What Is ADA and Why Is It Important to Have an Accessible Online Store?
The Americans with Disabilities Act ADA, announced Ecommerce websites are public accommodations just like any common physical place such as retail stores, movie theaters, parking lots, and so on.
It’s our moral obligation to make the web accessible for people with disabilities and service them as well as we do anyone else.
It’s not just that we could expand our reach and market share from competitors who don’t serve disabled people but it can also save us a lot of money from pricey ADA lawsuits and the hassle of dealing with lawyers and demand letters.
Accessibility lawsuits and demand letters are on the rise.
How Much Could I Lose by Not Having an ADA Friendly Online Store?
Is your web shop in compliance?
ADA cases are not just expensive but also time-consuming. In addition, who wants to spend time with lawyers and demand letters instead of their families?
Sometimes, the legal fees to represent your business can easily exceed thousands of dollars. If you get a good attorney and get lucky, your settlement fees can also cost you tens of thousands of dollars. The ADA certification that you most likely will need to provide to prove your site is corrected, can also cost you thousands depending on the size of your online store.
Besides the negative financial impact that a lawsuit can bring to you, it can also damage the online reputation of your business. People might publicly complain about your business practices and write bad reviews to express their frustration.
Need any more reason to get an accessible Ecommerce shop?
In addition, an accessible online store can also bring in extra revenue by reaching the disabled population who are not served by your competitors. Who doesn’t want to gain more market share, right?
Who Are the Top Targets of ADA Lawsuits and Demand Letters?
There are no clear regulations about what web shops need to be accessible but there are common industries and company sizes who are targeted more often than others. Here are a few examples.
- Companies with over 15 employees
- Government agencies and anyone who receives federal funds
- Healthcare providers, hospitals, and medical-related businesses
- Educational institutes and online learning systems
- Ecommerce websites and online stores
If your industry is not described above, it doesn’t mean your business is safe from ADA cases. Technically, anyone can sue anyone but attorneys mostly target more established organizations.
There are a lot of regulations and changes are hard to monitor
ADA Friendly Web Design and Ecommerce Website Development Services
Are you willing to take the risk?
The idea of web shop compliance services may be new to you but it will become a standard soon just like content-encryption security with SSL or SEO for a successful lead generation online store. I would risk to say, it most likely will become a Google ranking factor like page speed, bounce rates, readability, and UX.
When people first started to build houses, there were no regulations. But now there are thousands of building codes you need to deal with, even if all you wanted to do is add a door or electrical outlet. Businesses similarly have to incorporate best practices that meet the latest HIPAA, FINRA, GDPI, PCI, and other state and local regulations.
Does your compliance department, legal team, web design agency or freelancer know about the latest rules and can keep up with the never-ending changes?
We got good news for you. We know Ecommerce website accessibility and can build online stores for even high-risk industries where the regulations are massive and you could be easily sued for overlooked, honest mistakes.
How to Make an Ecommerce Website Accessible?
There are a lot of requirements you need to be aware of when you make your digital store ADA compliant. We list some of the most important elements you need to watch when working on your Ecommerce website.
- Image ALT texts should be descriptive enough for visually impaired people to understand
- Link titles also need to be detailed enough to be able to know where the link takes the visitor
- The navigation, especially hamburger menus need to be useful for everyone
- The contrast of text on images need to be large enough to be able to easily read
- Fast animations and auto-play videos can cause seizure, especially for people with epilepsy
It’s not a one time, get done job. It requires ongoing monitoring and maintenance by knowledgeable staff to keep your site accessible forever and ever.
It’s a lot of work but can be automated. Want to know how?
Ongoing Ecommerce Website Compliance Monitoring Services
Are Automated ADA Tools Safe to Use?
There are many automated ADA tools and accessibility plugins, even for WordPress Ecommerce websites. Many of these tools use page titles and image file names to generate image ALT text or link titles. These tools can generate the wrong information if the image file name is img123.jpg or the page titles is “default page title” that some web design tools generate and then are overlooked by the “developer”. Yes, we have seen things like this before.
We are very proud of our AI-driven, intelligent tool that analyzing the surrounding of images and analysis what is on the image, to display the correct image ALT text.
Without a tool like ours, your ADA compliance efforts would risk human errors, incur real hassle, and be a huge time investment.
Have More Questions?
Would ADA Updates Hurt My SEO and Online Store Ranking?
Most, traditional ADA-related websites updates and changes can negatively affect your SEO but we have a solution for that.
Our session-based, intelligent accessibility solution can be activated manually as needed. It will change the image ALT text and link titles only on your computer. Google will see the same, optimized text content that your SEO agency wrote for you.
Our AI-driven ADA tool will automatically rewrite content, e.g. image ALT text according to the surroundings of the graphic and the intelligent image identification tool will analyze what is on the image.
In some cases, we need to further adjust the website manually but our state-of-the-art automated tool can be very helpful for businesses with thousands of pages and organizations who take their content marketing seriously and produce a large amount of content on an ongoing basis.
Still Have Questions?
Frequently Asked Ecommerce Website Accessibility / ADA Questions
Suing online shops website owners over Ecommerce Website ADA Compliance violations is just a “business” for many attorneys. Every day, these lawyers are hunting for websites like yours — sites that are not ADA compliant — that they can threaten to sue for tens of thousands of dollars.
As many as 20% of the US population have some sort of disability which prevents them from using your online store the way you imagine most users do.
Whether their disability is with their vision, their hearing, their motor skills, or something else, they are limited to learn about your business, enjoy your content, or buy your products or services.
Your compliant web shop website can help you serve more people and expand your market share from other businesses who don’t serve everyone.
No, our tool provides session based ADA friendly content on demand. The user’s screen reader device will activate the tool but the website visitor can also control the Ecommerce website accessibility manually. Your online shop’s content, image ALT text, link descriptions won’t be changed for the average visitor.
Google and other search engines will crawl the same information that any standard digital shopping website visitor would see.
So far, none of our clients who have implemented this tool before receiving a demand letter has lost a lawsuit.
Manual ADA compliance solutions are very slow, time consuming, and expensive. Our AI powered software has one of the most advances image recognition tools which will allow you to have an accessible Ecommerce website that will be readable by most disabled individuals.
We also recommend periodic auditing to improve on items that the automated AI tool might not alter and that your legal team requests.