The online shopping accessibility experience

The online business in India has rapidly increased in last 3+ years. People buy lot of commodities online. From electronics to home furniture, from vegetables to groceries’, from garments to medicines’ everything is available online. In these 3 years I too have been doing online shopping reasonably lot. Trust me readers, online shopping makes the lives of people with disabilities independent. Not sure if the online shopping providers know the fact that people with disabilities also can browse and interact with the web content and purchase from the online shopping. Not sure if the business owners know that more than 15% of Indians have either have a disability or age old difficulty. For these population online shopping will not be an easy task if certain accessibility measures are not taken into consideration while designing and developing the websites and mobile apps.

While purchasing a product online during this week-end I thought of using the website that has no accessibility violations. For to do a basic check on the home page I have taken the aXe,External Website the firefox extension to validate. I checked top 10 online stores in India to make a choice. Sadly none of them have 0 accessibility violations. Despite of the fact that the pictures of the products are very much critical for the online shopping, unfortunately all the 10 home pages I have validated failed for 1.1.1 non-text content. This means for more than one instance these websites failed to provide alternate text for the pictures to help its blind/ visually challenged customers who use screen readers. 80% of the websites (8 websites out of 10) have the color contrast problems. This means the background color of the screen does not have enough contrast with the foreground text color so that people with low vision can easily read the content. Along with these failures almost all the top ten websites have many other accessibility problems that hinder the experience of people with disabilities.

The following information is just to make the online shopping providers aware of the importance of accessibility and how it impact people with disabilities. To understand about accessibility, understand what is the experience of people with disabilities on your website, detailed information on the website accessibility or any other assistance reach out to me on rakesh@maxability.co.in or drop me a message through our Contact Us page.

Top 10 online shopping websites and accessibility violations on home page

Name of the website Home page URL Number of issues
Flipkart http://www.flipkart.com/External Website 212
Snapdeal http://www.snapdeal.com/External Website 160
Amazon http://www.amazon.in/External Website 28
Mynthra http://www.myntra.com/External Website 26
Ebay http://www.ebay.in/ External Website 33
Jabong http://www.jabong.com/External Website 44
Yebhi http://yebhi.com/External Website 18
HomeShop http://www.homeshop18.com/External Website 110
ShopClues http://www.shopclues.com/External Website 165
PepeerFry http://pepeerfry.com/External Website 49

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