Technical problems are cited as the primary reason online back-to-school shoppers may be looking for other options to meet their future shopping needs, according to a study conducted by SOASTA on Aug. 21-25. The Back to School Shopping Report Card, which found that 84% of Americans experienced problems with their online back-to-school shopping, also showed 69% of shoppers took action against the store and 90% expect stores to have the same problems during the holidays. In addition, 26% said they were not at all likely to visit a site during the holidays if it had performance problems during back-to-school.

These results are somewhat surprising, following the Back to School Readiness Survey, also conducted by SOASTA in early August. This survey found that 49% of parents cited escaping the stress of shopping at brick-and-mortar stores and enjoying leisure activities while shopping as the primary reasons they intended to shop for back-to-school online. One out of three parents indicated they would shop on their smartphones and tablets, while 35% said they planned to shop at a physical store.

These studies suggest opportunities for brick-and-mortar retailers to appeal to parents who experienced frustration with their online back-to-school shopping experience, as well as for those with e-commerce sites to ensure a smooth and problem-free shopping experience.