Navigating Section 508 Standards to Elevate E-Commerce Digital Assets
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The disabled community in the US represents a substantial consumer group; with over $490 billions of annual spending power. Considering their significant economic influence, it is crucial for businesses to cater to their needs.
In the era of online shopping, where around 69% of users abandon a website which they cannot access, overlooking the importance of 508 compliant digital assets can be destructive.
Inaccessibility brings forth legal liabilities and also prevents your potential customers from accessing your digital assets. Thus, it is important to understand the compliance obligations in the e-commerce sector.
Although Section 508 compliance primarily focuses on the accessibility of federal agencies, adhering to these accessibility guidelines can accelerate your online business. Keep on reading to learn how to elevate your e-commerce business growth through section 508 standards.
There is fierce competition between Amazon, eBay, Walmart and Target. Due to the growth potential of digital platforms, it is crucial for all big and small e-retailers to leverage the gamechanger accessibility requirements.
Moreover, not focusing on accessibility may result in losing a massive revenue stream because over 26% of US adults are disabled.
Additionally, around 20% of the top 500 e-commerce entities faced accessibility lawsuits in the year 2022.
To put it simply, accessibility compliance matters for e-commerce entities because it offers the following benefits:
Amazon invested heavily in accessibility. They included features like voice commands for navigation. This commitment has not only helped Amazon avoid legal issues but has also opened up a vast market of customers with disabilities. As a result, they obtainedsubstantial revenue growth.
So the million dollar question is, how to embrace accessibility?
Start by familiarizing yourself with the specific Section 508 standards. The act outlines accessibility standards for electronic and information technology (EIT) used by federal agencies. Section 508 references WCAG 2.0 and 2.1, which provide detailed guidelines for making web content accessible. Section 508 also addresses the accessibility of electronic documents, including PDFs and Microsoft Office documents based on the PDF/UA (Universal Accessibility) standards.
Now that you know that declaring accessibility covers various aspects from text to images and interactive elements, the next stage is to confirm accessibility.
Begin with a thorough accessibility audit of your digital assets. Automated testing tools can help identify some issues, but it’s crucial to complement these with manual audits conducted by accessibility experts. Audit and remediation can help you confirm content accessibility, website navigation, color and contrast, assistive technologies and user testing.
There are several 508 compliance checker tools available.The suitability of a tool depends on how much you are willing to spend on testing. Moreover,the complexity of your e-commerce website is a key factor in finding a suitable option. Ideally, you should try out a few different tools to determine the best option for your website.
WAVE (Web Accessibility Evaluation Tool) is a popular option for quick assessments. It is a user-friendly tool and it generates detailed reports. Then, there are some AI-powered accessibility solutions accessible and UserWay. These widgets are good for continuous scans.
Tools that offer detailed reports and remediation guidance are the best. However, it is best to consult accessibility professionals to ensure your e-commerce site meets the necessary compliance standards.
Understanding and implementing Section 508 standards is pivotal for elevating the accessibility and inclusivity of e-commerce digital assets. By adhering to accessibility guidelines, e-commerce players unlock a broader customer base, enhance their brand reputation, and mitigate legal risks.
You can alsoensure ongoing compliance andimprove your growth potential.
Consider partnering with experts like ADACP. We offer specialized manual audits for 508 compliant websites. Our remediation services are tailored to the unique needs of the e-commerce industry. Visit our website to get a free accessibility scan of your website.