Picture this — you’re browsing an eCommerce site, much like strolling down a busy street window shopping. You see a store that catches your eye, so you check it out. You navigate to the homepage, but instead of clear instructions or navigation, there’s just a confusing interface with no guidance.

Then, you try clicking, scrolling, and even searching for help, but nothing happens. Frustrated and confused, you give up and leave the site.

Imagine if your site was like that — inaccessible and frustrating for your customers. That’s why it’s crucial to create an eCommerce site that is accessible to everyone, regardless of ability.

In this post, we’ll share some easy tips and best practices for making your website more accessible. This way, you can reach a wider audience, improve user experience, and build a more inclusive brand.

ecommerce site

What is Web Accessibility?

Designing web content for accessibility ensures usability by people with disabilities, including visual, auditory, motor, or cognitive impairments. For instance, a visually impaired person may use screen readers to access the internet. Someone with motor impairments may navigate the web using a keyboard instead of a mouse.

The Importance of Making Your Site Accessible To Everyone

When building an eCommerce site, making it accessible to everyone is crucial. It’s not only a legal requirement but also creates a more inclusive and welcoming experience for all users. Designing an accessible website shows you value and respect every potential customer, regardless of their abilities.

In addition, accessibility can also increase your customer base and boost sales.

Improving website accessibility broadens your audience, taps into overlooked markets, and enhances competitiveness in your business sector.

Furthermore, an accessible eCommerce site design is beneficial not only for people with disabilities but also for people with disabilities. Enhancing accessibility benefits users in various contexts, like noisy environments or with slow internet, regardless of disabilities.

Overall, ensuring your website is accessible to everyone can positively impact your business.

5 Tips For Making Your Site More Accessible

1. Write Page Names, Headings, and Subheadings in Logical Order

Writing page names, headings, and subheadings in a logical order is crucial for making your eCommerce site accessible to someone using a screen reader. Organize web content logically for screen reader users to ensure comprehension and usability in reading text from top to bottom.

For example, if you’re selling clothing, you might have a page for “Men’s Clothing” with subheadings for “Shirts,” “Pants,” and “Accessories.” If so, use more subheadings to categorize products within each subcategory, such as “Graphic tees,” “Tank tops,” and “Polos” under the “Shirts” category.

Organizing pages aids screen reader users in site navigation, simplifying product discovery for improved accessibility and user experience. Furthermore, writing page names, headings, and subheadings can also help with SEO for eCommerce sites. It makes it easier for people and search engines to understand your site’s structure and content.

2. Make Pop-Ups And Slideshows Easy For Screen Readers To Understand

Optimizing pop-ups and slideshows for screen readers is another essential step in building a more accessible eCommerce website. Pop-ups and slideshows can hinder site visitors who use screen readers. They often interrupt the user’s experience or change rapidly, making it challenging to keep up.

To ensure accessibility, furnish alternative text for images and videos showcased in pop-ups or slideshows on eCommerce sites. This descriptive alternative text enables users to rely on screen readers to comprehend the content.

For example, if you have a pop-up promoting a sale, include an alternative text that says, “Limited-time sale on men’s shirts — 25% off all styles.” It provides the necessary information without relying on visual content. Additionally, make pop-ups and slideshows easy to pause or close so users can control their experience.

3. Choose Simple-To-Read Fonts

Complex fonts hinder readability for people with visual or cognitive impairments, making content inaccessible. When it comes to eCommerce web site design, opting for a simple, easy-to-read font is paramount.

Sans-serif fonts like Arial, Helvetica, and Verdana stand out as excellent choices, ensuring legibility regardless of size. Moreover, it’s crucial to ensure the font size accommodates individuals with visual impairments. A font size of at least 16 pixels is recommended.

Finally, ensuring enough contrast between text and backgrounds is essential to make content easy to read. For example, white text on a black background might seem stylish but can be difficult for some to read. Instead, a dark gray or navy blue background with white text would provide better contrast and legibility.

4. Let Users Choose Whether To Open Another Page

Letting users choose whether to open another page is a simple but effective way to make your eCommerce site more accessible. When users click on a link, let them decide whether to open it in the same window or a new window or tab.

It is especially important for anyone using screen readers or other assistive technologies. Opening a new window or tab can disrupt their browsing experience. By giving users the choice, you help them navigate your site comfortably.

Incorporating this practice can enhance the user experience for all visitors, adhering to best practices for eCommerce sites, by enabling them to effortlessly return to your site following an external link visit.

For example, if you have a link to a blog post that discusses your products, you might include a note that says, “Click here to read our blog post (opens in a new tab)”. You can also include an icon alongside the link text, such as a box icon with an arrow pointing upward. This lets users know they have the option to open the link in a new tab if they choose to do so.

5. Use Colors Carefully

People with color blindness or other visual impairments may have difficulty distinguishing between specific colors. Therefore, choosing ones that provide good contrast and clarity is important. Additionally, in eCommerce site design, relying solely on color to convey information can pose challenges for shoppers who require assistance in discerning colors and comprehending your content.

Therefore, using color to supplement other design elements, such as text or icons, is best.

For example, if you have a button that says “Add to Cart,” you might include an icon of a shopping cart to provide additional context. It helps users who cannot see the button’s color understand its purpose.

It’s also important to avoid using color as the sole indicator of status or action. For example, include an icon explaining an error instead of using red text to indicate an error message.

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Make Your eCommerce Site More Accessible And Inclusive!

Inclusivity and accessibility aren’t just buzzwords — they’re essential for creating a better online experience for everyone. By implementing these easy tips and best practices, you can make your website more accessible, user-friendly, and welcoming to all.

If you need help with optimizing or designing your website for accessibility or improving online visibility through SEO and PPC advertising, Clicta Digital is here to support you.

Contact us today to learn more about our services and how we can help you reach more customers online.