We very, very seldom come across a tool or service that makes us go “Wow”. We came across one last week. Let’s rewind and set the stage a bit.
Over the last few years, ensuring website accessibility for people with disabilities has become more of a priority for many pure-play e-commerce merchants and omnichannel retailers. Accessible sites enable people with visual, physical, cognitive or other disabilities to navigate the website using tools like screen readers. While it is important to support customers with differing abilities, there is also a legal element. Sites that are not accessible have often been sued for discriminating against users with disabilities. However, making a site accessible to users with disabilities is not easy. Typically it requires extensive design, coding, and validation…..and often e-commerce platforms have architectural components that don’t always support accessibility.
So here is where the WOW comes in. We recently investigated an AI technology company called accessiBe that delivers standards-based accessible websites (“Accessible” sites meet standards such as WCAG 2.1, ADA, Section 508, AODA, EN 301 549 and SI 5568). All you need to do is subscribe to their service, add a line of java-script to your site, and their AI-powered technology will render your site in an accessible format with a variety of tools available to users. Accessibe works on the e-commerce Platforms that Accorin has expertise in (ie. Magento, Shopify, SFCC and BigCommerce), as well as other leading CMS platforms.
Their technology is fantastic and makes the web significantly more accessible for users with disabilities. accessiBe was planned, designed and developed in collaboration with people who suffer from various disabilities: blindness, epilepsy, cognitive dysfunctions, and more. Take a look at accessiBe for more information. You can also click on the blue icon in the bottom left corner of the Accorin website to see accessiBe in action.
The Bottom Line
Online accessibility is an important consideration but merchants often overlook it or defer it as a complex, expensive thing to remediate. Websites that don’t adhere to accessibility best practices open themselves up to legal expenses and the risk of alienating part of your customer base. If you want to learn more about building and supporting accessible websites, we can help. Need an accessibility review of your site? Give us a call.