Long lines and frozen checkout pages: Americans reveal their biggest ‘shopping stressors’

Research reveals the main causes of stress for US consumers when shopping online and in store.

San Francisco, CA - 18 September 2018: Long queues in store and freezing checkout pages are the US’s biggest contributors to shopping stress. That’s according to new research from experience analytics platform, Clicktale, which examined the ‘shopping stressors’ of over 1000 US consumers, online and in-store.

Of those surveyed, 77% reported high levels of stress when a retail app freezes during checkout, this rose to 86% for those shopping via a web browser

Discount codes failing at the checkout were the US’s second biggest online shopping stressor, with 85% of consumers reporting high levels of stress when their online vouchers are declined. 1 in 10 shoppers also report high levels of stress every time they shop online.

The US’s top five ecommerce stressors:

  1. A webpage freezes during the checkout process
  2. A discount code doesn’t work at the checkout
  3. A website is confusing and hard to navigate
  4. Pages and content on the website are slow to load
  5. Broken or incorrect links that take shoppers to the wrong page

As well as looking at online shopping stressors, Clicktale’s research also examined the things that stress out consumers in-store. While having to wait in long lines topped the list, with 90% of shoppers reporting increased levels of stress, problems with voucher codes were a close second place (88%).

The US’s top five in-store shopping stressors:

  1. Having to wait in long lines
  2. Coupons or vouchers being declined at the checkout
  3. Checkout faults and broken card machines
  4. Shops being unexpected closed without explanation
  5. Items being out of stock

Commenting on the research, Geoff Galat, CMO at Clicktale said, “Despite a growing focus on customer experience in retail, it’s a shame to see so many consumers are still finding shopping a stressful experience. It’s also surprising to see that – despite ecommerce being positioned as more convenient – online shopping is proving just as stressful as going in store.

“To overcome this, brands need to think much more carefully about their shopping experiences, and how those experiences can influence consumer moods and emotions. Even the most subtle elements of ecommerce, from the page layout to the speed of navigation can have a major impact on consumer stress levels and ultimately prove to be the difference between a good and a bad customer experience.”

To find out more about the relationship between stress and shopping in the age of digital experiences, download Clicktale’s Stress Shopping guide.


Clicktale surveyed 2091 consumers, with 991 from the US and 1057 from the UK, with data collected from a combination of online and phone surveys.

About Clicktale

Clicktale taps into the wisdom and behavior of millions of visitors so that businesses can deliver the best digital experiences to drive amazing business results. Complex behavioral patterns are synthesized based on millisecond-level actions such as hovers and scrolls, enabling businesses to interpret their customers’ digital body language and understand intent. The pioneer in Experience Analytics, Clicktale marries cognitive computing, machine learning and psychological research to automatically surface issues and answer questions that keep executives up at night. With unique behavioral data, clear visualizations, and world-class customer experience expertise, Clicktale is driving the “Experience Era” at the world’s leading brands. Clicktale. Answer anything.

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