Mike Adams OBE at Picaddily Circus promoting Purple Tuesday
Mike Adams OBE at Picaddily Circus promoting Purple Tuesday in 2018

Marking the second Purple Tuesday following its launch in 2018, this year’s event is calling on retailers to implement solutions that will help improve customer experiences for disabled people beyond just getting through the front door.

With thousands of companies across various sectors including the mobility industry taking part, the rapidly growing awareness day is aimed at highlighting the challenges and barriers faced by disabled consumers which negatively impact on their customer experience.

The event comes after new research published for Purple Tuesday earlier this year revealed that poor customer service and a lack of staff understanding are among the key barriers preventing disabled consumers purchasing goods and services.

The research has prompted calls for businesses and organisations to rethink how they target disabled consumers and their families, whose spending power – the Purple Pound – is estimated to be £249 billion every year.

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Emphasising the importance of catering for disabled shoppers, with 13.9 million people being disabled in the UK and 80 percent having a hidden impairment, Purple Tuesday has urged organisations to focus on straightforward, low-cost solutions to improve the customer experience for disabled people.

In particular, the organisation says improvements and enhancements are needed to improve access for disabled people, beyond having a ramp installed to help enter a site.

“Meeting the needs of disabled customers makes commercial sense for organisations of all sizes, from all sectors, but our message to organisations is: you don’t have to spend big budgets to make lasting change,” stated Mike Adams OBE, Chief Executive of Purple.

“That’s why we’re urging organisations to focus on improvements that go ‘beyond the front door’. Introducing staff training and improving website accessibility are low-cost changes, but the difference to a company’s bottom line – as well as to a disabled consumer’s personal experience – can be significant.”

A number of mobility companies, including The Ramp People, Designed2Enable, Jay-Care Stairlifts and Mobility and Allied Vehicles, have taken up the call, implementing changes and new services across their businesses to improve accessibility for disabled customers.

“Purple Tuesday has more than doubled in size this year, with more than 2500 organisations from a variety of sectors making commitments to improve the customer experience for disabled people,” continued Mike.

“These are long-term changes that will have a lasting impact for millions of customers – and improve the commercial opportunities for the organisations involved.”

Embracing the Purple Tuesday initiative, a plethora of household brands are also taking part this year, including Sainsbury’s and Argos, Microsoft Store, The Crown Estate, Arsenal FC, M&S and more.

Tim Fallowfield, Board Sponsor for Disability Carers and Age at Sainsbury’s and Argos, commented: “We’re proud to show our continued support to Purple Tuesday and believe all our customers should feel confident when shopping, all year round. Not all disabilities are visible so by taking steps such as introducing a weekly Sunflower Hour, we hope to provide an enhanced experience and reassurance for our customers.”

Last year, more than 750 organisations participated in Purple Tuesday, making a collective 1,500 commitments to improve how they meet the needs of disabled consumers. In 2019, the number of participating companies rose to over 2500 making more than 3500 collective pledges.

It is estimated that less than 10 percent of businesses have a targeted plan to access this disability market, despite the lucrative potential of accessing the purple pound, which is set to rise at an average of 14 percent per annum, according to research from KPMG.

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