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Making digital commerce accessible by 2025 – what you need to know about the changes to the Digital Services Act

19.06.2023 Pinja Blog Ecommerce

The person sits in front of two screens, one of which shows the front page of the Halpahalli online store and the other shows a code.

In 2016, the EU Accessibility Directive entered into force, and based on it, Finland ratified Act 306/2019 on the provision of digital services. The Digital Services Act entered into force on 1 April 2019. According to the Act, public services must be accessible to all users, and the implementation period for the requirements ended already in 2021.

The new EU Accessibility Directive brings changes to a number of different laws during 2023, including the Digital Services Act. The changes bring new services and parties within the scope of the accessibility requirements of the Act. The legislation implementing the Directive on accessibility requirements for products and services, the so-called Accessibility Directive, entered into force on 1 February 2023. The changes are designed to promote equality for people in our digital society.

In terms of timing, new services covered by the Digital Services Act (including digital commerce) must meet the accessibility requirements from 28 June 2025.

Saavutettavuusdirektiivi ja digipalvelulaki esitettynä aikajanalla

The Digital Services Act – what do the changes mean for digital commerce? 

In principle, accessible services benefit all digital commerce users. When the usability and accessibility of digital commerce have been carefully considered, the online experience is smoother. In an easy-to-use digital commerce, improving the shopping experience has a direct impact on sales and conversions. 

In total, there are around 87 million people in Europe with some degree of life-limiting impairment. About one million of them live in Finland. Such impairments may include limitations in hearing, vision, mobility, speech or learning. For them, using digital commerce is a challenge if the site is not accessible. Following new recommendations in the EU Digital Services Act can help build digital commerce solutions that are accessible to all users.

In practice, the EU’s revised Digital Services Act means that digital commerce must meet the requirements of WCAG 2.2* AA standards, and be accessible to all users from 28 June 2025. So now is the time to wake up to the issue and start implementing developments based on the requirements of the Act to ensure digital commerce accessibility by the deadline.

*The current standards in use are WCAG 2.1. The WCAG 2.2 standards are very likely to be published during 2023, and we expect them to be in use in Finland as early as 2025.

Digital commerce accessibility – what should be considered at a minimum?

What are the first things that should be considered when developing digital commerce accessibility? Read our concise guide Accessibility Directive and Digital Services Act – consider these 12 things for digital commerce accessibility.

Download the guide!

What should online retailers do to ensure that their digital commerce solution complies with the requirements of the Digital Services Act?

WCAG standards alone do not guarantee full accessibility of the digital commerce solution. To ensure the accessibility of your web shop, you should consider a digital commerce-specific audit. The audit identifies all details that undermine digital commerce accessibility and provides solutions in time for the summer 2025 deadline.

Pinja offers a simple and effortless accessibility audit for selected pages of your digital commerce site. The audit is carried out by our certified accessibility experts.

As a result of the audit, we provide a list of findings:

  • Things that clients can fix themselves (e.g. comments on content production)
  • We provide a workload estimate for the corrections that Pinja puts into place
  • We make the agreed corrections to the digital commerce solution and, if necessary, guide the client on accessible content production practices for the future!

→ The web shop meets the accessibility criteria before the deadline of 6/2025!

Do you want to make your digital commerce solution comply with the accessibility standards?

Contact us, and we’ll see together what kind of audit your digital commerce solution needs!


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Kalle Lahtinen

Kalle Lahtinen

I work as an accessibility expert at Pinja in projects where accessibility is an integral part of the implementation. I started at Pinja in January 2020, and before that I had worked for ten years as a tutor and consultant for visually impaired users. I have extensive experience of how visually impaired people use services and equipment. In my spare time, I’m either at home with the kids or coaching American football, which I played actively for eighteen years. My motto is that when you do something, do it properly.

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