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cloudtesting Authors: Pat Romanski, Tim Hinds, Dalibor Siroky, Plutora Blog, Elizabeth White

Related Topics: Online Shopping, Marketing and Sales, SOASTA, Cloud Testing

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Problems with Back to School Online Shopping Show Room for Improvement for Holiday Season

SOASTA, the leader in cloud and mobile testing and real user monitoring, today revealed the results of its SOASTA Back to School Shopping Report Card, which found that 84 percent of Americans who made an online purchase for back to school experienced problems.

The survey was conducted online within the U.S. by Harris Poll on behalf of SOASTA from August 21-25, 2014 among 2,014 adults ages 18 and older. The survey was based on SOASTA’s experience of ensuring top quality performance for 10 of the top 10 online retailers who rely on SOASTA’s mobile and web technology.

However, a majority of Americans (56 percent) said technical problems would make them not use a smartphone or tablet for back to school shopping. The technical problem Americans named as their biggest concern was slow websites (40 percent), followed by:

  • Crashing websites - 32 percent
  • Websites not optimized for smartphone or tablets - 30 percent
  • Websites with problems during peak days and times - 25 percent
  • Websites that don’t respond to swipes, taps, or zooms - 23 percent
  • Bad user interface - 22 percent

SOASTA’s research found that a majority of Americans (55 percent) said they would find using a smartphone or tablet appealing for back to school shopping. Americans listed several reasons for this, from comparison shopping (38 percent) to avoiding other parents they don’t like at physical stores (five percent).

When they encountered problems, a majority of those who shopped online for back to school (69 percent) took action, including:

  • Consider not using the site again – 40 percent
  • Go to a competitor’s site – 37 percent
  • Tell my friend’s family about the experience – 23 percent
  • Report the site on social media – 11 percent

Out of those who had performance problems during their online back to school shopping, 90 percent expect these same sites to have the same problems during the holidays and a quarter of all Americans (26 percent) said they were not at all likely to visit a site during the holidays if it had performance problems during back to school.

“The SOASTA Back to School Shopping Report Card should be a wake-up call for online commerce sites that are not testing regularly,” said Tom Lounibos, SOASTA CEO. “As Americans increasingly embrace mobile to shop online, they are seeing back to school as an important test to see if their favorite stores are ready for the Christmas holiday shopping season. As we saw with Healthcare.gov, it’s imperative to plan ahead and test ahead of high-anticipated volume. By properly testing their sites, stores can make sure they are able to deliver flawless mobile and web performance under the busiest traffic conditions.”


This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Poll on behalf of SOASTA from August 21-25, 2014 among 2,014 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: [email protected].


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 http://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.

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