Ecommerce websites face a significant challenge in maintaining WCAG (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines) and ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) compliance. These standards aim to ensure that websites are accessible to all users, including those with visual disabilities. However, many ecommerce websites struggle to meet these standards, leaving them vulnerable to legal action and potential loss of business.
One of the biggest issues facing ecommerce websites is that they often have complex user interfaces, making it difficult to ensure that their websites are accessible to all users. This can result in a range of accessibility issues, such as poor contrast, missing alt text, and missing keyboard support (the hardest to detect). Additionally, ecommerce websites are constantly updating their products, promotions, and pages, which can result in new accessibility issues being introduced.
To address these challenges, ecommerce websites need to adopt a comprehensive approach to accessibility. This should include conducting regular accessibility audits, implementing best practices for accessibility, and regularly testing and fixing any issues that are identified. However, keeping up with these tasks can be time-consuming and resource-intensive, especially for small to medium-sized businesses.
The best solution for ecommerce websites to achieve and maintain WCAG and ADA compliance is to use a combination of automated software testing and manual testing to create a list of compliance issues that need to be fixed. We recommend using professional ADA auditors like accessibleweb.com, adasitecompliance.com or Usablenet’s assistive as a service. These solutions offer a range of tools and services to help ecommerce websites identify accessibility issues on their websites. They can provide automated accessibility testing, detailed reports on the state of a website’s accessibility, and ongoing monitoring to help ensure that the website remains accessible to all users. We recommend a three phased approach:
- Automated testing
- Manual testing
- Ongoing monitoring
In each phase, we identify ADA compliance issues, estimate remediation and fix problems at the source.
These solutions are undoubtedly more expensive and more difficult to implement, but they will provide a better result for your visitors. Be careful when implementing overlay solutions that claim to solve all accessibility issues. There has been recent pushback from the accessibility community (see https://overlayfactsheet.com) about these solutions so be careful and research the topic in detail and how it is evolving.
Ecommerce websites face significant challenges in maintaining WCAG and ADA compliance. However, by using an accessibility software solution and an experience development team, ecommerce websites can ensure that their websites are accessible to all users, reduce exposure to legal action, and maintain a positive reputation in the eyes of their customers. By investing in accessibility, ecommerce websites can ensure that they are meeting the needs of all users, including those with disabilities, and remain ahead of the curve in the highly competitive world of ecommerce.
Contact us to learn more about our ADA compliance solutions that work for you and your customers.