We all aim to ensure accessibility on the Internet. Seniors, people with special needs, even our friends on their old Nokia phones; we want to make it easier for everyone to participate in the online world — especially our online shops.
Accessibility is not only an important criterion for mobile phones or search engine rankings. Accessibility means inclusivity, democracy, fair play, and happy customers. A lot of them.
Want to Risk Losing Money? Then You Shouldn’t Care How Fast Your Website Loads. Nor if People Can Read Your Content.
Your visitors will never take a lot of time out of their day to wait for your website to load. Nor will they try to learn how to use or navigate your website. What will they do? They will leave. According to estimates, almost five-hundred billion in eCommerce revenue disappears simply due to slow loading websites. Who cares, you ask? You should!
- In the US alone, working adults with special needs have hundreds of millions of dollars in disposable income.
- Senior shoppers account for fifteen percent of the population. That’s more than fifty million shoppers.
Do you really want to ignore so much money?
Eyes on the Prize. Lawsuits will Cost You Money, too.
On top of missing out on a significant percentage of sales, you should also be worried about the legal risks of having a non-ADA compliant website. Retail is the most targeted industry in a growing wave of web accessibility lawsuits, with forty-eight percent of the top five-hundred retailers having been sued since 2017 (1).
Oh. Did you miss the Domino’s pizza news?
A California federal court recently found that Domino’s website was not fully accessible and ordered it to comply with WCAG (2) standards. The court noted that “no expert found that the website was fully accessible, including Domino’s expert who said that he could not place a future order using a screen reader.” (3)
What does Web Accessibility Mean?
In our global village, if your website has international visitors — and it probably does — you need to be aware of two unique accessibility laws. First, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was passed in 1990. It prohibits discrimination against those with disabilities, ensuring they have the same rights and opportunities as those without. So, what does an ADA-compliant website look like, exactly? There are no clear ADA regulations that spell out exactly what compliant web content is, but businesses are required to develop a website that offers “reasonable accessibility” to people with disabilities (4).
The second important law is the European Web Accessibility Directive, which has been in force since 2016 and provides people with disabilities with better access to websites and mobile apps of public services. For retailers, the EU directive initially entails numerous obligations (5).
However, both laws offer opportunities for online retailers. Among other things, the Google Core Web Vitals algorithm is adapted to evaluate the degree of accessibility of a given website. The more accessible your website, the higher you have the chance to rank.
5 Reasons Your Website Needs to be Accessible Today – other than Leaving Money on the Table
You will reach more customers.
When you make your website accessible, you reach a broader target audience and, therefore, more potential customers. An accessible web is the most important foundation to communicate successfully in a society that is rapidly aging and becoming more diverse.
You will make your customers more satisfied.
Usability is central to the success of your website. After all, it’s good usability that makes your content accessible to all and your web users more satisfied.
You will increase your reach.
Search engines reward accessibility on the web: because Google & Co. will find your online presence more easily if it is designed to be user-friendly and easily accessible.
You will increase sales.
Okay, we couldn’t resist. We hate that you’re leaving money on the table. Experts estimate that conversions can be increased by a whopping 35.62 percent by implementing the right checkout optimization strategies. (6)
You will help drive digital participation.
With your accessible online presence, you show that social responsibility and profitability are not contradictory. Contribute to digital inclusion and reach everyone regardless of their needs!
Things That Can Dramatically Improve the Accessibility of Your Website
We know. Everything’s easier with a to-do list, right? While this list is not exhaustive, it certainly gives you a good idea of where you should start. You now know why accessibility is important if you’re going to be compliant and retain customers. Here are some tips on what you need to do to make that happen.
- Choose (or build) an accessible theme.
- Use large, clear fonts.
- Use a clear headline structure.
- Good color contrast in your design.
- Alternative texts for your website images.
- Use subtitles in your videos.
- Make your content available in different format.s
- Design more accessible forms. Autofill is our friend!
- Use plain language in your buttons, navigations, and CTAs.
- Easy to use shopping cart and an optimized checkout process.
- Mobile. Should we mention that your website needs to be mobile-friendly?
Want to Know if Your Website is Compliant?
The Bureau of Internet Accessibility (BOIA) offers a graded report that provides you a summarized version of their Automated Report (7). You can also check out SEO Review Tools Accessibility checker (8).
Want to Start Optimizing Your Online Shop Right Now?
Perfect! You can increase sales by completely optimizing your store’s checkout experience in less than 10 minutes. That will free up time to optimize a few other things. You can make more money with an all-in-one checkout solution designed to give your customers the easiest and most secure way to complete their purchase on your website.
It just works — perfectly.