Every one of the world’s top 50 e-commerce sites fails to meet the Web Accessibility Initiative’s (WAI) Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), according to a new report.
Digital content and experience specialist Contentsquare reviewed the services of all 50 of the world’s top online retail platforms and declared that none are up to scratch for disabled users.
Disabilities that can affect the use of such websites include visual impairments, difficulties reading, deafness, as well as both physical and cognitive disabilities.
Just as brick-and-mortar stores are expected to facilitate for disabled shoppers with appropriate access, Contentsquare pointed out that websites should be no different.
Discussing the law on these matters in the UK, Contentsquare revealed in its report: “Commercial site owners are required to make ‘reasonable adjustments’ to ensure access to people with disabilities in line with the Equality Act 2021, while public websites must adhere to the Accessibility Regulations 2018.”
On top of legal obligations, the research also suggests that there are monetary gains to be found for online retailers, with around 15% of the population living with some form of disability.
“This year taught us we need to do more to make sure every website is accessible to everyone,” said Marion Ranvier, director of the Contentsquare Foundation.
“During the pandemic,” she continued, “consumers headed online in order to buy food, clothing, electronics, housewares, and anything else they needed to maintain their daily lives.
“However, not everyone had an easy time with the transition. Website accessibility is a basic human right that we are proud to advocate for.”