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Is online shopping stressful or joyful? Two studies come to different conclusions

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Understanding how shoppers feel can help retailers provide relevant services that suit them. Two new studies come to very different conclusions.

Reasons to be cheerful about shopping 

The happiest place in digital report, commissioned by Rokt, questioned 4,198 UK, US, German and Australian adult consumers about their emotions when they approach different digital tasks, from shopping and social media to search.

It found that “happy” (62%) and “excited” (43%) were the most common emotions linked with making a purchase online, with 36% of the surveyed consumers say they “feel productive” when buying online.

More than half (51%) of respondents said they felt “happy” to see their transaction confirmed. This figure is down to 17% for consumers who are in product research stage, suggesting that more shopping satisfaction is generated the further a consumer through a shopping journey.

After completing a transaction, more than a quarter (28%) say that they’re “open” to offers from the same brand. In fact, 28% of survey participants said they were interested in signing up for loyalty programmes, with 13% saying that they want to receive offers from new and undiscovered brands. This point is showcasing the untapped for retailers to further engage with the shoppers.

“Actual consumer behaviour on the Rokt platform supports that users are most engaged and receptive during the transaction – across more than a billion transactions, more than a third opted into an offer from another brand,” says Geoff Smith, chief marketing officer at Rokt.

“The engagement, focus and sentiment, providing an ideal opportunity to set up the next transaction or introduce them to a complementary third-party brand.”

What frustrates shoppers

Conversely, contrasting StressShopping research conducted by Clicktale examined the role negative emotions have in shaping consumers experiences both online and in-store.

The report includes a survey of 2,000 US and UK consumers.

Just under a fifth (18%) of the UK respondents say that going shopping makes them feel “stressed.” Whereas, 10% experience “high stress” levels when buying online. 

Despite finding in-store shopping trips “the most stressful experience,” many customers say that they can also experience “high-stress” levels navigating through ecommerce websites and apps. Some 12% of the survey participants reported feeling “stressed” when buying online, with a higher percentage (15%) revealing that they have “lost their temper” when shopping online or via a smartphone app.

Clicktale’s research also suggests that these stress levels rise as shoppers navigate through the customer journey, reaching a peak during the checkout process. In reporting their most stressful digital shopping experiences, 83% of questioned shoppers “feel stressed” when a voucher code fails at the checkout. Three-quarters (75%) “get agitated” when mobile apps freeze at the point of payment. The majority (80%) say that slow loading times online is a significant contributor to their negative experience online.

“Despite a growing focus on customer experience across the retail industry, it’s a shame to see so many consumers frustrated and stressed out by online shopping experiences,” says Geoff Galat, chief marketing officer at Clicktale.

“It’s long been assumed that, because consumers are able to shop from the comfort of their homes, the stressful elements of the shopping experience have been removed. Clearly, this isn’t the case.

“To overcome this fact, brands need to think much more carefully about the role of customer emotions throughout the shopping experience. By using experience analytics to examine mouse-movements, taps, swipes, and ‘rage clicks’, brands can understand where the frustration occurs and where the path to purchase is being disrupted. “

He adds:”Even seemingly insignificant stimuli can have a strong impact on customer emotions, especially when it comes to irritation over poor page layouts and slow search speeds. While previously overlooked by brands, these seemingly minor stressors can significantly impact the customer experience, digital conversion rates and, ultimately, the business’ bottom line.”

Image credit: Fotolia

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