eBay UK highlights the need for more accessible online shopping as it becomes the Headline Sponsor for Purple Tuesday

  • The ‘Purple Pound’ is worth £274 billion, yet retailers are not capturing this market due to inaccessible websites or stores 
  • eBay UK is announcing that it will be the headline sponsor of Purple Tuesday this November 
  • eBay has seen spikes in products within its Independent Living Hub throughout lockdown, as those with disabilities turned to online shopping while shielding 

To mark Global Accessibility Awareness Day, eBay UK is today announcing that it will be the headline sponsor of this year’s Purple Tuesday on 2 November, as part of the company’s efforts to make the marketplace as accessible as possible.

In the UK the ‘Purple Pound’ is worth £274 billion* and yet many retailers are failing to capture this market due to inaccessible websites or stores, leaving disabled people highly frustrated.

By sponsoring Purple Tuesday, eBay is hoping to raise awareness of the importance of supporting disabled communities who have been, and continue to be, hugely reliant on online services through the pandemic.

eBay UK have witnessed the shift to eCommerce through spikes in demand for different products within their Independent Living Hub. After lockdown was announced in March 2020**, eBay UK saw a 27% uplift in searches for Reachers and Grabbers and a 33% uplift in searches for Orthopaedics & Supports as many were confined and isolated at home.

Similarly, in the week of 1st April 2021 when the Government changed its guidance to advising those who were shielding that they could leave their homes, Mobility Scooter sales increased to one every four minutes. This meant they were selling over twice as fast as the same week last year.

eBay strives to meet and exceed the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.1 AA, which is the internationally recognised digital accessibility standard.

When interacting on the eBay platform, users can expect to find keyboard-only access, visible focus indication, consistent heading structure, clearly labelled form elements and adequate colour contrast. Alternative text for eBay icons and images are provided, as well as options to bypass repetitive blocks of links. eBay is working with organisations such as Purple to continue to improve accessibility on the marketplace as guidelines and needs evolve.

eBay is encouraging other retailers and businesses to make similar improvements to the accessibility of their websites to ensure that those with disabilities aren’t left out of online high streets.

Murray Lambell, UK GM of eBay UK, said: “We are delighted to be supporting Purple Tuesday this year. We believe that our marketplace should be as accessible as possible, while also serving as a convenient ‘one stop shop’ that can meet a variety of needs in one place.  

We know that retailers have faced a difficult time over the past year but we think it’s absolutely crucial that they invest in technologies and features to help disabled communities access their site. The success of our Independent Living Hub is testament to both the social and economic value of the ‘purple pound’.”

Mike Adams OBE, CEO of Purple, said: “Despite the huge value of the Purple Pound, organisations are still disregarding the disability market. Through Purple Tuesday we are seeking to raise awareness of these issues in order to make sustainable and accessible changes. We are pleased that eBay is joining us in our efforts to improve the customer experience for disabled people 365 days a year.”

*Source: https://purpletuesday.org.uk/

** Data: 

Time Reachers & Grabbers Search Volume Uplift
Mar-20 33,044
Apr-20 42,095 27%

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