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#accessibility #bigcommerce
November 23, 2021
5 minutes

Is It Possible to Achieve BigCommerce Accessibility?

We all know that website accessibility is an important topic, and it’s something we should all pay attention to. But it’s not always easy to understand what we can do or how we can implement proper accessibility standards.

So, if you are looking to make your BigCommerce website accessible, this guide will help you get started.

There has been a huge change in how we buy and sell things. The world went from having to always go to stores to buy products to placing orders for goods right on their phones in the convenience of their homes.

Though buying and selling have become so convenient, it cannot be taken advantage of if eCommerce websites aren’t designed with accessibility in mind.

BigCommerce is one of the most popular eCommerce website builders on the market today. In this article, we’ll be discussing BigCommerce accessibility and how to make your eCommerce store design ADA compliant.

Defining ADA and WCAG

According to Title 3 of the ADA, businesses are required to make modifications in order to accommodate people with disabilities. Despite the fact that websites weren’t originally named in the ADA, recently, courts have ruled that they should be included.

If you use BigCommerce, your website also needs to conform to ADA and WCAG guidelines.

Read our definitive guide on ADA compliance to find out more, including step-by-step instructions on how to make your website fully accessible and ADA compliant.

About BigCommerce

BigCommerce is an e-commerce platform that allows merchants to easily set up and grow their online tores. With over 60,00 active customers in 100+ countries, it’s safe to say they are doing something right.

The platform was founded in 2009 and is based in Austin, Texas. In addition to being self-hosted, there are three additional solutions offered by BigCommerce—Software as a Service (SaaS) and eCommerce hosting.

They currently have ratings of 4.2 out of 5 on G2Crowd, 4.3 out of 5 on Capterra, and 8.2 out of 10 on TrustRadius.

BigCommerce Features

BigCommerce offers a wide range of features and templates on its platform. It gives you the ability to tweak and customize the design and the functions of your website.

Aside from that, BigCommerce also has features that would benefit online businesses, these include:

Search Engine Optimization

BigCcommerce takes your website’s SEO seriously. They provide you with features like customizable SEO-friendly URLs, and out-of-the-box Metadata, and robots.txt editing.

These features, if implemented appropriately, could generate more traffic by increasing your website’s visibility on search engines.

You can also choose to modify your SEO based on suggestions from companies like Semrush or Ahrefs.

Payment

BigCommerce websites come with features that make payment easier for customers. Your customers can even pay with digital wallets like Apple pay, Paypal One Touch, and more.

In addition, you can set up and customize your eCommerce website’s checkout page and integrate credit card options.

Ecommerce Functionality

E-commerce tools like storefront creation, coupon codes, product categories, and product pages are provided for businesses.

Other tools on BigCommerce include cross-channel commerce, where you can integrate with big marketplaces like eBay and Amazon, or social commerce to capture more customers on social media platforms like Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram.

Security and Reliability

High-level security SSL certificates are provided for eCommerce websites. It protects and secures your website and gives you peace of mind.

They also have over 99.99% uptime, resiliency, and performance for merchants that use BigCommerce. Your store’s data is reinforced with two data centers and a third backup data center spatially separated to mitigate potential failure.

BigCommerce accessibility solution for websites

Several platforms, which include BigCommerce, are committed to making their platforms accessible to everyone. BigCommerce accessibility is made relatively easy with their default theme, Cornerstone (versions 5.2 and higher).

The theme has been designed to comply with WCAG 2.1 Level A guidelines in the following areas:

  • Readability
  • Timing
  • Input modality
  • Keyboard accessibility

BigCommerce is committed to improving its platform’s accessibility, but merely using their platform would not ensure your website’s ADA compliant.

Little effort will be needed to improve your BigCommerce accessibility and make your website ADA compliant.

Websites that aren’t accessible or ADA compliant are already receiving many lawsuits from users and customers. There has been a tremendous increase in these lawsuits – 300% to be exact.

This means if your eCommerce website is not ADA compliant, you risk being sued in court for not improving your BigCommerce accessibility.

And the thing is, making your eCommerce website ADA compliant is far more cost-effective and less time-consuming than your non-compliance with ADA standards.

Below are a few reasons why your BigCommerce accessibility should be taken seriously:

Search Engine Optimization

ADA compliance for documents

Making your eCommerce website accessible could positively impact your SEO. For example, bounce rates could be drastically reduced by designing your website’s interface in a way that works for those with disabilities.

Knowing the good SEO could do for your eCommerce business means it should be high on your priority list.

Market Reach Improvement

Powerpoint accessibility

According to a 2005 report from the United States Census Bureau, 18.7% of the population, equivalent to 54 million people at that time, were disabled.

People with disabilities are a massive buying force. They’ve even demonstrated that they’re willing to pay up for better service and products. Why leave all that money on the table?

Keep Away From Lawsuits

accessibility law

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is not something you want to mess around with. If your website is inaccessible, you can face fines of up to $75,000 per occurrence—and that’s for a single violation (Multiple violations could rise to $150,000)

That’s potentially crippling for any business owner! The last thing you want is an angry group of customers representing an entire demographic.

Improved User Experience

media accessibility for organizations

Accessibility is more than just meeting legal guidelines. It’s about creating a positive experience for your users, no matter what their circumstances are.

When you design with accessibility in mind, your eCommerce websites will be easier to use and increase user loyalty. Who wants to shop somewhere they can’t easily access? Not many people.

How to Make a BigCommerce Website Accessible?

How to make a BigCommerce website accessible

As mentioned previously, the BigCommerce Cornerstone default theme is tailored to be  WCAG 2.1 Level A compliant; still, merely using the theme wouldn’t improve your BigCommerce accessibility or make your eCommerce website ADA compliant.

Therefore, you must keep auditing your website and make your website accessible.

To ensure your BigCommerce accessibility is improved and your eCommerce website is ADA compliant, utilizing third-party websites like accessiBe, and UserWay would be your best bet.

accessiBe-small-logoaccessiBe: Our top recommendation
  • WCAG
  • ADA
  • AODA
  • Section 508 Compliant

accessiBe offers different price packages depending on the number of unique pages, ranging from $490 per annum for a website with 1,000 pages or less, $1,490 per annum for a website with 10,000 pages or less, and $1,990 per annum for a website with 100,000 pages or less.

Pros

  • Account managers available to guide you through the product, pricing, and any questions you may have
  • Fast turnaround with a 5 min installation, and 48-hour compliance process
  • 100,000+ clients use accessiBe including legal and government organizations
  • Includes accessibility statement and certification

Cons

  • Built specifically for websites and small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs)- some web apps might not be compatible

Existing Clients

You can also make your eCommerce website accessible on your end by making a few adjustments and implementing some of the solutions listed below:

  • Add screen reader functionality
  • Use headings correctly
  • Make forms accessible
  • Add alt tags to your images.
  • Have clear and descriptive link names
  • Good color contrast

Wrapping Up

Making websites accessible to everyone is becoming a crucial factor that businesses are taking seriously. For companies with an online presence, having an accessible site isn’t just good PR—it’s simply good business.

Luckily, some platforms can solve these issues by improving your BigCommerce accessibility and making your eCommerce website ADA compliant.

If you want your eCommerce website to be accessible to everyone, the tools we’ve recommended in this article are your best bet for reaching that goal.

You can kickstart your journey by checking your BigCommerce website accessibility status on Accessibility Checker

If you find this article helpful, check out our other website compliance posts for your guidance:

Note for partner agencies

Are you an agency that manages your clients’ BigCommerce websites? Do you want to make these websites ADA compliant through third-party accessibility service providers?

If you are, we recommend joining partner programs to avail of exclusive offers. Learn more about the Accessible Partner Program.

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