Accessibility in Shopify: Ensuring a Positive User Experience for Everyone


Accessibility is an essential aspect of any online platform, and Shopify is no exception. With a large number of businesses turning to Shopify for their e-commerce needs, it’s imperative that the platform caters to all users, including those with disabilities. In this post, we will delve into the importance of accessibility in Shopify, discuss the platform’s current accessibility features, and suggest ways we can work together as a community to improve the overall user experience.

  1. Understanding the Importance of Accessibility:

Accessibility refers to the design of products, devices, services, and environments that are usable by people with disabilities. It is not only about compliance with legal requirements but also about ensuring equal opportunities for everyone, regardless of their physical or mental abilities. By fostering an accessible e-commerce ecosystem, businesses on Shopify can attract a wider audience and provide better customer experiences for everyone involved.

  1. Current Accessibility Features on Shopify:

Shopify has been steadily working on integrating accessibility features into its platform. Some of its notable built-in features include:

a. Keyboard navigation: Users can easily navigate through the platform using only their keyboard.
b. Screen reader compatibility: Shopify’s platforms are compatible with popular screen readers like JAWS and NVDA.
c. Alt text for images: This feature allows store owners to insert descriptive text about images uploaded to their website, allowing visually impaired users to understand the content better.

  1. How do themes contribute to accessibility?

When creating an accessible website on Shopify, your choice in theme plays a significant role in the process. Fortunately, Shopify offers several themes that are inherently accessible. When selecting a theme for your online store, look for features such as:

a. Clear headings and semantic markup.
b. Proper color contrast between text and background.
c. Responsive designs that work well across devices.
d.Icon labels through ARIA tags that are accessible by screen readers.

However, it is good practice to audit the theme yourself and make any necessary adjustments to ensure accessibility.

  1. Third-Party Apps and Accessibility:

Many third-party apps can help improve the accessibility of your Shopify store. For example, there are apps for better website navigation, alternative text for images, and even specialized tools for colorblind users. However, before installing any app, it’s important to test them thoroughly to ensure they comply with accessibility standards without impacting your site’s overall performance.

  1. What Can You Do to Improve Accessibility in Your Shopify Store?

There are many ways you can work towards creating a more accessible Shopify store experience:

a. Get familiar with accessibility guidelines such as the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG).
b. Test your website using various tools like the WAVE Web Accessibility Evaluation Tool.
c. Engage with the community and share resources on best practices for making your Shopify store accessible.
d.Encourage dialogue around accessibility issues and involve people with disabilities in testing your website.