Online Retail is surely here to stay, but do retail websites embrace web accessibility? A 2019 poll by Marist College and National Public Radio (NPR) shows that 76% of all United States adults shop online.
Business Case for Retail to embrace Web Accessibility
Online Retail can be an opportunity for people with disabilities! Imagine shopping from the comfort of your home without all of the challenges of navigating accessibility barriers in physical infrastructure!
E-commerce is a win-win for both the retail sector & people with disabilities! The U.S. Department of Labor found that Americans with disabilities have $175 billion in discretionary spending.
For retailers, here is an opportunity to tap this market:
- Target an audience that today might not be able to shop at physical stores
- Build inclusion in online shopping portals that can benefit people with disabilities and baby boomers. Adopt Accessibility Standards & Guidelines in development process such as Web Content Accessibility Guideline (WCAG)
- Comply with the Americans with Disabilities (ADA) Act
Online shopping provides an opportunity for people with disabilities to be independent & enjoy their shopping experience.
5 Web Accessibility Challenges on Retail Websites
Some of the challenges that people with disabilities face on retail websites, which can be easily overcome by following the Web Content Accessibility Guideline (WCAG) are:
- Navigation – An online portal has loads of options, ensure that the navigation is easily understandable. Ensure that they can navigate to the relevant product categories.
- Image Descriptions – Often online shopping portals focus on the visual aspects by providing attractive images that informs you about the products. Go the extra mile & provide effective image descriptions to help people understand the products better.
- Search – Have a robust search which enables them to find their products of choice.
- Shopping Cart – How easily can they add or remove products from the cart, can they get the information easily?
- Checkout Process – Remember, you want them to shop, ensure that your payment process is easy and intuitive.
Honestly, web accessibility is about understanding the users needs. Let’s ensure that people with disabilities can shop independently .