Americans: Online Stores More Appealing for Holiday Shopping Due to the Bad Economy

51% of Americans will go online because of the bad economy

31% of those say they will shop online because the bad economy will “bring out the crazy” in people at physical stores

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- SOASTA®, Inc., the leader in cloud and mobile testing, today announced the findings of its 2012 Holiday and the Economy survey on the same day the US Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) published its Employment Situation report for September. According to SOASTA’s 2012 Holiday and the Economy survey of 2,346 American adults aged 18 and older, conducted online on its behalf by Harris Interactive, a majority (51%) of Americans will be shopping online this year because of the bad economy. This sentiment rang strongest with those 18-44 (55%), especially with women in that age group (64% for women 18-34; 57% for women 34-44). Economic pessimism is so pronounced that only 2% of Americans don’t believe the economy is bad.

“The results of our Holiday and the Economy Survey have shown that more Americans will be relying on retailers’ online mobile and web presence for holiday shopping due to the bad economy than not,” said Tom Lounibos, SOASTA CEO. “With millions of Americans planning on using these websites, it’s more important than ever that they are fully optimized to make sure shoppers get the best experience possible. SOASTA’s CloudTest Technology makes certain that every web site and mobile site is at its best, so shoppers get the online experience they are looking for.”

Out of the Americans who plan on shopping online because of the bad economy, 71% of them believe there are better and/or more deals online than in the stores. A majority of Americans (53%) say they plan on shopping online because they don’t want to spend money on gas driving from store to store. Some holiday shoppers said it’s easier to track spending so they stay within budget (32%) while others liked using cash-back websites like Ebates (20%) so they could save more money. Others admitted that online shopping was best because they work so many hours they don’t have time to shop in stores (20%) while 31% of Americans say they will shop online because they believe the bad economy will “bring out the crazy” in people at physical stores and they want to avoid them.

Most Americans (68%) said mobile apps will make the holidays better this year for reasons such as:

  • Finding deals for Cyber Monday and Black Friday easier – 52%
  • Better able to make plans while they’re on the go – 47%
  • Avoiding long check-out lines by using apps specifically designed for that purpose – 46%
  • Easier to take and share pictures of gifts they would like for themselves – 33%
  • Instantly share cute or embarrassing holiday videos or pictures with distant relatives and friends through social media - 28%

A majority of Americans (61%) admitted they will rely on mobile apps and websites over traditional newspapers and TV this year, with holiday shopping being the number one choice (36%). Americans listed other instances where they will rely more on online alternatives vs. traditional newspapers and TV outlets, including:

  • 34% Breaking News
  • 23% Presidential Election Results
  • 16% Local Election Results
  • 11% Halloween Activities
  • 11% Thanksgiving Weekend Travel Information
  • 11% New Year’s Eve events

These survey results are released as SOASTA prepares many of the top online retailers today for the busy holiday season by providing a mobile and web test automation solution that ensures websites and mobile apps work as planned, while catering to hundreds of thousands of concurrent users. For more information, please go to


SOASTA is the leader in cloud and mobile testing. Its web and mobile test automation solution, CloudTest, enables developers, QA professionals and IT operations teams to test with unprecedented speed, scale and precision. The innovative product set streamlines test creation, automates provisioning and execution, and distills analytics to deliver actionable intelligence faster. With SOASTA, companies can have confidence that their applications will perform as designed, even in peak traffic. SOASTA’s customers include many of today’s most successful brands including American Girl, Chegg, Gilt Groupe, Hallmark, Intuit, Microsoft and Netflix. SOASTA is privately held and headquartered in Mountain View, Calif. For more information about SOASTA, please visit

Survey Methodology

This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive on behalf of SOASTA from September 17 - 19, 2012 among 2,346 adults age 18+. 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.

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.

Grayling Connecting Point
William McCormick, 415-442-4023
Peter Galvin, 415-269-7343

Source: SOASTA