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Is Shopify ADA Compliant? Guide to the Americans with Disabilities Act & Shopify Websites

Successfully running a Shopify store takes a great deal of time. Even more time-consuming is following web content accessibility guidelines. Web accessibility is imperative in today’s online shopping environment, and you must meet the standards.

So, are Shopify websites ADA-compliant? The answer is no, they are not unless you do your part to make yours accessible. An alarming 98% of websites don’t comply with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), making them vulnerable to costly lawsuits.

If you have a Shopify website, digital accessibility is a must to be inclusive to all potential customers by being WCAG compliant. Meeting ADA compliance can keep you from getting into legal trouble and give you the potential to boost your sales on this platform.

Is Shopify ADA Compliant? Guide to the Americans with Disabilities Act & Shopify Websites

Understanding ADA Compliance on Shopify

Shopify stores must prioritize digital accessibility. The accessibility concepts are also a legal requirement that every online store must follow. Ultimately, it’s good for your business, but it also is important that everyone has equal access regardless of their limitations.

At a brick-and-mortar shop, not complying with ADA standards can cause legal woes. Imagine making your shop inaccessible to those with disabilities. Laws for ADA compliance exist for this reason.

Now with the world at our fingertips, ADA compliance is expected and mandated by law. Failing to adhere means you will join the growing number of accessibility-related lawsuits. While the big brands make headlines when they fail to be ADA compliant, it can happen to your small Shopify shop too.

This is why new guidelines have been reiterated under the ADA, and using the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines to be WCAG compliant is necessary to ensure you are following the law. Everyone deserves a seamless and accessible shopping experience.

While having a Shopify store may help simplify your business model, you should know that it isn’t automatically compliant. You must make sure you set up your store in the right way to avoid a costly lawsuit.

Shopify’s Native Accessibility Features

Your Shopify website is not automatically ADA-compliant because it lacks core features that make your online store accessible. One of the biggest drawbacks is that it is not keyboard accessible. To make your Shopify website ADA-compliant, you must take matters into your own hands.

Web accessibility on your Shopify site starts with its free OS 2.0 themes, but they are not completely compliant. Even though Shopify’s checkout passed a full audit to meet the WCAG 2.1 AA requirements, the Shopify website themes are severely lacking.

While Shopify does provide some guidance for how to make your Shopify website ADA-compliant, it isn’t automatic. If you own a Shopify store, it is up to you to turn it into an accessible website.

This can be a huge challenge if you are not adept with tech. Yet, when your website isn’t accessible to the impaired and disabled, you not only miss out on valuable sales but you also are vulnerable to getting sued and losing even more money.

ADA Policies That Can Impact Your Shopify Store

In order to have an accessible Shopify website, you must follow the Shopify ADA compliance policies.

Text Accessibility

Proper text formatting makes a major difference for customers who have visual impairments. The guidelines for your web page include using correct color contrast, text size, headers, and alignment. You should also have text links identified either with an underline or another visual differentiator.

Alternative Text

Alternative text is another one of the accessibility standards that make images accessible to all users. Adding ALT text to the images on your site works with screen readers to help a user know and understand what you have on your Shopify website.

Slideshow and Video Accessibility

You will need to enhance your web accessibility by making sure that your videos are accessible on your website. Text to speech and closed captioning can be instrumental for visual and hearing-impaired customers.

Making your website accessible means that you can reach all potential customers and welcome them to your Shopify store while protecting yourself from legal action. You will need to audit your website to identify any violations and then correct them to be compliant. You may also want to add an accessibility statement for further protection. 

Conduct an Audit

Conduct a manual audit as well as one that is automated with assistive technology to help you create an accessible website. Every item must be thoroughly checked to ensure you are complying with the ADA guidelines. You must consider design issues such as colors, contrast, sizing, spacing, and your page structure.

Your content may also have issues and may need ALT tags or heading structures to be compliant. Captioning for any video content should be added. If you have development issues, those are much less complicated using Shopify websites as they use templates with shared modules. This means if you have the same web accessibility issue on each page, it can generally be corrected by making one fix.

Accessibly’s Role in Shopify ADA Compliance

The web accessibility initiative is attempting to remove accessibility barriers on all websites. Shopify accessibility should be a huge priority to you and other small business owners as the fines can be quite steep, and claiming you didn’t know will not be considered a valid excuse.

Now more than ever, websites are the key to improving education, work, recreation, and commerce. Those who are differently-abled were initially left out of the loop, and with ADA guidelines, every website owner must ensure that people with disabilities can have access.

Accessibly was created to bridge this gap and assist with Shopify accessibility. Known as the leading app for web accessibility, Accessibly can assist Shopify store owners with getting and maintaining total compliance. This is a simple and seamless solution that can be accomplished by adding this widget to your Shopify website.

Visual impairment is one of the most common disabilities, especially for the older population. This widget adds features such as adjustable brightness and contrast, grayscale, inverted colors, and text-to-speech to read the website. These helpful features give all shoppers who visit your site options to access it with ease.

Additionally, Shopify accessibility through Accessibly uses readable fonts, image ALT text for photos, and highlighted links for simplified navigation. It works for desktop and mobile usage, allowing everyone to get the access they need. Incorporating these assistive technologies onto online stores reduces legal risk while improving customer satisfaction.  

This widget for increasing ADA compliance is a must-have that can save you time and money down the road by providing website accessibility. It ensures equal access for all visitors of your online business and gives you peace of mind that you are following proper protocols for eliminating accessibility barriers while adhering to all accessibility standards.

Why You Should Choose Accessibly for Shopify

It is imperative that you have an accessible Shopify website. Websites accessible to all get more business and avoid costly legal pitfalls. Accessibly was created for this reason, allowing you to quickly and easily ensure that you identify accessibility issues to give disabled users the same access as everyone else.

It is easy to install Accessibly on your Shopify page, and once installed, you can access many ways to customize and add your branding. You need a strong brand presence, but you also need to be inclusive so everyone can access your Shopify website.

Law firms will start sending you demand letters if you do not provide the accessibility features that are mandated by law. Let all of your potential customers have access to the same experience by ensuring you have the right features on your site that help every potential customer navigate your page.

Remember, accommodations must be made in the real world for those with disabilities. These reasonable accommodations ensure everyone has access. Now that accessibility is expanded to digital content, you do not want to leave your business vulnerable to accessibility issues. Shopify compliance improves your e-commerce store and lets you sell your products or services to a wider audience.

If you want to see how instrumental, effective, and easy it is to use Accessibly, install the widget right now with a free trial. You’ll love what it can do for you and your customers while enjoying the peace of mind of avoiding any potential lawsuits.

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Article by Kaspars Milbergs

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