Web accessibility, WCAG and ADA Compliance  for Magento

Magento is an eCommerce platform built on open source technology that’s designed for retail companies of every size and vertical, including B2B, B2C, and B2B2C businesses.

For a company that focuses on providing retailers and brands with a full-proof digital solution for all their needs, they don’t have much to offer when it comes to accessibility. There are currently no extensions, plugins, or preset themes and templates available that can help you make your website effectively accessible. Accessibility is completely a DIY affair for Magento users.

For an accessiBe installation guide with Magento, click here.

Accessibility is important for all websites but for eCommerce, it can be ‘make or break’. This is simply because, as the digitalization of the world increases, more people are going online to buy products. If your online store isn’t accessible, there’s a higher chance that it will be noticed.

And rest assured, people with disabilities are noticing. In 2018, the DOJ affirmed that websites are considered places of public accommodations under the ADA Title III and should be accessible. Since then, there has been a 300% increase in web accessibility lawsuits, more than half targeting Ecommerce and retailers (~65%).

In order to make a website accessible, it needs to be remediated according to the WCAG 2.1 AA, or web content accessibility guidelines. These guidelines are accepted worldwide as the standard for accessible websites by many legislations, such as the ADA. Failure to achieve compliance can lead to web accessibility lawsuits.

To achieve compliance, accessibility remediation of a website’s code will need to be manually done by the Magento store owner, and this is a task that’s difficult even for the most proficient developer. Alternatively, you can outsource remediation but it can cost thousands of dollars. Either way, you’re looking at weeks to months of work. 

The importance of an accessible Magento website

A few crucial things can happen if your Magento online store isn’t accessible. First, your online store could lose out on massive revenue potential. In fact, the purchasing power of people with disabilities is approximately $490 billion. Second, your store’s reputation could take a hit for discrimination. And third, you could get sued for failure to comply with the ADA, or Americans with Disabilities Act. 

Even more importantly, an inaccessible website denies access to millions of people with disabilities, approximately 20% of the population, access to basic goods and services, entertainment, knowledge, activities - everything. By making your website accessible, you’re helping to open the Internet to everyone. 

Using accessiBe with Magento

with accessiBe, you don’t have to choose between beauty and accessibility. accessiBe’s AI-driven, automated solution makes existing websites ADA compliant by remediating the website’s code according to the WCAG 2.1 AA. accessiBe’s solution is session-based, meaning only those with disabilities will see adjusted design elements, leaving your design completely intact.