How Accessibility Can Optimize Your Ecommerce Site

Access to Accessibility  |  21 April 2021

A challenging year for merchants, to say the least, 2020 led to a virtual standstill when it came to brick-and-mortar sales, and companies were forced to rethink their marketing and selling strategies. Online spending, on the other hand, saw a significant boost during the pandemic, and accelerated in an already upward trajectory.

With ecommerce showing no signs of slowing down as we progress into 2021, businesses are beginning to invest in the online side of their businesses, and are looking for new and innovative ways to get the most out of their sites, and attract both existing and new customers. One update all savvy merchants should focus on, is accessibility, and below we look at the reasons how and why, accessibility can optimize your ecommerce site:

A large sector of the consumer market is made up people with disabilities

With an estimated spending power of $6 trillion globally, and 1 in 4 American adults having some form of disability, people with disabilities represent a huge prospective customer base. A site that presents access barriers to any of these online shoppers, however, will likely not attract their custom; in a recent poll, 69% of U.S. adults said they’d abandon it and go elsewhere if it wasn’t easily accessible to them.

With this in mind, it’s easy to see why ecommerce sites should be focusing their efforts on accessibility, and when you consider that your company could also be at risk of breaking ADA laws, it makes it even more important.

ADA lawsuits are on the rise among ecommerce companies

10,982 ADA Title III lawsuits were filed in 2020, and a whopping 85% of the complaints were targeted at retail and ecommerce sites. Defending an ADA lawsuit can be extremely expensive, frequently costing upward of $25,000, making it more than just good business sense to achieve accessibility compliance at all times.

What accessibility standards must online businesses comply with?

In general, a business must comply with the WCAG 2.1 AA digital accessibility standard. This set of guidelines published by the W3C, the web’s governing standards body, outline how to make digital assets accessible to people with disabilities, including website and mobile apps.

The best advice? Begin an accessibility program before you need it

Don’t wait for someone to have an issue with accessibility on your ecommerce site before you take action to start a digital accessibility program. By having a site that’s usable for everyone, right from the get go, you can show your customers that you care about how they interact online with your brand, and that you want to make your site accessible to everyone.

That said, if it’s too late for you and you’ve already received a demand letter or legal notice, get in touch with an accessibility expert at the earliest.

How can an accessibility plugin help optimize your ecommerce site?

With a simple accessibility plugin installed to your WordPress ecommerce site, you can gain access to the following benefits, and more:

– Reach a wider audience

– Minimize the risk of getting into legal trouble

– Provide an enhanced user experience for everyone

– Strengthen your SEO by following best practices for on-page structure

It can be a challenge to make your ecommerce site fully accessible, but you can achieve it with ease when you work with a company providing WP accessibility plugins. With their expertise and in-depth understanding of the many issues that accessibility can present for ecommerce companies, they’ll guide you through the entire process and ensure all potential or existing problems are identified and remediated, swiftly and efficiently.