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Why Online Retail should focus on Digital Accessibility?

24 June, 2021 by Moiz Yamani

Online Retailers - Time to focus on Digital accessibility, A person surfing an online retail website as background image

Online retail accessibility or e-commerce accessibility is important not only from legal perspective but from an enhanced user-experience and business perspective too. Time to focus on online retail accessibility – an accessible online store ensures a better digital presence and expands your reach to new markets. 

Food for thought

USD 8 trillion disposable income in the hands of disabled people and their families, but can they really shop on your online store? Research has demonstrated that none of the world’s top 50 websites meet the digital accessibility guidelines with more than one billion people, or 15% of the global population, reporting a disability affecting their ability to navigate websites.

BarrierBreak provides comprehensive retail accessibility testing solution that evaluates your business needs. Ensure your e-commerce websites & mobile applications conform to WCAG 2.0 & WCAG 2.1, and are Section 508 and ADA compliant.

Retail trivia

Online shopping, also known as e-commerce, allows customers to buy goods and services directly from sellers on the website. It allows you to shop from the comfort of your home, at any time of day and any day of the year. On the other hand, sellers sell their products, regardless of whether the product is luxurious or meets the needs of the customer, on such portals. It can be difficult for people with disabilities to know what the product contains.

In 2018, consumers around the world spent a total of $2.8 trillion on online retail sales, a figure that could rise to $4.8 trillion in 2021. If you don’t consider the impact of online retail accessibility or web accessibility on your e-commerce revenue margins, you’re giving away a slice of the pie to retailers who make online retail accessibility their priority.

Let’s dive deeper

The Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated a shift towards online shopping especially for people with disabilities which requires the focus to shift towards digital accessibility.

Disabled customers encounter many barriers when navigating retail websites. Despite the need to access digital content, most retailers do not see where their access problems lie.

Many of these obstacles are minor inconveniences, but others make navigating the site difficult or impossible without help. While online shopping has its own advantages, accessibility barriers on many e-commerce websites, makes it difficult for people with disabilities enjoy the same experience as everyone else.

The Compound Effect

Companies that prioritize e-commerce accessibility during the pandemic are more likely to see their websites prioritized by Google than by their competitors.

  • E-commerce accessibility leads to the removal of barriers to online shopping for people with disabilities and enhances overall user-experience. Customers make their purchases in the traditional way by viewing what the product looks like and reading the description, and when the e-commerce website is accessible, everyone has access to similar information regardless of their disability but can also make their purchase with confidence.
  • The accessibility of your online retail shop will bring you more customers than any other sector of the economy, which is reason enough for you to take an action now! Improving the accessibility of websites is a tangible improvement that thousands, even millions, of people will notice. Improving websites that facilitate access to essential goods for people with disabilities during quarantine can have an immediate positive impact on businesses.  
  • Another reason to ensure an accessible e-commerce website is legal requirement. From 2017 to 2018, web accessibility lawsuits and litigations rose by 181 percent. If there are any inaccessible sections on your website, it can be deemed discriminatory against persons with disabilities, which violates the accessibility standards and guidelines such as Section 508, WCAG and ADA.

As online retailers are a for-profit business and disabled and elderly people are targeted markets, it is vital that they work hard to make their websites accessible to this demographic.

Why Online Retail or E-commerce accessibility is important?

Here’s what G3ICT has to say, “Committing to inclusive design not only makes a retailer’s website accessible to customers with disabilities, but also creates a shopping environment that is easier for all customers to use. Streamlined designs load quicker.”

Our team of highly experienced accessibility testing team at BarrierBreak which include testers with disabilities, ensures accessible e-commerce website. We ensure that your retail website is in compliance with the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) in accordance with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG ). Write to sales@barrierbreak.com to help us support you.

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