Web accessibility lawsuits are occurring at an alarming pace. Understanding the legal and technical guidelines of what is mandated is often tricky and confusing. Although the ADA (Americans with Disability Act) laws don’t formally specify compliance with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) set of technical standards, private business sites have to be accessible, and it’s well-accepted that compliance with WCAG is the best way to achieve that standard. Unfortunately, this growing trend in claims is also due in part to the significant complexity in implementing the WCAG guidelines. As a result, the painful reality is that the majority of sites do not meet these standards. Resolving issues manually or without technical expertise can be a struggle or even cause additional accessibility problems. Further complicating matters is that by its nature, ecommerce is driven by dynamic change, continually coming in from all directions. Often, the number of people contributing to the site increases the challenge to remain in compliance. In this environment, not having a plan to protect your business from these accessibility claims could leave merchants with significant legal exposure.
Sears perfected the direct-to-consumer (DTC) model, long before DTC was widely known. Macy’s continued it with its legendary Christmas catalogs, as did many others, but the Sears catalog was the Gold Standard.
While the catalog fell out of favor over the past 15 years or so, it is making a comeback. According to eMarketer, DTC revenues grew about 24% in 2020, and the marketing push by brands is driving much of that.
DTC is the promotion and sale of products to consumers directly by the brands or manufacturers, effectively eliminating the in-store experience. While brands often do have physical retail stores, they are increasingly marketing their products directly to consumers. One of the ways they are doing that in 2021 is through catalogs mailed directly to homes.
“We are seeing a huge resurgence in direct mail,” Polly Wong, president of Belardi Wong, a direct mail company for top brands such as Parachute, Levi’s, Untuckit, Pottery Barn, Williams Sonoma and more.
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