Web Accessibility Overlooked at Peril by UK E-Commerce Businesses

For UK e-commerce businesses, neglecting web accessibility is not just a misstep; it’s a financial hazard with serious legal implications. This risk is compounded by the possibility of facing lawsuits under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), even for companies that only make occasional sales to the United States.

Data from the first half of 2023 indicates a sharp increase in ADA-related lawsuits, with 414 cases filed in federal courts—a significant rise from the previous year. The trend is fueled by specialized law firms like Mars Khaimov Law and Stein Saks, which took on 82% of these cases last year, significantly driving up the number of lawsuits.

Contrary to what some might believe, these legal challenges often target not just the e-commerce giants but also smaller players. In 2022, 77% of these cases involved smaller online retailers whose annual revenues didn’t exceed £20 million, with the e-commerce sector accounting for 84% of the total cases.

Liam Webster, Co-Founder of Identify Digital, warns, “Even a single transaction from a UK site to a US customer can expose your business to the full brunt of ADA litigation. E-commerce companies must recognize and act on this legal exposure.”

Lawsuits typically point to specific accessibility issues such as inadequate keyboard navigation, missing alternative text for images, unclear form inputs, insufficient color contrast, videos without captions, and vague link texts. Addressing these basic compliance issues is crucial.

E-commerce businesses are advised to develop a strong digital accessibility strategy that includes both manual testing and automated coding corrections, guided by expert consultations. While the risks of overlooking web accessibility are grave, the benefits of compliance are profound—protecting your brand and enhancing user experience.

UK e-commerce operators engaging with the US market need to ensure their sites comply with ADA standards to avoid crippling legal consequences.

For further information and tips on web accessibility, please reference and link to


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