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ADA Compliance Conversion

Make your website accessible to more customers and comply with the standards of the Americans with Disabilities Act
ADA Compliance Conversion
ADA Compliance Conversion

The biggest benefit of eCommerce is the ability for a business to serve more customers than would otherwise be possible with a brick-and-mortar store alone. In the interest of being able to serve all your potential customers, and to ensure compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, your website must be accessible. An accessible website follows certain guidelines that ensure all interested visitors can understand and use the site, regardless of any disability that may affect how they interact with the website.

Making your website ADA compliant will allow you to grow your customer base to include those with disabilities, and help protect you from the possibility of lawsuits or fines that can be imposed against non-accessible websites. Our ADA Compliance Conversion service will handle this responsibility for you.

What is ADA Compliance?

What is ADA Compliance?

An online store is ADA compliant if it meets certain criteria laid out in the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), specifically in regards to new amendments created in 2010 called the "ADA Standards for Accessible Design." By making your online store compliant with ADA standards, you make your site accessible for people with disabilities by ensuring accessibility elements (like alt text or zoom feature) are integrated and working properly.

Customers with disabilities may need assistance to view, navigate, and use your website, and the type of assistance will vary depending on the disability in question. For example, customers with a severe vision impairment may rely on a text-to-speech screen reader program to read your website to them. Part of ADA compliance is ensuring your website can be properly interpreted by this type of software.

Why Should Your Site Be ADA Compliant?

Why Should Your Site Be ADA Compliant?

We mentioned that non-ADA compliant websites can be subject to lawsuits or fines, so ADA compliance is crucial for protecting your business. However, the benefits go beyond that: by making your site accessible to more customers, you're increasing your own potential for growth.

All strong websites are built with accessibility in mind. For online stores, accessibility ensures all customers can use your online store, including customers with visual disabilities (like partial or full blindness), hearing impairment, or learning disabilities like dyslexia. It's always in your best interest and the best interests of your customers to ensure access to your website is simple for anyone, both in terms of social responsibility and the health of your business.

By investing money to make sure you're following ADA regulations, you can also claim tax credits. This is an additional incentive offered to help encourage businesses to focus on accessibility and to help them recoup some of the costs that may be involved in converting their websites for ADA compliance.

How to Make Your Website ADA Compliant

While Shift4Shop's ADA Compliance Conversion will ensure your site has the proper infrastructure for ADA compliance, please keep in mind that you're responsible for ADA compliance of any content on the website. Some concrete tips you can follow to optimizing your content include the following:

  • Follow proper naming conventions and make sure your headlines, titles, and copy are clear and easy to follow.

  • Make sure to include alt text for all of your page elements (like images and call-outs). Alt text is crucial for visually-impaired customers who use screen readers.

  • For hearing-impaired shoppers, include captions on any video or audio elements.

  • Keep your navigation consistent and intuitive. You'll also need to make sure that all actions a user can take on your site can be done from a keyboard.

  • Make sure any actions you want your shopper to take include clear instructions.

  • Write very specific error messages so it's clear how customers can fix a problem.

  • Ensure text elements are structured correctly. Tables should have appropriate headers, for example.

  • Create a page dedicated to guiding customers through the accessibility features you've built into your online store.

What's Included in Our ADA Compliance Conversion

What's Included in Our ADA Compliance Conversion

There are plenty of areas for improvement for websites to reach ADA compliance. In broad strokes, it's important to keep perspective and try to see shopping on your website from the perspective of a potential disabled customer. The ADA Compliance Conversion service will upgrade your website to the necessary structure that will support any changes that need to be made to reach compliance.

As part of this service, Shift4Shop will maintain the look and feel of the design on your Shift4Shop Store while adjusting the template to be based out of our Core ADA Compliant template. This will allow your website to meet the Level A requirements of WCAG 2.0 (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0).

*Requires current Shift4Shop site to be designed based on a CORE design template.

How Long Does an ADA Compliance Conversion Take to Complete?

How Long Does an ADA Compliance Conversion Take to Complete?

The estimated time to complete your website's ADA Compliance Conversion is 2 - 3 weeks from the moment you place your order to completion of the project. All projects are put into a schedule after receipt of payment. Projects are assigned on a first-come, first-served basis.

How ADA Compliance will Benefit Your Business

The best thing about ADA compliance is that it helps everyone involved, including existing customers, new customers, and you. The only possible downside to updating your site for ADA compliance is time and cost, but these are temporary as you'll be reaping the benefits forever.

  • More customers: An ADA-compliant website has much greater potential to reach new customers because it's inclusive to everyone, regardless of disability.

  • Increased customer loyalty: All customers want to feel as if a business cares about them and their needs, and ADA compliance will show that you are attentive to these needs.

  • More conversions: ADA-compliant websites are easier to use by more people, which means that any shopper with disabilities is less likely to abandon your website, leading to an increase in conversions for your business.

  • Legal protection: ADA compliance will protect your website against the rising number of lawsuits and fines levied against businesses that are not accessible to customers with disabilities.

  • Tax credits: The costs of making your website ADA compliant can be claimed on your business's tax return, earning you a credit.

Making your website ADA compliant is simply the right thing to do, regardless of your industry or target audience. We at Shift4Shop are proud to be in the position to help you do this, so eCommerce can continue to grow and be inclusive to everyone.

*Please note: Your website must be using a CORE template to receive this service.

Start Your ADA Compliance Conversion Today

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Frequently Asked Questions

Why can my business be sued or fined if my website doesn't meet ADA compliance?
The main purpose of the Americans with Disabilities Act is to ensure that businesses avoid excluding people with disabilities from being able to perform the same necessary tasks as those who are abled. With eCommerce becoming so crucial in today's world, and more of these necessities moving (at least partially) online, websites must not deny equal participation to customers due to a disability. This is the online equivalent of brick-and-mortar businesses needing to install wheelchair ramps, etc. to ensure all customers have access.
Shift4Shop's ADA Compliance Conversion says it will enable my website to reach the Level A requirements of WCAG 2.0. What does this mean?
ADA compliance has 3 levels: Level A for beginner, Level AA for intermediate, and Level AAA for advanced accessibility features. Level A is the minimum level of accessibility required by the ADA. Shift4Shop's ADA Compliance Conversion focuses on Level A requirements because they are the most dependent on the infrastructure of the website, while Levels AA and AAA depend on special efforts taken by the business owner. You can see a breakdown of all the WCAG 2.0 levels and their requirements on this index.
Will the ADA Compliance Conversion change the appearance of my website?
Our goal with the ADA Compliance Conversion is to upgrade the backend of your website so you can reach Level A WCAG 2.0 standards while maintaining the same look and feel of your site. However, keep in mind that accessibility is affected by size of text, color schemes, and other factors that you may need to consider changing in order to help with accessibility.
Do I really need to be ADA compliant if none of my customers have disabilities?

ADA compliance is in your best interest regardless of your customer base. Disabilities come in a wide spectrum, with varying degrees of severity, and you should not assume for any reason that no disabilities are present among your customers. People with all levels of ability are seeking to shop online for all types of products!

On a side note, even if you're completely familiar with all your customers (e.g. you run a very small business for a tight-knit community), remember that disability can come to affect any of them at some point in their lives, even if it's temporary - for example, vision impairment after eye surgery. ADA compliance helps you serve customers with temporary disabilities just as much as lifelong ones.