Cyber Monday is a newer online sales tradition that’s grown to epic proportions all over the world since its 2005 inception, and online shopping remains huge throughout the holiday season. Consider this: Adobe conducted a study in which they found that the biggest 100 US retailers brought in $108 billion in online sales between November and December 2017. Understandably, websites have had to make adjustments to accommodate the masses of online shoppers during the holiday season, but what happens when websites aren’t built to include the 1-in-4 American adults with a disability?
Web accessibility has benefits for all
It’s important for internet retailers to not exclude key segments of their audience by making web accessibility part and parcel of regular SEO and website maintenance. Businesses whose websites fail to meet the standards for web accessibility may not only be out of compliance with federal law, they are losing money and opportunities to their more accessible competitors. From navigating a gallery of clothing items, to being able to discern contrasting colors in the text of an ad, accessibility should be an integral and inseparable part of web development.
Making accessibility a part of company culture shouldn't be thought of as only for show, helping achieve the social positioning of being an inclusive company — it has the bottom-line impact of attracting those who are unnecessarily excluded from inaccessible competitors. Web accessibility serves the whole of the intended target audience and helps ensures legal compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
Read: Common Web Accessibility Myths | Web Design and Accessibility: Basics every new designer should know
Here are a just few points to consider this Cyber Monday
- Headings: It’s important to make sure that your heading structure is correct, as internet users who use screen readers and other assistive technology expect the information on your website to be relayed in a logical sequence.
- Alt text: Don’t forget to include alt text for images so that those using assistive technology can understand them. Alt text should be descriptive yet concise, so that all users — even in scenarios such as when images don’t load — know what the image was intended to communicate.
- Navigation: Making sure that your website is completely navigable via keyboard is another way of making sure your website is accessible. Not only do some users not use a mouse, but they might utilize alternate input devices that require adherence to the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG).
- Mobile websites:Don't forget mobile sites need to be in compliance with expected accessibility standards, too. Consider that a 2016 Pew study reported that 58 percent of people with disabilities own a smart phone, and 36% own a tablet. Additionally, we know mobile usage is surpassing desktop usage and people are increasingly comfortable making purchases on a mobile device.
Protect your business from losing out on countless opportunities to reach all your prospective customers Cyber Monday, and from legal liability as the number of lawsuits continue to increase. Several industries have found themselves the subject of lawsuits, including:
- clothing and apparel stores
- telecommunications companies
- consumer goods
- e-commerce stores
Here to help you achieve digital accessibility
Improving the accessibility of your e-commerce website will both expand your audience and help bring you into compliance with disability legislation such as the ADA. We offer a number of services for e-commerce businesses who want to make their websites more accessible. Get started with a free and confidential website accessibility scan or a free 30-minute consultation with our web accessibility experts.