OK, so the hot new Ambutech cane I recently purchased has cracked, so it’s time for another one, and so it’s also time for a rant about assistive technology and eCommerce. Specifically, why does every single assistive technology vendor’s eCommerce setup have to suck so badly? Most of these are running WooCommerce, and holy hell it’s painfully obvious that these installs aren’t up-to-date, that the themes being used do not have WooCommerce support, (let alone accessibility), and that whoever set these up knows pretty much nothing about eCommerce, marketing, or WooCommerce. This isn’t about one-man shops. This is about vendors who have staff, who have the income, and yet who are perfectly willing to provide their customers with a horrible user experience just to save some cash. Guys, eCommerce is hard. There’s a reason you’re not going to get a working eCommerce that does everything you need it to do for any less than $10,000. But trust me, it’s worth the investment. If your customers have an enjoyable experience shopping with you, (and this includes accessibility), they will be more than willing to recommend you to their friends and family and you will see more business for your efforts.

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  1. @arush So true. My gripes with many e-commerce sites isn’t about accessibility, as I have merely a slight visual impairment, but it’s often like they haven’t even tried to make a test of their own how to navigate the site and enter information from the point of landing on the site until purchase is complete. Some excel in this, but they’re a small minority.

  2. @arush Been experimenting with e-commerce as static html sites….the checkout is third party. Should check that.
    Question for you. If I have a written item description and photo of the item would I leave alt text blank?
    Feel like I need better product descriptions for screen readers rather then paragraphs of alt text

  3. @jgmac1106 YOur alt text should be brief and to the point, so it should contain a lot less than your paragraph description. For example, if you were selling clothing, and you spent a paragraph describing/marketing the clothing, and your image was of a man or woman wearing a particular article, your alt text would say something like “woman wearing” followed by the article of clothing. This would compliment the paragraph describing the clothing and marketing it. I hope this is helpful.

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