NEW STUDY: Christmas Music and Décor Before Thanksgiving Make Them Lose Their Temper

SOASTA, a performance analytics firm, announced the results of its 2015 Holiday Retail Readiness Survey, which revealed:

  • 66% of Americans expect they will lose their temper this holiday season over annoyances such:
    • 38% as traffic/parking
    • 37% long lines in stores and websites and
    • 19% mobile apps that don’t work
  • 28% claiming that Christmas music and décor before Thanksgiving make them lose their temper.

The survey, fielded among 2,018 American adults aged 18 and older and conducted online by Harris Poll on behalf of SOASTA, confirmed that parents* are especially susceptible (77%) to losing their cool during the holiday season, and the majority (58%) will seek to improve their mood with retail therapy.

The survey findings also reveal that 86% of holiday shoppers do holiday shopping online and that poor online performance has hurt holiday shopping experiences for more than half (57 %) of those Americans.

Retail Therapy to the Rescue – of Parents Especially

Another revealing survey finding is that 46% of Americans will turn to retail therapy to improve their mood this holiday season. One in four will buy themselves something:

  • 20% will read product reviews online
  • 13% will purchase holiday music/movies
  • 11% will create online wish lists on retailer websites
  • 10% will buy an outfit to look good at holiday parties

While men are just as likely as women to seek retail therapy this season (45% vs 47%, respectively), parents are more likely to seek retail therapy this holiday season than Americans without kids in the household (58% vs 41%.)

Poor Website Performance Hurts Holiday Shopping

The vast majority (86%) of American holiday shoppers say they shop online. Of them, more than half (57%) say that a website’s poor performance has hurt their holiday shopping.

Top reasons include slow websites (27%), crashing websites (26%) and orders that are guaranteed but don’t arrive on time (22%).

Many respondents (21%) say difficulty navigating sites to find what they need has put a damper on holiday shopping, and 17% say receiving incorrect orders has hurt their holiday shopping experience.

MY POV: What this is telling us is — well the same thing I’ve been writing about for years — customers care about the experiences they have and those experiences lead to enough irritation so they “vote with their feet” meaning they leave and go to a competitor. A large firm predicted that by the end of 2016 company will be competing on customer experience. My prediction – they always have been, it’s only now that everything is so transparent, that it’s happening faster and everything can see.. Like cave painting on wall, comments by customers online last millions of years for all to see.

@drnatalie, VP and Principal Analyst, Covering all things customer experience, performance analytics and mobile / social commerce

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