Cyber Monday is here, one of the biggest days for online businesses to attract holiday shoppers. If you are like most online businesses, you and your marketing team have done everything you can to maximize your company's Cyber Monday potential: offering discounts, providing free shipping, creating an easy checkout option, and of course, putting out lots of advertising. Unfortunately, some companies overlook an important way to increase their company’s Cyber Monday sales and exposure year-round: improving their website's accessibility.
Web accessibility is becoming both a practical and legal necessity for retailers. Cyber Monday is the perfect opportunity for your company to embrace accessibility for the good of your customers — and your sales. Here are two reasons why:
An accessible website reaches a larger online audience.
When your website is accessible, people with various disabilities can successfully access and utilize it. These disabilities can include physical handicaps, hearing or visual problems, cognitive disabilities, and age-related impairments. Online shopping options for people living with these disabilities can limited by retailers who do not support web accessibility.
An accessible website is easier to achieve than you think.
By following the WCAG 2.0 guidelines, your website will be considered compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). While full compliance involves following all WCAG 2.0 guidelines, retailers can follow these simple tips to begin opening their market to all users through web accessibility:
- Headings: Those who are visually impaired might use screen readers to turn text into speech, and those screen readers rely partially on the heading structure of your website for navigating content and relaying information to the user in a logical sequence.
- Navigation: Users who rely heavily, or even solely, on a keyboard need clear on-screen indications of what objects or links are selected so that they can properly navigate your site and access what they need. To ensure this accessibility, you need to make sure that ALL navigational elements on a page are compatible with the visual focus indicator. Any option that requires a mouse is essentially blocked off to users who rely on keyboards — so, as a developer and designer, you need to take care to make sure this never happens.
- Alt Text: Adding alt text and titles to images will ensure those using assitive technology understand the images they cannot see. Regardless of whether you are aiming to reach a disabled demographic, alt text is also useful for your SEO optimization and should not be overlooked.
Making your website accessible doesn't turn any existing customers away. It opens doors for the millions of new customers who are waiting for a more accessible way to shop.
Until all online retailers develop accessible websites for their customers, Cyber Monday is a great opportunity for forward-thinking companies get started on their road to accessibility compliance and benefit from all of its rewards.
For more information on how to make your website more accessible for all users, please contact us or request our confidential and obligation-free WCAG 2.0 AA Automated Report for a quick overview of your website’s accessibility.