ASOS.com has been named as the least accessible website, sitting at the top of a list which also includes Shein, Smyths Toys and Costco.
A new study by ToolTester has looked at 200 of the most popular websites across the globe to assess how accessible they are for users with a number of different disabilities.
The report estimates that the amount lost due to inaccessible websites in the UK alone (the click-away pound), was £11.75 billion in 2020, because shoppers with specific accessibility needs are less likely to spend money on a website they cannot navigate.
The study also reveals that fashion sites are among the poorest performing sector when it comes to accessibility.
As the least accessible website to be analysed during the research, more than 21% of the ASOS website is inaccessible for ‘millions of potential customers’.
It doesn’t even qualify for an accessibility score from the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG).
The errors include poor colour contrast, text running over images and missing ARIA labels, all combining to making the site difficult to navigate for disabled shoppers.
Shein‘s website is only slightly better than ASOS.com, with 16.12% of the site inaccessible for many users. The site has a very busy homepage with pop-ups which can be particularly challenging for screen readers to navigate.
Looking at other retail sectors, the Smyths Toys and Costco websites performed similarly badly with around 18% of their sites showing as inaccessible.
H&M is the most accessible fashion website, with only three errors across the entire site. Just 0.38% of the site is inaccessible. Amazon also performs well in the study, with just 15 errors across the site, making just 0.72% of the site inaccessible.
Image: The Shein website page above has been mocked-up to replicate how someone with colour-blindness (just under 5% of the UK population) would see it.
Update, as of 23/12/21
ASOS has since responded to the study with an official statement which reads: “We want everyone to be able to confidently shop at ASOS. We take issues of accessibility incredibly seriously and regularly conduct full audits of our websites and apps to ensure we account for everyone’s unique needs and experiences.
“Since our last audit, we have made a number of changes, including adding alternative text to images, sound and captions on product videos and improved adaptability for keyboard-only users.
“However, we know there are always ways we can do better so we will review the report in detail and assess any further improvements to ensure the ASOS experience remains as inclusive as possible.”