SOASTA Report: 91 Percent of Back to School Online Shoppers Find Making Online Purchases Stressful

Majority of Back to School Shoppers Still Plan to Shop Online, with 1 in 5 Using Their Smartphone or Tablet

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., Aug. 6, 2015  — SOASTA, the leader in performance analytics, today unveiled the findings of its annual SOASTA Back to School Shopping Report Card, which found that nearly all (91 percent) of parents who plan to shop online for back to school report there are stressors for them when making online purchases for the new school year. The survey was conducted online within the U.S. by Harris Poll on behalf of SOASTA from July 14-16, 2015, among 2,056 adults and was based on SOASTA’s experience of ensuring top digital performance for 22 of the top 50 online retailers in the U.S.

According to SOASTA’s research, back to school online shoppers cited shipping costs (57 percent), out-of-stock inventory (51 percent) and not being able to see or test the product before buying (50 percent) among the top stressors when shopping online for back to school. Additional frustrations they’ve experienced include:

While most back to school online shoppers report feeling stressed while making their online purchases, SOASTA’s research confirmed that a majority of back to school shoppers (55 percent) do plan to shop online for the new school year, with nearly 1 in 5 (17 percent) planning to shop using their smartphone or tablet. Millennials are the most likely to shop online for back to school, with 66 percent of men ages 18-34 and 63 percent of women ages 18-34 planning to shop online to get their families ready for back to school.

Among the items back to school online shoppers plan to buy online, more than one-third (36 percent) say they plan to buy clothing, and nearly one third (33 percent) say general school supplies (such as pens, folders and notebooks) are on their online shopping lists. Other popular items for back to school online shopping include:

SOASTA’s research revealed that nearly three-quarters (73 percent) of smartphone/tablet owners would use a shopping app such as Amazon, eBay and Zappos to do their shopping. Nearly half (49 percent) of smartphone/tablet users would use a shopping app when looking for deals, and more than one-third (37 percent) would turn to a shopping app for price comparison when shopping in a store. Other popular occasions for using mobile shopping apps include:

“For the second year in a row, SOASTA’S Back to School Shopping Report Card has uncovered serious pitfalls when it comes to digital performance during one of the biggest shopping events of the year,” said Ann Ruckstuhl, Chief Marketing Officer, SOASTA. “Web and mobile app performance matters now more than ever before, and it’s critical that e-commerce and m-commerce sites have real-time visibility into user experience, conversion and monetization. SOASTA can help digital businesses achieve maximum performance by monitoring, measuring, testing and optimizing their websites and mobile apps all year round.”


This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Poll on behalf of SOASTA from July 14-16, 2015, among 2,056 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 Gaby Perez-Silva at


SOASTA is the leader in performance analytics. The SOASTA platform enables digital business owners to gain unprecedented and continuous performance insights into their real user experience on mobile and web devices in real time and at scale. With more than 3 billion user experiences monitored, measured, tested and optimized every week, SOASTA is the digital performance expert trusted by industry‐leading brands, including 39 of the Top 100 Internet Retailers, such as Target, Nordstrom, Staples, Sears, Walmart, Etsy, Nike, Best Buy, Adobe, Microsoft, PTC, SAP, DirectTV and BBC. SOASTA is privately held and headquartered in Mountain View, Calif. For more information about SOASTA, visit

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.


Gaby Perez-Silva, 650-390-6700