Do you have a Shopify store and sell to an US audience? You need to look at some legal changes on how to promote your brand over there. Similar to the GPDR in Europe, the Americans are tightening the rules and this time have a special emphasis on how your website is accessible for people living with a disability.
ADA law and E-commerce
The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) is a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination based on disability. With everything moving towards the digital world it is no surprise that ADA law is now embedded into e-commerce. Brands realise that having an easily accessible e-commerce store is now a legal requirement and many of them are not meeting it.
Let’s examine the link ADA has To E-commerce
ADA legislation was created in 1990 to cease the discrimination of disabled persons’ and to ensure they have access to public areas. With the world digitalisation, Websites must now adhere to these regulations as they are recognised as digital ‘public accommodations’.
What does this mean for your E-commerce?
If your online store currently sells in the US, then certain adjustments must be made to meet ADA regulations. Following these measures will ensure you have an easily accessible site that is fully inclusive for everyone’s use, regardless of any potential visual or auditory disabilities.
There are a few things to consider when building an inclusive e-commerce site. First one is the tech, this includes keyboard check-out requirements. Second one, is Designing the colour contrasts and then there is the content in itself. This involves looking at accessibility statements along with image and video captions.
Why Is This Important for your E-commerce?
Morally this is something that should concern everyone. Having an easily accessible public space for your customers should be a priority. It communicates to your customers that inclusivity is an imperative component of engaging with them. It also increases the customer pool to your online shop. Furthermore (and here’s the big one) It’s the law.
How Do You Start with ADA law?
When creating a new online store, begin with the dev work. Unfortunately there isn’t industry accreditation for ADA compliance within e-commerce. However, there are convenient guides available. During the build/adjustment stage of your site the ‘Web Content’s Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.1)’ will become your best friend. There are 12 of them, arranged across 4 key principles:
Websites are tested against this 12 guidelines and ensure your site meets the ADA regulations. We recommend not testing these with automated testing tools, but instead through people’s experiences and manually auditing to ensure you are meeting the compliance. You can look at a third party specialist to do this for your business on a regular basis. Just because you’ve done it once, does not mean it doesn’t need to be maintained.