Everything you need to know about ADA compliance and its impact on eCommerce
Most marketers and web designers focus on the look of the eCommerce store website, SEO, and its overall responsiveness. One detail is often overlooked between the myriad activities involved in running an online business – Is the website in full ADA compliance?
In addition to being a missed opportunity to pull in customers, not being ADA compliant is a violation of the ADA Standards for Accessible Design regulations that became a part of the Americans with Disabilities Act in 2010.
Every company running an online business or having digital presence in the US should be aware of the following two questions:
- What is ADA compliance?
- How important is ADA compliance for eCommerce/websites?
What do you mean by ‘ADA compliance’?
ADA compliance refers to the Americans with Disabilities Act Standards for Accessible Design. It states that all electronic and information technology (such as web portals) must be accessible to people with disabilities.
Who is expected to follow ADA requirements?
Companies/organisations that have to adhere to ADA requirements are as follows:
- Businesses operating for public benefit
- Private employers with 15 or more employees on payroll
- State and local government agencies
ADA compliance affects most online businesses for the simple reason that it envelopes electronic and information technology. In fact, in most cases, websites are ignoring ADA needs unknowingly.
Is it an issue if my website is not ADA compliant?
Yes, it is!
If your website is not ADA compliant, you are held responsible. Anyone can file a lawsuit against your company if people with disabilities are unable to use your website. You could end up paying thousands of dollars in clearing lawsuits regardless of not having the intent to exclude people with disabilities from accessing or using your website.
In addition, you lose revenue because you lose customers who have disabilities and are unable to access and use your website.
How will ‘being ADA compliant’ benefit my company?
In addition to saving your company from lawsuits, ADA compliance services will help your company grow exponentially and expand your customer reach by enabling you to serve users everywhere. It is a win-win for everyone as higher traffic and reach can lead to business growth.
How to achieve ADA compliance for my website?
For achieving ADA compliance on your website, you need to follow the WCAG 2.0 guidelines. The core principles of WCAG are as follows:
- Understandable: You will definitely want your users to understand the content on your website, such as text, images, videos, and tools.
- Perceivable: You want your users to be able to perceive all the information that is displayed on your website, such as text, images, video, and the list is long. For case in point, if a user can’t access a video on your website or read a particular text, you have to provide them with an alternative.
- Robust: You want to enable your users to enjoy a similar experience, even when making use of assistive technologies. For case in point, users reading a piece of content on your website should equally cherish the experience when listening to its audio version.
- Operable: You want your users to be able to navigate your website easily and make use of all its features.
However, the million-dollar question is – How do these principles turn into actionable items for ADA compliant sites?
You need not ponder over it! The WCAG has compiled the above principles into a free-flowing checklist:
- Level A – Build a website that can be accessed by some users.
- Level AA – Build a website that can be accessed by almost all users.
- Level AAA – Build a website that can be accessed by all users.
For being ADA compliant, most of the companies recommend meeting the requirements listed under Level AA.
Simple solutions to become ADA compliant:
- Become as compliant as possible when you build your website by using accessible themes and best WCAG practices.
- Test your website’s user experience with the help of LightHouse and UserTesting
- If you have a website that is hosted on WordPress, make use of web accessibility solutions. It works on other CMSes too.
If your website is ADA compliant, it offers enhanced customer service. It goes without saying that your business will grow when customers with disabilities feel welcomed.
Since you need to start thinking about accessibility compliant design for your eCommerce website, we at i95Dev are here to help through all the steps.
Contact us now, drop a quick email at firstname.lastname@example.org to reach our eCommerce experts, or call us at 301.760.7499.
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