SOASTA Survey: 28 Percent of Americans Admit Christmas Music and Décor Before Thanksgiving Make Them Lose Their Temper

66 percent of Americans – and 77 percent of parents– say holiday
annoyances like heavy traffic, long lines in stores and websites and
mobile apps that don’t work turn them into Scrooge; parents especially
(58 percent) will seek solace in retail therapy

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–SOASTA, the leader in performance analytics, today announced the results
of its 2015 Holiday Retail Readiness Survey, which revealed that
two-thirds (66 percent) of Americans expect they will lose their temper
this holiday season over annoyances such as traffic/parking (38
percent), long lines in stores (37 percent) and websites and mobile apps
that don’t work (19 percent), with more than one in four (28 percent)
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 percent) to
losing their cool during the holiday season, and the majority (58
percent) will seek to improve their mood with retail therapy.

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

Parents: short on time, short of temper this holiday season

Two out of three Americans (66 percent) say they lose their temper over
various holiday annoyances, and parents are especially susceptible: 77
percent say holiday annoyances will make them lose their temper.

Some of the top holiday annoyances include:


General Population



46 percent 38 percent Traffic and parking
47 percent 37 percent Long lines at stores
46 percent 36 percent Crowds in stores and malls
33 percent 21 percent Stores not having the items they want in stock
27 percent 19 percent Websites and mobile sites that don’t work

More than 25 percent (28 percent, specifically) of Americans – with
children or without – say they lose their temper over retailers
displaying Christmas décor and playing Christmas music before

Retail therapy to the rescue – of parents especially

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

  • 20 percent will read product reviews online
  • 13 percent will purchase holiday music/movies
  • 11 percent will create online wish lists on retailer websites
  • 10 percent 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 percent versus 47 percent, respectively), parents are more likely to
seek retail therapy this holiday season than Americans without kids in
the household (58 percent versus 41 percent).

Poor website performance hurts holiday shopping

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

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

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

“Retailers are bracing themselves for more holiday shoppers this year
than last and more holiday shoppers doing their shopping online than in
stores this season,” said Tom Lounibos, CEO of SOASTA. “Our research
shows that poor website performance can significantly impact consumers’
online shopping experience, and milliseconds in downtime of a major
retail website can result in millions of dollars of lost revenue and
sales. To maintain competitive advantage and protect brand reputation,
it has become critical for digital businesses to continuously manage and
optimize mobile and web performance with a combination of monitoring,
testing and deep analytics to better understand the user experience, and
this is never more critical than in the period leading up to
Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday.”


This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Poll
on behalf of SOASTA from November 5-9, 2015, among 2,018 adults ages 18
and older, among which 1,907 are holiday shoppers, 1,607 are online
holiday shoppers, 495 are parents with children under 18 in their
household and 1,523 are not parents with children under 18 in their
household. 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 Gaby Perez-Silva:

*For the purpose of this release “parents” refers to Americans who are
parents of children under 18 living in the household.


SOASTA is the leader in performance analytics. The SOASTA platform
enables digital business owners to gain unprecedented and continuous
performance insights into their real user experience on mobile and web
devices in real time and at scale. With more than 5 billion user
experiences monitored, measured, tested and optimized every week, SOASTA
is the digital performance expert trusted by industry-leading brands,
including 44 of the Top 100 Internet retailers, such as Target,
Nordstrom, Staples, Home Depot, Sears, Walmart, Etsy, Nike, Best Buy,
Adobe, Intuit, Microsoft, DirectTV, Netflix and BBC. SOASTA is privately
held and headquartered in Mountain View, Calif. For more information
about SOASTA, visit


Gaby Perez-Silva, 650-390-6700