Getting digital experience right for consumers across multiple channels is a hugely challenging thing. It’s particularly tough because experience is subjective and one person’s positive experience is another person’s disaster. And the behavior of a consumer can vary drastically from day to day, with a good or bad mood impacting how they perceive their interactions with a brand.

Take shopping for example. On the face of things, it looks like an entirely straight forward transaction. A consumer needs something, they search for it online and buy it if the price is right. And consumers concur with this logic, the majority see themselves as entirely rational shoppers. However, the professionals think otherwise.

Last year, we asked 100 big data professionals whether they thought buying online was a rational process and 76% disagreed, suggesting that to understand consumer psychology we must look beyond logic and reason.

And the evidence supports this assertion. In our most recent research, 79% of ecommerce shoppers admitted that they struggle to stick to a set shopping list, and we can probably all identify with this. We’ve all gone shopping for one thing and ended up buying items we didn’t need and hadn’t intended to get.  And, unless you’re a lot stronger willed than I am, you’ve probably been influenced by discounts, bargains, spur of the moment decisions and even a positive store experience or compelling customer reviews.

And there are even greater indicators that shopping isn’t entirely logical.  Who hasn’t gone shopping on their phones or otherwise as a bit of a distraction? Perhaps unsurprisingly, we found women were twice as likely as men to shop online when bored. But whether it’s boredom, hunger, depression, or joy, a little retail therapy can be the perfect antidote to offset a whole host of emotions.

And there’s the kicker. Shopping is a very emotional experience, and by virtue also irrational. And if irrational behavior can lead us to indulge in an unexpected purchase, then equally it can prevent people buying at all. Encountering a bad customer experience – whether in-store, online or on a mobile – can trigger a host of negative emotions which at best can result in no transaction, and at worst can impact long term brand loyalty.

These days we don’t need to convince anyone of the convenience benefits of online shopping or on an app, but we absolutely need to convince customers to keep shopping with us. And through our new research study “Stress Shopping” we wanted to understand exactly what was still stressing consumers out in a time when customer experience is the top of every retailer’s agenda.

We found that 12% of people still find online and mobile shopping stressful, which is a significant proportion of your customer base, and 15% have even lost their temper with an app or ecommerce site. The biggest stress points are unsurprisingly at the checkout stage with consumers getting upset with voucher codes not working (83%), apps freezing at the checkout phase (77%) and slow loading pages (81%).

And that is why for brands to truly understand the experience every customer is having, marketers need to look beyond traditional website analytics and start to consider Experience Analytics. New behavioral metrics such as clicks, hovers, app-taps and scrolls can help illuminate the mindset of customers as well as identify the subtle micro-stressors that are so often missed. Only when these stressors have been eliminated from the buying process can every customer, shopping for any kind of reason be served with the best possible customer experience.

Geoff Galat

Geoff Galat


Geoff Galat, CMO at Clicktale.