Sign Up For Our Monthly Newsletter For Tips On How To Increase Revenue Using Your Website

The most insight per word of any newsletter in the CRO space.

Join the waiting list for our newsletter where we will be dropping actionable tips and value bombs on all things CRO and Shopify.

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form. Try again.
7 Min Read

Inclusive Sales: How Accessibility Features Drive Ecommerce Conversions

Inclusive Sales: How Accessibility Features Drive Ecommerce Conversions

Inclusive Sales: How Accessibility Features Drive Ecommerce Conversions

In the ever-evolving world of online shopping, ecommerce platforms are recognizing the significance of web accessibility not only as an ethical imperative but also as a smart business practice. A key component of digital inclusivity, accessibility features ensure that ecommerce websites are navigable and usable by people with disabilities, which account for a sizable portion of the consumer base. Failing to accommodate all potential users can inadvertently lead to a decrease in conversion rates, as consumers will seek alternative platforms that cater to their needs.

A computer mouse hovers over a website with easy-to-read text and clearly labeled buttons, while a screen reader reads aloud the content

Enhancing a website's accessibility improves the overall user experience for every customer, not just those with disabilities. By implementing strategies to make a website more accessible, companies can see a marked increase in engagement and conversions. This is because a streamlined and inclusive user interface reduces friction during the shopping process, leading to higher satisfaction rates and, consequently, greater sales revenue.

Key Takeaways

  • Web accessibility widens the consumer base for online retailers.
  • Improved website usability enhances the overall customer experience.
  • Accessible ecommerce platforms have higher conversion rates.

Understanding Web Accessibility

In a digital era where ecommerce is pivotal, web accessibility cannot be overlooked as it ensures inclusivity and maximizes potential market reach.

Defining Digital Accessibility

Digital accessibility refers to the ease with which people, including those with disabilities, can access and use information and communication technologies. The goal is to provide a user experience that doesn't depend on a user's abilities, allowing everyone to navigate, interact with, and contribute to the web.

Legislation and Standards

Various laws, such as the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), mandate accessibility, and the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) has established the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG). These guidelines set the global standard for web accessibility, and adherence is widely regarded as best practice.

  • WCAG 2.1: The current iteration of guidelines, providing a wide range of recommendations for making web content more accessible.

The Four Principles of Accessibility

The WCAG is built around four principles that are paramount to understanding web accessibility; each principle is a foundation for building a web that is accessible to all users:

  1. Perceivable: Information must be presented in ways that all users can perceive.
  2. This includes alternatives for auditory and visual content.
  3. Operable: Interface components and navigation must be operable.
  4. This involves making all functionalities available from a keyboard and providing enough time for users to read and use content.
  5. Understandable: Information and operation of the user interface must be understandable.
  6. This means content must be readable and predictable.
  7. Robust: Content must be robust enough to be interpreted reliably by a wide variety of user agents, including assistive technologies.
  8. This involves ensuring compatibility with current and future user tools.

The Business Case for Accessibility

Investing in accessibility features enhances e-commerce conversions by reaching a broader consumer base, reinforcing brand reputation, and ensuring legal compliance. Companies that prioritize inclusivity in their digital platforms can experience significant benefits to revenue and customer loyalty.

Expanding Market Reach

Accessible e-commerce platforms enable businesses to serve a larger, more diverse audience. By accounting for the needs of individuals with disabilities, companies tap into a market that is often overlooked. The Curb Cut Effect illustrates how designing for accessibility benefits all users and can lead to an increase in the potential consumer base, thereby boosting revenue.

Enhancing Brand Reputation

A commitment to accessibility demonstrates social responsibility and shows that a business values all customers. Providing accessible features enhances a brand's reputation and builds consumer loyalty. A positive brand image, aligned with inclusive values, can set a company apart from competitors and contribute to long-term success.

Legal Compliance and Avoiding Lawsuits

Staying compliant with accessibility standards can prevent costly legal repercussions. Lawsuits related to digital accessibility are becoming more prevalent. Businesses that adhere to these regulations avoid penalties and the negative publicity associated with legal disputes, ensuring a trustworthy and reliable brand image.

Implementing Accessibility in Ecommerce

Implementing accessibility within an ecommerce context is essential to opening up digital storefronts to all users, including those with disabilities. Key to this implementation is the careful consideration of design elements, the integration of assistive technologies for a seamless user experience, and rigorous testing to ensure compliance with accessibility standards.

Accessible Design Elements

Accessible design in ecommerce websites requires attention to a variety of elements. Alt text should be used for images, providing a text alternative that describes the visual content. This ensures that users who rely on screen readers can still understand the importance of images presented. Moreover, keyboard navigation should be implemented, enabling users to navigate through site elements using only a keyboard. This is critical for those who cannot use a mouse.

  • Text and color contrasts should comply with recommended guidelines to be legible for users with visual impairments.
  • Layout structure and consistent navigation aids in predictability for users, enhancing the user experience.

Assistive Technologies and User Experience

Assistive technologies such as screen readers play a pivotal role in how users with disabilities interact with ecommerce platforms. A well-optimized user experience must account for these technologies by ensuring that interactive elements are fully functional and content is accessible.

  • Voice Commands: Support the use of voice command software for users with mobility challenges.
  • Screen Readers: Compatible design with commonly used screen readers like JAWS or NVDA allows for better user experience for visually impaired customers.

Accessibility Testing and Tools

Testing for web accessibility is a must; tools such as WAVE (Web Accessibility Evaluation Tool) provide insights into potential accessibility issues, which developers can then address. Moreover, following WebAIM guidelines aids in creating websites that meet the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) standards.

  • Automated Tools: Utilize tools like axe or WAVE for initial scanning and identification of major concerns.
  • Manual Testing: Engage users with disabilities in the testing process to gain first-hand insight into the user experience.

Incorporating these practices into an ecommerce platform's design and development strategy is not only in the interest of inclusivity but also enhances the potential market reach of the business.

Impact of Accessibility on User Experience and Conversions

Making a website accessible enhances the user experience for everyone and can have a substantial effect on conversion rates. Companies that prioritize accessibility features not only cater to a wider audience but also see tangible benefits in customer satisfaction and loyalty over time.

Conversion Rate Optimization

Incorporating accessibility features into a website is linked to substantial increases in conversion rates. For instance, some sites have seen a 20% to 30% increase in conversion rates when they improved their overall accessibility. Accessible websites tend to have better navigation and clearer calls-to-action, making it easier for all users to complete purchases, which contributes to higher conversion rates.

Customer Satisfaction and Loyalty

Accessible websites cater to the needs of all users, including those with disabilities. This consideration significantly boosts customer satisfaction, as users feel valued and supported. Moreover, such inclusive practices lead to stronger customer loyalty, as users are more likely to return to a site that accommodates their needs. Improved accessibility can also reduce negative feedback and increase customer satisfaction scores, which are critical for sustaining long-term traffic and customer experience quality.

Case Studies and Success Stories

In the realm of ecommerce, accessibility is not just about inclusivity—it’s a potent avenue for increasing conversion rates and improving the bottom line.

Walmart, a retail giant, has exemplified the impact of accessibility on their ecommerce platform. By implementing features that make navigation and checkout processes easier for all users, they have seen an uplift in conversions. This isn't just a win for user experience—it's a strategic advantage in the competitive ecommerce market.

Nike has also made waves with their focus on accessibility. Inclusivity in design extends to their online store, where features such as screen reader support and keyboard navigation aim to welcome shoppers of all abilities. Additionally, these adjustments contribute positively to SEO, potentially boosting organic traffic as search engines favor user-friendly websites.

Another noteworthy example is Target, whose commitment to digital accessibility has been part of their brand narrative. Their efforts to reconcile user experience with accessibility standards have demonstrated that user-centric design also translates into greater sales.

List of Notable Improvements:

  • Better Navigation: Users report easier movement through the sales funnel
  • Increased Conversions: Enhanced accessibility correlates with lift in sales
  • SEO Benefits: Accessible sites often see improved search engine rankings

The correlation between improved accessibility and ecommerce success is clear and one that continues to shape the strategies of leading retailers.

Frequently Asked Questions

A computer screen displaying an ecommerce website with accessibility features. A user easily navigates through the site, adding items to their cart and completing a purchase

This section addresses common queries about the intersection of ecommerce accessibility and conversion rates. It sheds light on the role accessible design plays in online shopping and the practices that can bolster sales through inclusivity.

How do accessible design features influence conversion rates in online shopping?

Accessible design features remove barriers for people with disabilities, expanding the potential customer base. This inclusivity can lead to higher conversion rates as more users are able to navigate, understand, and efficiently interact with ecommerce sites. For instance, screen reader optimization and keyboard navigability can directly benefit visually impaired and motor-impaired users, thereby increasing the likelihood of purchases from this demographic.

What are the best practices for implementing accessibility features on an ecommerce platform?

Best practices for implementing accessibility features include providing alt text for images to assist visually impaired customers, ensuring all interactive elements are keyboard accessible, and using clear and simple language for ease of understanding. Additionally, employing a fully accessible interface that accounts for various disabilities is essential. This means considering color contrasts, font sizes, and logical layout to accommodate users with vision impairments or cognitive disabilities. Adhering to these practices can make the shopping experience inclusive and potentially increase customer loyalty and sales.

How do improvements in web accessibility contribute to an increase in online sales?

Improvements in web accessibility often lead to a better user experience for all customers, not just those with disabilities. By optimizing for screen readers and keyboard navigation, businesses can enhance the customer journey, leading to higher satisfaction and potentially increased sales. Furthermore, accessible sites tend to have better SEO rankings due to improved site structure and image descriptions, making them more discoverable by potential new customers. This increased visibility can naturally lead to an uptick in online sales.


Stay up to date with our blog

Dive into our informative and engaging blog posts to stay informed on the latest trends in the Webflow & Shopify world as well on actionable tips to make your website work for you.

Matthew Attalah
Victor Chukwudolue
Rabby Fazly

Contact us

We're only 1 email, call, message or meeting away. We'd be happy to help with your query. Book in a time on our calendar so we can speak.
London, UK
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.