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Top 4 Reasons Why Your Web Storefront Accessibility Is Critical

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Top 4 Reasons Why Your Web Storefront Accessibility Is Critical

As a web storefront owner, your business journey is more like a rollercoaster ride than a smooth sailing. You’re constantly faced with challenges when it comes to providing the best possible user experience.

One of these challenges is ensuring accessibility for virtually any type of user. That includes visitors suffering from disabilities like visual or cognitive impairments.

Or any category of people who cannot complete an action online due to:

  • Language barriers
  • Faulty Internet connection
  • Device-related barriers

The best way to address this problem and encourage visitors to buy your products is to offer the best experience taking their particular needs into account.

In other words, ensure seamless browsing that helps them purchase the desired products.

Overlooking a certain detail when it comes to shopping cart design can send your potential buyers in the arms of your competition.

As you can see, accessibility matters.

Read about four reasons why you need to pay close attention to this aspect when building your eCommerce site.

1. Responsiveness Can Make or Break Your Success

One of the ten commandments for eCommerce sites should be:

Check your website responsiveness or bear the consequences“.

Why so? It’s pretty commonplace by now that online shopping is performed more and more via mobile devices.

The more responsive your shopping cart design is, the more you’ll make customers happy. That’s true regardless of the devices they are using to make a purchase.

web storefront

At Storefront, this is just one of our concerns: making sure responsive shopping cart design is your forte.

2. Accessibility Optimization Boosts Conversions

Mid-2016 web design usability statistics unveiled some interesting numbers for any web storefront:

  • 70% of small businesses don’t have a clear call-to-action displayed on their homepage or landing page.
  • 85% visitors expect the mobile site to be as responsive – if not more – as the desktop site.
  • 47% hope for a website to load in 2 seconds or less.
  • 39% lose interest in your page if image loading time is too long.

Add these concerns to the number of people who cannot access your site because of accessibility issues. Now you may begin to understand what causes the high bounce rates giving you nightmares.

web storefront 4

One user category suffering from these accessibility blunders is visually impaired customers.

A first step to catering to their needs is understanding how they surf the net and reach your website.

Generally speaking, they do so through a device called screen reader. It is able to ‘read’ a website’s presentation so as users get an idea of what it ‘looks’ like in terms of content.

“But how do I make sure my website is tailored to screen readers?” you might ask.

One solution is CSS – Cascading Style Sheets – which tell apart content from presentation.

The screen readers will read every bit of text on your website HTML code. This means that websites that are optimized for accessibility will have a significant edge over those that don’t. 

web storefront 2

So, for webmasters, screen readers could be one more challenge to live up to. To optimize your website for this particular category of users, you can:

  • Place the main content at the top of the page.
  • Put a ‘skip to main content’ link.
  • Divide the page into several sections and use headings for each one of them.

3. Web Storefront Readability Is More than a Design Aspect

Taking accessibility into account, it’s best to stay away from committing one of these faux pas:

  • Using low contrast fonts – Maybe your web designer likes a particular color scheme. Or maybe you do. Or maybe a color combination goes well with your brand and concept. With effective web pages, however, it’s not about what you like, but what the prospects respond best to.
  • Using small fonts – With this design choice, you pretty much ignore the 50 age category, which registers a steady growth in Internet usage. Plus, by 2050 seniors will be a significant part of the American population. So you’re practically killing sales within this demographics by using tiny letters.
  • Lengthy lines – According to Baymard Institute, the ideal character count is 50 up to 60 characters per line. No need to emphasize how text readability contributes to customer retention.
  • No accent color for CTAs – The same color for background and CTA is a no-no in terms of customer retention. We could say choosing the right CTA color is an art. It needs to be complementary with the website color scheme, but bright enough to stand out. Also, it must be used only for key areas, not for every instruction meant for users.
  • No underlining for links – Color blindness may cause visitors to not distinguish links on your website if these are only marked by color. This is easily fixable by using underlining for link marking.

These are issues seasoned online retailers took lots of time to figure out. As minor as they seem, they are also pretty hard to diagnose using regular analytics.

The solution? Testing.

Try several design alternatives according to your business’ specifics and see what works best.

The key issue here is to make readability a priority and constantly seek improvement.

4. Accessibility Drives Progress

The saying “Show, don’t tell!” is pretty popular among online merchants.

But when it comes to website design, we’d suggest you show as much as you tell. Achieving this balance will get your web storefront to new performance heights.

The visually impaired individuals surfing the net via screen readers need alternative texts for pictures. This is how they’ll know what your product pics contain.

Keep in mind that this should apply to any device and any language your customers use.

In the event users might not be able to use a mouse, you can help them by enabling independent event handlers. No matter the device implied, JavaScript will be keyword-activated, thus device-independent.

All online retailers could use something like that, right? On condition that this feature is tested across multiple browsers.

All web accessibility issues your storefront might experience can help you re-analyze your optimization efforts.

Screen readers for blind people actually behave like crawlers in that they “read” the media content without seeing it.

web storefront 3

Making an effort to ensure accessibility it’s something that will prove its worth in the long run.  All your work will pay dividends – you’ll see.

Even more so when you have the right partners by your side.

For over twenty years, Storefront has been providing reliable expertise for eCommerce businesses. More than 50,000 online stores chose us as their partners.

Want to know more? Check out our whole range of online eCommerce services now!

For more details, contact us at sales@awesomecommerce.com or at 1-800-437-0144.

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