accessibility. You can use this opportunity as a powerful vehicle to showcase your company’s position in supporting diversity, equity, and inclusion.
You can also realize better ROI in new customer acquisition, better talent acquisition, and thought leadership.
Download our DEI eBook for a practical guide to the tools, processes, and methodologies you need to implement digital accessibility as part of a successful DEI program at your organization.
7. Retain employees by giving them a sense of pride in where they work
Digital accessibility is an easy way to help your entire organization focus on the value of DEI. When your internal teams are engaged and empowered to create accessible experiences, their collective buy-in equates to a business culture that yields better results.
The European Accessibility Act is an opportunity to grow. We’ll help you get there
The ramp up timeline to be fully regulatory ready is 2025 (meaning the law will be enforced). To ensure you’re EAA compliant, now is the time to kick your accessibility efforts into high gear.
To learn more about our digital accessibility solutions: Speak to one of our accessibility experts, today →
Or apply for your complimentary web accessibility assessment, to receive a customized report on your website and a roadmap for EAA compliance from our experts.