HOW TO SHOP ONLINE AS A VISUALLY IMPAIRED
The improvement in special arrangements for Visually Impaired people is somewhat backward compared to the overall improvement in online shopping. While shopping online, you will have to use some additional features on your mobile or computer. Again, those features are not effective in all types of apps. We will discuss them, and if there are any further obligations, we’ll discuss them in detail here. In addition, we will discuss the apps that offer the most straightforward and most convenient features for online shopping of all sorts of items.
Features to be activated on a device
Usually, most shopping apps don’t provide additional settings that can be helpful for you. So, you need to activate the accessibility features provided by your OS.
● For Windows: For each version of Windows, there are slightly different systems for Activation of Accessibility. If your OS is Windows 7 or 8.1, hold the Windows logo key and press ‘U’ to access the Ease To Access Center. Then click on Alt-N to start Narrator. For Windows 10, activate Narrator directly by clicking on the Ctrl-Windows Logo key-Enter. For smartphones, press Windows Logo key-Volume Up key.
● For iOS: There are so many features for you if you are an iOS user. There are VoiceOver, VoiceOver+braille, spoken Content, Reduce Motion, Accessibility Shortcut, iWork, Text Size, Hover Text, Magnifier, Dictations, and the most helpful Siri app that can help you in online shopping.
● For Android: The most common OS we use is Android. Just activate the in-built Talkback facility, and your Android will read out your screen for you.
● For Linux: If you use Linux as the OS on your computer, you should Install Accessibility-Coconut, which provides all the accessibility you need.
How to do online shopping
After activating the Accessibility features or Narrator in your device, go to a preferable online shopping platform following the voice instructions from your device. Keep in mind that all shopping apps cannot work with all the Accessibility features. The app or website you will use should have a voice search option, easy access to the cart and billing section, a particular theme for Voice Assistance, colour schemes & fonts readable for the accessibility software.
Problems you may face
One of the most challenging tasks while shopping online is identifying and choosing the suitable colour and quality of the item. The problem may arise while giving the address or keeping track of the delivery, or getting the necessary updates in time. Problems can occur even after you receive the purchased item. And so online shopping should be done from a reliable platform through a device with proper accessibility support. Hence, the platform should be chosen accordingly, knowing in detail about customer support and how effective and responsible it is.
A little discussion about the Online Shopping platforms
Amazon is doing great as a service provider for the VI people. They have designed their platform in the most suitable way for accessibility software. They provide:
- Their Voice Search option.
- A single button Cart.
- Billing And Location feature.
- Easy access to the items.
In addition, Amazon is building a specialized section for all who need any accessibility support for online shopping, which will be available soon.
Other giant online shopping points like Walmart, Flipkart, Myntra, Alibaba, AJIO, and Trends- are also working on the facilities they need to develop to expand their consumer base irrespective of sightedness. Some of their mobile applications are accessible, but their desktop sites are not due to a lack of proper linear flow accessible for the braille software. So, it’s better to use your smartphone for online shopping on these platforms.
But, online shopping is not just about clothes and other goods nowadays; groceries and fruits and all other daily need items are now available online. While using Accessibility features, you can easily purchase your required items from the apps like Bigbasket, Flipkart, JioMart, and Ibb from your smartphone. Feedback about using desktop sites of these shopping points is not satisfactory until now. I Hope, shortly, we’ll get more developed platforms and applications for online shopping, and the scope of online shopping will expand irrespective of visual or any disabilities.
In addition to festivals and other purposes, we all need to do marketing for daily needs. And as blessings of the Internet, when the whole market is in your hands today, it is becoming impossible to think of anything other than online shopping. Therefore, keeping pace with the technology and becoming proficient in online shopping can be very convenient. And as far as the problems are concerned, the companies are making their technical efforts. Once these problems are solved quickly, online shopping will become equally enjoyable for every person.