UK retail and web accessibility

24/03/2022

The primary goal of any retailer’s website is to attract as many shoppers as possible and keep them returning for more. However, one area that can occasionally be overlooked is accessibility.  Web accessibility means that websites, tools, and technologies are designed and developed so that people with disabilities are able to engage with them without barriers making them difficult or impossible to use.

In an increasingly digitised world, web accessibility is critical for the success of any business, particularly ones that rely so heavily on its online presence. Not only is having an accessible site morally the right thing to do, it can also help to attract more customers, instill customer loyalty and improve performance and user experience for all site visitors. 

Making your site user-friendly for disabled and impaired shoppers means adding features such as keyboard based navigation, improved content readability, video subtitles or transcripts, search by voice and accurate alt tag descriptions. All of these features help improve and streamline your website flow and experience for all users. For example, adding captions to videos helps people who are deaf as well as those who prefer to watch videos on silent and also results in better search engine discoverability due to the video transcript allowing engines to discover and index the multimedia content.

Inclusivity is something we feel passionately about and have therefore decided to assess the 200 retailers’ websites from our 2022 Online Retail Report for their Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.1 standards) compliance by using a tool called webaccessibility.com. The tool analyses the site, running over 300 tests, and gives the retailer a percentage score based on the results. We would consider websites with scores above 70% to be actively attempting to adhere to accessibility standards but could still benefit from reassessing their websites on a regular basis for disabled and impaired users.

The retailers whose websites ranked 100% on the tools search were Footlocker, Barker and Stonehouse, Beauty Bay, Harrods, Selfridges, and Wayfair. All the retailers we reviewed scored above 80% in the test, with the lowest scoring retailers being Ambrose Wilson who scored 82%, and Jacamo, New Look, and JD Williams who all scored 84%. 

As the results of the test were overwhelmingly positive across all 200 retailers assessed we didn’t feature this test within this year’s report scoring criteria. However, we think it’s important to acknowledge the developments that have been made inaccessible browsing in recent years and hope that as technology continues to evolve websites can become even more inclusive. To check your website’s accessibility health score, go to webaccessibility.com or check out the WCAG 2.1 standards here.

Below is the full scoring list from our Accessibility check:

& Other Stories 97%

Accessorize 95%

Aldo 92%

All Saints 93%

Ambrose Wilson 82%

American Golf Could not be tested

Ann Summers 94%

Anthropologie 98%

ao.com 87%

Appliancesdirect 87%

Argos 97%

ASOS 97%

Avon 90%

B&Q 93%

Barbour 94%

Barker & Stonehouse 100%

Beauty Bay 100%

Berry. Bros & Rudd 86%

Blacks Outdoor (JD Sports) 97%

Boden 97%

Bonmarché 88%

boohoo 89%

Booths 91%

Boots 91%

Bravissimo 86%

Build-A-Bear 92%

Bulk Powders 93%

Carpetright 92%

Cath Kidston 91%

Charles Clinkard 90%

Claire’s 89%

Clarks 96%

Clintons 94%

Coast 91%

Cotswold Outdoor 86%

Cotton Traders 85%

Cox and Cox 97%

Crew Clothing 90%

Cult Beauty 94%

Debenhams 90%

Decathalon 93%

Deichmann 88%

DFS 91%

Dorothy Perkins 90%

Dreams 86%

Dune London 91%

Dunelm 89%

Dwell 89%

Dyson 93%

Early Learning Centre 89%

Ellis Brigham 87%

Evans Cycles Could not be tested

Eve Sleep 93%

Farfetch 92%

Farrow & Ball 96%

FatFace 94%

Feel Unique 98%

Fenwick 85%

Flannels 97%

Flannels 97%

Foot Locker 100%

Footasylum could not be tested

Fortnum & Mason 96%

Fred Perry 89%

Freemans Could not be tested

French Connection 90%

Furniture Village 92%

GO Outdoors 90%

H&M 97%

Habitat 97%

Halfords 94%

Hamleys 89%

Harrods 100%

Harvey Nichols 91%

Heal’s 92%

Hillarys Blinds 300M 94%

Hobbs 88%

Hobbycraft 86%

Holland & Barrett 91%

Hollister Co. 97%

Home Essentials 85%

Homebase 95%

Hornby 95%

Hotel Chocolat 94%

Hotter Shoes 92%

House of Fraser Could not be tested

Hughes 88%

IKEA 91%

Jacamo 84%

Jack Wills could not be tested

JD Sports 91%

JD Williams 84%

Jigsaw 89%

Joe Browns 91%

John Lewis & Partners 97%

Jojo Maman Bebe 95%

Joules 86%

Karen Millen 91%

Kurt Geiger 95%

L’Occitaine 95%

Laithwaite’s 89%

Lakeland 92%

Leekes Could not be tested

Liberty London 93%

Look Fantastic 95%

Lush 96%

M&Co 92%

Majestic Wine 85%

Mamas & Papas 91%

MandM Direct 97%

MANGO 93%

Marks & Spencer 88%

Matalan 92%

Matches Fashion 98%

Menkind 95%

Millets (JD Sports) 97%

Mint Velvet 88%

Missguided 95%

Moda Furnishings

Monsoon 96%

Moss Bros 88%

Mountain Warehouse 95%

Musclefood 94%

MyProtein 95%

Naked Wines 96%

Nasty Gal 87%

Neal’s Yard Remedies 95%

New Look 84%

Next 97%

Oak Furnitureland 95%

Oasis 88%

Office 97%

Oka 88%

Oliver Bonas 86%

Online4Baby Could not be tested

Outdoor and Country 88%

Paperchase 95%

Paul Smith 92%

Peacocks 88%

Pretty Little Thing 90%

Pull&Bear Could not be tested

Quiz 90%

Regatta 86%

Reiss Could not be tested

River Island 91%

Robert Dyas 92%

Rohan 90%

Ryman Stationery 94%

Screwfix 85%

Scribbler 94%

Seasalt 93%

Secret Sales 91%

Selco BW 96%

Selfridges 100%

Seraphine 95%

Shoe Zone 98%

Silentnight 88%

Size? 93%

Smiggle 87%

Smyths 92%

Snow+Rock (Outdoor and Cycle Concepts) 88%

sofa.com 88%

Sofology 88%

Space NK 93%

SportPursuit 95%

Sports Direct 97%

Studio 98%

Sunglass Hut 95%

Superdrug (AS Watson) 97%

Superdry 98%

Swoon Editions 98%

Ted Baker 92%

Tessuti 92%

The Body Shop 94%

The Cotswold Company 88%

The Entertainer 89%

The Fragrance Shop 92%

The North Face 89%

The Outnet 97%

The Perfume Shop Could not be tested

The Whiskey Shop 90%

The White Company 94%

The Works 94%

TK Maxx 88%

TM Lewin 95%

Toolstation 94%

Trinny London 92%

Uniqlo 88%

Urban Outfitters 98%

Virgin Wines 88%

Wallis 90%

Warehouse 91%

Waterstones 96%

Wayfair 100%

Whistles 87%

White Stuff 88%

Whittard of Chelsea 94%

WHSmith 93%

Wickes 93%

Wilko 90%

ZARA 94%