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

SOASTA Inc., specialist in cloud and mobile testing, has 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,” says 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:

Dont have to wait in line (50%)
Dont have to worry about products being out of stock (34%)
Dont have to deal with obnoxious shoppers (34%)
Dont have to look for parking (34%)
Dont have to leave their sofa (21%)
Dont have to listen to families arguing (18%)
Dont have to argue with their children about budget (15%)
Can shop while enjoying a cocktail, wine, or beer (15%)
Dont 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%

For more information about SOASTA, visit:

See our price trackers for up-to-date Apple prices