Some tips for Etailers to make websites inclusive for disabled people
Today, shopping is easy. Thanks to online shopping websites. Unlike earlier days, you do not have to queue up in long lines or wait at cash counters for your turn. Everything is available at your fingertip. So whether you want to do some grocery shopping or buy a new dress, just go to your favourite website and click on what your liked. You can pay your bills, book movie tickets and even buy a car online. Unfortunately, such online shopping is made easier only for people without disabilities. People with various kinds of disabilities point out the hardships and obstacles that they face when they approach Etailers.
Kritica Purohit is a blind person and a finalist at a beauty pageant.
I firmly believe that giving detailed descriptions about the product is extremely important. So most of the times, I rely on the help of someone who can see since most of the websites do not have accesibility features. When it comes to the many colours that Etailers put on their website, it does not make a difference because a blind person cannot see them anyways. I have always preferred shopping at a market because we get to feel and touch the product. If I'am going to buy a duapatta or saree, it is always better if I get to touch and feel it. We cannot do that in online shopping-Kritica Purohit
Are you an Etailer who wants to make shopping for a disabled customer easier, convenient and better? We have some tips for you.
- Make your website more inclusive- This goes without a say. But are your staffs and customer service executives aware of how to reach out to a disabled customer? Most of the times, they are not. Customer service executives have absolutely no idea on how to talk to a disabled person which can often get irritating for a disabled customer. Apparently, most of the customer service executives do not even know what a screen reader is. So it is important that retailers provide their staffs with some information and awareness.
- Images and descriptions matter- No doubt that image adds more colour and freshness to a product on the website. But for a visually impaired or blind person, that clearly does not help. It is high time that Etailers provide detailed descriptions of what the product is all about so that a visually impaired or blind customer can also access it instead of only going for images. If they do not have a clear understanding of the product, they are not going to buy it.
- Make search options easier- Search button is a very powerful tool. Most of the times, a disabled person just wants to directly go to the product that they want to buy. Beating around the bush really does not help. Sometimes, when we hit the search button, it shows a lot of items related to the one that we want. This can really annoy a person with a disability because it makes shopping harder and tougher for them. So make sure that the products shown during searches are correct and precise.
- Do not overcrowd- According to many surveys, overcrowding of websites is one the main problems that disabled people face. There are many animations, unwanted texts and advertisements that make it difficult for a visually impaired or blind person to access the information that they need. Keep it simple. That helps the customer.
"When it comes to accessibility, online shopping has a long way to go. Hence, I'am not a huge fan of online shopping. According to me, Amazon is quite accessible when compared to many other online shopping websites. In fact, websites must make more descriptions so that disabled people can easily access it", says Simran Chawla, beauty pageant winner.
Since this is the holiday season, everyone is looking out to buy new products for themselves and their closed ones. Clearly, these tips are going to make shopping easier for disabled people. So if you are an Etailer, do not miss out on these.
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