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Accessibility is all about making your site accessible for people with disabilities and insuring compliance with local and national law.
Sadly, it's honestly quite a bit about avoiding the liability of a lawsuit. But, through that you can also help all users navigate your site and get the most value out of their on-site experience.
Site accessibility can unlock entire segments of customers you may not have realized were there. Some of whom may be your ideal customers, ready and willing to purchase again and again, if only your site worked for them.
The main reason to use tools in this category is to mitigate the risk of a lawsuit. There are a lot of lawyers and individuals going around the web, looking for non-compliant websites, and then issuing a lawsuit. Compliance with the law is mandatory and you will get caught eventually.
Beyond the liability, there are a lot of positive reasons for making your site accessible, including wanting to provide a positive user experience for everyone that lands on your site.
The benefits to an accessible site (besides feeling good about being available for everyone and showing the world that you care about all people) include:
When you think about it, there are many more pros than cons to making your site accessible. And again, can't reiterate this enough, it is the law.
Every store needs to be accessible, so you should invest in this right from the start.
It's no different than if you were to have a brick and mortar location and had to ensure it was wheelchair accessible.
When you are just starting out, paying for an accessibility tool can feel unnecessary given all the other things on the list. Low risk that you will be sued, right? But a lawsuit would be the last thing you need and this is an easy way to avoid it.
Think of it as an insurance expense - hate having to pay for it, but thrilled it's there when you need it.
Whoever is in charge of your site setup/management should be responsible for its accessibility.
One of the best things about tools in this category is that they do the heavy lifting for you. Once you set it up on your site, the tool ensures it is accessible and stays up to date on all regulations and changes around accessibility. You shouldn't have to think much about it.
When searching for accessibility tools, you want to make sure they are actually keeping you in compliance with the law.
Ask if they are ADA, EAA and WCAG compliant. Ask what documentation they provide to prove that your site is accessible, in case you should have any litigation issues.
There are tools that actually provide litigation support, providing audits, documentation and videos to refute any claims that your site is not in compliance, so make sure you know what you are getting.