Is Your Shopify Store Accessible to All? Understanding ADA Compliance

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Creating an attractive e-commerce store is crucial for maximizing your ROI. When setting up your online store, it’s essential to choose a platform that offers easy integration, dynamic features, a user-friendly interface, comprehensive analytics, and more. Have you ever wondered why your website isn’t attracting enough traffic? The answer might lie in ADA compliance.

What is ADA Compliance?

ADA compliance refers to the adherence to the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1 Level AA, which sets the standard for web accessibility. This process involves designing and developing websites or web applications to ensure they can be used by as many people as possible, regardless of any disabilities they might have. This means creating websites that are fully accessible not only to users without physical disabilities but also to those with conditions such as weak eyesight, hearing impairments, speech difficulties, and compromised motor skills.

Legal Requirements

In the USA, ADA compliance is a legal requirement for businesses to ensure their websites are accessible. Complying with ADA standards helps protect your business from lawsuits related to web accessibility. Failure to make your website ADA-compliant can result in significant financial penalties and damage to your business’s reputation.

Redefining User Experience:  Achieve ADA Compliance on Shopify to Create an Inclusive, User-Friendly, and Legally Secure Online Presence

EXPANDED AUDIENCE: 

An ADA-compliant website ensures accessibility for all users, including those with disabilities. This commitment to equal access broadens your potential customer base by making your store available to a wider range of individuals. For instance, many people over the age of 50 experience disabilities such as impaired vision and hearing. By having a fully accessible website, you cater to this significant demographic, enhancing their user experience and expanding your audience reach.

IMPROVED USER EXPERIENCE:

The Website should provide easy-to-access information/ features like clear navigation, Alt text on images, and labels and tags on other entities to improve accessibility for everyone. The user can easily navigate your site by giving all options on the website.

SEO BENEFITS AND BRAND REPUTATION:

The accessible websites have structured content, like alt text in images; adding transcripts in videos helps improve the website’s ranking and visibility. Customers are more likely to support a brand that prioritizes accessibility, and loyalty and thus improves your brand’s reputation.

IMPROVEMENT IN CONVERSION RATES:

By improving your site, you can make it easier for your audience to navigate through the site, find products, complete purchases, and increase your overall sales. Easy-to-access sites also improve the following factors:

  1. Low Bounce rate
  2. Increase in customers’ return rate
  3. Increase in customer sessions
  4. Engagement Rate
  5. More purchases, Add to carts 

Empower All Shoppers: 3 Best Practices for ADA-Compliant Shopify Websites


Smart Navigation and Design Elements:

  • Select Shopify themes that follow accessibility structure, such as proper heading structure, Keyword navigation, and correct color contrast.
  • You should make less use of symbols on the website if you are willing to use icons then add an explanation to these icons.
  • Most people love to Zoom the content for better vision, so you should make sure that the images do not get distorted.
  • Do not add everything  in the navigation, study the audience’s behavior and then add options in the navigation bar
  • Use readable fonts and make use of high-contrast backgrounds to make the text more visible to the users.
  • Maintain the body font a of minimum 16 pixels to increase the readability.
  • Avoid using moving mechanisms on your Shopify websites such as moving images carousels as it becomes difficult for people with disabilities to understand.

Optimise Headings and Titles:

The headings and titles of the website must be optimized, and make use of heading tags like H1, H2, and H3 to maintain the content hierarchy. As per the web accessibility requirements, the website should be fully functional and easy to navigate and understand. So you should organize the content with correct headings, and titles, and proper tags and labels. Make sure the headings have meaningful content and links to provide easy access to your site.

Improved Language: 

To make your website ADA-compliant, you should study the demographics and make changes in the language to make it user-friendly. Here is the language checklist:

✔️ Make use of regional languages , for example in the USA you will use English and in France, you have to use the French language.

✔️  Make use of simple language, avoid adding jargon and highly technical terms.

✔️ Provide text alternatives for non-text content, such as images and videos.

Add Alternative Text In Images and descriptive content:

Descriptive Content
  • Add alternative text in images, this allows screen readers to convey the content of images and the audience can understand and take actions as per requirements.
  • Provide text transcripts for audio content and captions for video content.
  • Make use of clear and simple language this increases the readability and session rate of the audience.
  • Do not make use of images that have the same effect as that of a text. 

Keyboard Accessibility:

  • All of the functionalities on the website should be accessible via the keyboard including the navigation menu, signup forms, and more.
  • Design easy-to-access forms with clearly labeled fields and provide instructions and error messages.

Conclusion

Implementation of best strategies such as adding image alt text, labels, and correct semantics makes your Shopify website accessible and ensures it is ADA-compliant. Choosing accessible Shopify themes, providing descriptive content, and adding keyboard accessibility for most of the activities on your website help in building a loyal audience. To increase the traffic on your website the best practice is to improve the customer experience by designing an easy-to-understand navigation option. Ultimately, prioritizing accessibility is not just about meeting legal requirements; it’s about committing to a more inclusive and successful online presence. With our Guide, you can study and implement the basic changes on your Shopify website and achieve ADA compliance.

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