A new study suggests that some of the UK’s online retailers are not taking the issue of accessibility seriously enough, with progress seeming to stall, according to a new study.
Last year, Webcredible’s Accessibility Report gave the websites of 20 UK high street retailers an average score of 62%, but this year the score has slipped to 60%.
So which retailers need to pay more attention to accessibility?
The biggest culprit in terms of poor accessibility was Currys, closely followed by Woolworths, which is no surprise since the site is also very poor in terms of usability.
The report makes the point that the inclusion of Woolworths this year does bring the overall average down, though it would be worse still if sites like River Island’s inaccessible Flash website were also included.
Currys scores particularly bady on a number of points, such as not making it easy for users to resize text so it is legible and not labelling headings as heading, all of which makes it difficult or impossible for customers with screen readers to use the site.
Other retailers scoring less than the average of 60% included Body Shop, Early Learning Centre and Mothercare.
Full table of scores (click image for a larger version):
B&Q, John Lewis, H Samuel and Argos topped the table, and all of them managed to improve on last year’s rating.
DIY retailer B&Q deserves credit for improving its score from 68& last year to 84%. It scored well for a number of factors, and has clearly paid attention to the issue of accessibility.
Some other retailers would do well to follow B&Q’s lead. According to recent stats from fhios, A sixth of the population have health conditions which make it difficult for them to access and transact on many websites. This equates to almost 8m people, or 17% of adults.
Webcredible also estimates that the disabled population in the UK has a combined spending power of £80bn, which should be an incentive for retailers to make their websites more accessible.