Obamacare: The Grinch that Stole Christmas?

By SOASTA, Special for USDR.

The botched rollout of Obamacare Website Exchanges and the in-fighting between lawmakers in Washington, D.C., are likely to impact the 2013 holiday shopping season in an online survey conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of SOASTA of 2,038 Americans 18
and older, data was weighted to be representative of the entire country.

In its latest installment of its 2013 Holiday Retail Readiness Survey, SOASTA discovered that 44% of Americans say the problems in Washington D.C. (the government shutdown, the concerns about the default, and the upcoming budget battles in January and February) have affected their decision to shop online for the holidays this year. Their reasons include:

 24% – Because there are better deals online than in stores
 22% – There are more deals online than in stores
 19% – I don’t want to spend money on gas driving from store to store
 15% – There is just too much uncertainty at the start of 2014 to spend much money on
the holidays
 4% – If money is tight at the start of 2014 it will be easier to return gifts for money

An overwhelming percentage of Americans (77%) felt that retailers should take some sort of action with their websites and apps this holiday season after the problems with the online Obamacare Health Exchanges, including:
 53% feel companies should test their websites for performance issues more often
 19% think companies should say when their site was last tested
 44% think companies should focus more on testing and less on marketing
 36% think companies should test their apps more
 16% think companies should say when their apps were last tested

“The problems with the Obamacare exchange rollout shows how crucial testing is for website and app deployment,” said Tom Lounibos, SOASTA CEO. “Throughout our extensive experience with 9 out of 10 of the world’s biggest online retailers we have learned that if you don’t get the user experience right the first time, consumers will go somewhere else. The problems with the Obamacare online exchanges have made consumers more aware than ever before about how crucial it is to test websites – whether it’s for retail or for healthcare.”

“What was interesting about this data was how much of an impact what happens in Washington has on spending and shopping for the holidays,” said Regina A. Corso, Senior Vice President, Harris Poll and Public Relations. “When over two in five Americans say that the mess in DC and the potential for another one in January/February impacts how they are going to shop, retailers need to take notice and adjust their plans accordingly.”

The survey results come as SOASTA prepares many of the top online retailers today for the busy holiday season by providing a mobile 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 www.soasta.com

SOASTA is the leader in cloud testing. For more information about SOASTA, please visit www.soasta.com.

All opinions expressed on USDR are those of the author and not necessarily those of US Daily Review.

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