The European Accessibility Act 2025 (EAA) sets new standards for digital accessibility across the European Union. As an e-commerce seller on an international scale, this legislation will directly impact the way you conduct business.
What is the European Accessibility Act?
The EAA is a directive established to ensure digital accessibility throughout Europe. The aim is to ensure that all people, regardless of their physical or cognitive limitations, have access to and can fully participate in the digital world. This includes people with visual impairment, hearing impairment, motor or cognitive impairments.
Application to Your E-commerce Platform
The EAA has a wide scope of application, including e-commerce. This means that your online store must meet certain requirements. The legislation covers things like text-to-speech capabilities, contrast ratios, simple navigation, and screen reader accessibility. However, an exception is made for smaller companies. These are companies with less than 2 million euros in annual sales and fewer than 10 employees.
Here are a few examples of how you can apply the EAA:
- Text to speech: Your website should be able to read information to people with visual impairments. This means your website needs to be integrated with text-to-speech technology.
- Contrast ratios: There are specifications for color contrasts on your website to ensure that text and images are easily distinguishable. Low contrast can be difficult to read for people with poor vision.
- Subtitles: People with hearing impairments may struggle with content that relies on sound. Ensure that such content is always supported by subtitles, such as videos or podcasts.
- Simple navigation: The site should be easily navigable, even for people with motor impairments. This may mean you need to provide alternative navigation methods, such as keyboard navigation.
- Accessible for screen readers: Your site needs to be accessible to screen readers. This means that all content must be correctly labeled so that screen reader programs can interpret and read it.
Impact on Amazon Sellers
If you sell your products through a platform like Amazon, it’s important to understand that while the responsibility for the technical compliance with the EAA lies with the platform, you as a seller still need to pay attention to the accessibility of the content you post.
Ensure that your product descriptions are clear and concise, and can be easily converted to spoken text for screen readers. Also consider the contrast and readability of any images or graphics you use. It may be beneficial to provide your product photos with alternative text (alt-text) to enhance the experience for visually impaired users.
Impact on Shopify Sellers
For sellers hosting their store on Shopify, the situation is a little different. Shopify already offers various accessibility features built into their themes. However, it is still your responsibility as a seller to ensure that your specific content complies with EAA standards.
You need to ensure that your product photos have alt-texts, that your color scheme meets the contrast requirements, and that your website is easily navigable, among other things. Shopify provides tools and guidance to achieve this, but it is important to regularly check your website and make adjustments where necessary.
Importance of the European Accessibility Act
The EAA is not just a legal requirement, but also an opportunity to reach a broader customer base and improve the experience for all your customers. Studies show that improved accessibility can lead to higher conversion rates and customer satisfaction.
Complying with the EAA may initially seem like a challenge, but it is an investment that will pay off in the form of increased customer satisfaction, better brand reputation, and potentially higher sales.
By understanding any limitations, we can better understand how to design and adapt our websites to be accessible to everyone. Complying with the European Accessibility Act means that we ensure that our e-commerce websites are accessible to all potential customers, regardless of their individual needs.
How Staxxer Can Help
If you sell internationally, European VAT rules can be quite complex. Staxxer’s software tells you exactly how much VAT you owe in each country: this prepares your One Stop Shop declaration in just 5 minutes.
Finding it too time-consuming or complex? No worries, we can also take over the declaration process from A to Z. And if you’re expanding to another European market, we can also apply for a VAT registration for you there. Contact us now for a no-obligation personal consultation.