SOASTA Survey: Most Parents Plan to Shop Online To Escape the Stress of Back to School Shopping at Brick-and-Mortar Stores

75% of parents with a child in the household believe that it is more important than ever for retailers to ready their mobile sites for back to school

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. – August 22, 2013 – SOASTA® Inc., the leader in cloud and mobile testing, today announced the findings of its Back to School Retail Readiness Survey, questioning American parents on their plans for back to school shopping. The survey found that in order to escape the stress of shopping at brick-and-mortar stores and instead enjoy leisure activities like having a cocktail or watching television while shopping, almost half (49%) of parents plan to shop for back to school supplies on their computers, while one out of three will shop on their smartphones and tablets (33%).  Surprisingly, only one-third of parents plan to shop at a physical store (35%). Serving 9 out of 10 of America’s biggest internet retailers, SOASTA commissioned the research due to its involvement in cloud and mobile testing for leading retail brands.  Conducting the survey in early August, Harris Interactive fielded 2,009 American adults ages 18+.

“Our research shows that retailers need to invest in their websites and mobile apps as more shoppers turn to the convenience and stress-free experience of shopping online,” said Tom Lounibos, SOASTA CEO.  “If organizations want to remain competitive and relevant during the back to school shopping season, they need to test their products to ensure they provide a seamless shopping experience for busy parents.”

Reinforcing the importance of e-commerce and the quality of a brand’s mobile applications, the survey found that 75% of parents with a child at home believe that it is more important than ever for retailers to get their mobile sites ready for back to school.  Additionally, 80% of parents own a smartphone or tablet, and the most popular electronic and mobile devices used for back to school shopping include computers (65%), with respondents using personal computers (43%), followed by laptops (42%), smartphones (32%), and tablets (27%).

In fact, the survey found that an overwhelming percentage of American parents (74%) said that shopping with apps on their mobile phone or tablet is less stressful than going to a physical store for reasons that include:

  • Don’t have to wait in line (50%)
  • Don’t have to worry about products being out of stock (34%)
  • Don’t have to deal with obnoxious shoppers (34%)
  • Don’t have to look for parking (34%)
  • Don’t have to leave their sofa (21%)
  • Don’t have to listen to families arguing (18%)
  • Don’t have to argue with their children about budget (15%)
  • Can shop while enjoying a cocktail, wine, or beer (15%)
  • Don’t have to argue with their children about appropriate fashions (14%)
  • Can shop while watching guilty pleasure TV (e.g., Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, Keeping up with the Kardashians, Real Housewives, Princesses of Long Island, etc.) (13%)

Additionally, the majority of parents (65%) would prefer buying back to school items with their mobile phone or tablet than at a physical store.  Their top shopping list items include:

  • Computers (30%)
  • Smartphones (22%)
  • Pencils (32%)
  • Papers (30%)
  • Pens (29%)
  • Books (35%)
  • Clothes (31%)
  • Backpacks (30%)
  • Athletic Equipment (20%)
  • Band/Musical Equipment (14%)

“The back to school season is an important time,” said Chegg, the student hub. “Website performance is critical, and with SOASTA we know that our products will meet the heavy demand of students, so they have fast and reliable access to the tools they need to succeed at school.”

About SOASTA

SOASTA is the leader in cloud testing. Its web and mobile test automation and monitoring solutions, CloudTest, TouchTest and mPulse, enable developers, QA professionals and IT operations teams to test and monitor users with unprecedented speed, scale, precision and visibility. The innovative product set streamlines test creation, automates provisioning and execution, and analyzes real user behavior in real-time to deliver actionable intelligence, faster. With SOASTA, companies have confidence that their applications will perform as designed, delivering quality user experiences every time. SOASTA’s customers are many of today’s most successful brands including Avaya, American Girl, Bonobos, Backcountry.com, Chegg, Experian, Gilt Groupe, Hallmark, Intuit, Microsoft and Netflix. SOASTA is privately held and headquartered in Mountain View, Calif. For more information about SOASTA, please visit www.soasta.com.

SOASTA is a registered trademark of SOASTA, Inc. All other trademarks are property of their respective owners. Other product or company names mentioned may be trademarks or trade names of their respective companies.

Harris Interactive Survey Methodology

This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive on behalf of SOASTA from August 9th – 13th, 2013 among 2,009 adults ages 18 and older. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables, please contact William McCormick at William.mccormick@graylingcp.com

Press Contacts:
William McCormick, Grayling Connecting Point, (415) 442-4023, william.mccormick@graylingcp.com
Peter Galvin, SOASTA, Inc., (415) 269-7343, pgalvin@soasta.com

One Comment