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Shoppers’ Delight… And Customer Frustration

By Ramsay Crooks

A few weeks ago, CXperts conducted a survey to help us better understand consumer shopping behavior online. More recently, we wrote about those results that stood out as statistically significant or indicative. 

In part two of our results, we review what consumers had to say about their most delightful and most frustrating experiences when making digital purchases in the recent past. Our prompts were two simple questions asking participants what aspects of recent online shopping experiences left them feeling frustrated or delighted. 

How to Make Your Digital Experience Less Shitty

The results of what CXperts’ survey participants noted as the most frustrating or most delightful digital experiences (DX) fell into pretty narrow categories. We analyzed the themes that ran through users’ free form responses and highlighted the most prominent ones below.

May I Help You Find Something? Probably.

Right now, we’re earning a C-minus in the navigation department. Problems with navigation are, well… almost everywhere.

Nearly one-third (30 percent) of respondents reported that navigation problems are the most frustrating issues they encounter on the web. These included: 

       -  Problems with navigation

       -  Challenges with search or search results

       -  Difficulty finding information

Can I Help You?

Related but worthy of its own category, is difficulty getting useful customer support or even finding a way to a human customer support resource via phone number or chat. 

More than one-in-six (17 percent) of respondents highlighted customer support as their main source of frustration in their online experiences. Given that poor experiences with customer support can shatter customer loyalty exponentially faster than it takes to develop that loyalty - and people aren’t shy to talk (loudly) about a bad experience - this is an area to continuously focus on.

How Much Does This Cost? …Who Cares?

Price was notably absent from responses about frustration in digital user experiences. Only 2 percent of respondents noted price as a point of contention (frustration) OR delight.

Give Online Shoppers More of What They Love

A great primer on usability testing, Don’t Make Me Think, by Steve Krug says it all in its title. In fact making something “easy” came across in 38% of written responses that evoked delight from survey respondents. In a nutshell, don’t make your customers think. 

Forget it... I’m Not Waiting in That Line

Raise your hand if you ever skipped out on that free t-shirt, power drink, or some other desired thing (free or for purchase) because the inconvenience of the process of getting it just wasn’t worth the thing in the first place. I know I have. Online shoppers are no different while standing in the proverbial “checkout line” of your digital store.

More than 1 in 5 shoppers point to ease and speed of checkout as the element that delighted them.

More precisely, 22 percent of respondents noted ease of checkout as the “top delight” of their recent online shopping experiences. 

Wait, Do We Know Each Other?

Part of the checkout process but different in some subtle but important ways, the presence of 3rd party payment platforms was tied for second in the delight category. For stated reasons of both convenience and personal data security, 11 percent of respondents said the ability to pay for online purchases via established, 3rd party platforms was a highly welcomed feature. 

Did You Find Everything You Were Looking For?

The other element that delivered delight in online shoppers surveyed was effective search functionality. Emphasis on “effective.”  Here again, 11 percent of respondents (or one-in-nine) called out search as their most delightful experience. This is the positive side of the most frustrating element for shoppers surveyed. Since it’s showing up as a standout for both negative and positive experiences, it’s worth a hard look at your experience’s search functionality if it’s missing or is underpowered and pulling up incomplete or irrelevant internal site search results.


       1. To boost satisfaction, focus on your checkout experience, followed by allowing 3rd party payment options, and improve search results.

       2. To decrease frustration from your customers, improve navigation, search, and make customer support accessible.

      3. Customers don’t evaluate your experience on price as much as we may have thought.