Since eCommerce accessibility has become more of a priority, companies are looking for tips to improve their websites. Compliance with web content accessibility guidelines (WCAG) has become non negotiable. As websites are enjoying increase in internet traffic many managers are scrambling to incorporate more accessibility features. Unfortunately, this is not always straightforward but this is part of the bespoke integrations companies like DigiCommerce provide. A good quality integration must include updated accessibility features adapted into a site. This allows for a more inclusivity customer base which helps companies optimize revenue. Web accessibility also taps into a potentially loyal customer base as businesses benefit from positive brand association as a result. The increasing number of lawsuits against eCommerce channels is enough to motivate most companies to update their websites. Below are some things companies should keep in mind.
Before focusing on features for certain disabilities there are a few quick steps sites can make immediately. Firstly, eCommerce sites should have audio descriptions on all video content. Or at the very least an alternative video with audio description. The technology is widely available and can also be adapted to those with hearing difficulties. Eliminating time limits from all aspects of an eCommerce site is another quick step companies can make. Features on websites that time out are particularly difficult for many types of disabled users. Time limits on payment features and shopping cart leaves out many potential customers. Including a content link at the top of your webpage is also quite important. This makes it easier for disabled customers to navigate the site .
Screen readers are important for the visually impaired and are a part of WCAG 2.0 requirements. However, the problem is they do not properly work with all sites because of issues regarding browser compatibility. Thus, eCommerce sites must be made to support the latest versions of browsers.
WCAG requirements also obligate websites to have a contrast ratio of 4.5:1 are vital for color blind web visitors. Text describing colors also ease navigation for these potential customers. Adding texture, shapes or even images to different colored parts of the website. Any feature or information available visually must also be conveyed in text. 8% of male internet users are color blind so catering to this clientele makes business sense.
To accommodate deaf customer sign language videos is the best way to ensure accessibility. However, this is a cost intensive endeavour especially for small businesses. Subtitles, captions or even video transcripts improve accessibility for those hard of hearing.
WCAG obligates all the features and functionalities on an eCommerce site to be available for keyboard only use. This helps those living with motor disabilities who may find it hard to navigate a website using a mouse.
WCAG also obligates websites eCommerce to have predictable behaviour and content. E.g the location of the navigation bar must be in the same location relative to other things on the page. A formal and straightforward product hierarchy is easier for them to navigate.
For most eCommerce sites compliance to WCAG is mandatory at this point especially those who have benefited from recent rapid growth. As the number of visitors increase, accessibility issues will need to be addressed. Big and small businesses often struggle on their own as there are inevitably some blind spots. This is where a high quality detailed system integrator agency will provide long term value. Agencies like DigiCommerce have a history of keeping global businesses WCAG compliant. This is adapted to the different regulations in different territories our clients operate. It keeps our clients profitable while bringing their customers value. DigiCommerce offers service for WCAG compliance. Contact us today to find out more!