Got a Complaint About In-Store Shopping? Get in Line.

But consumers have other, good things, to say about the brick-and-mortar’ experience

Author: Monica Melton

June 21, 2017

A new study adds another data point to the pile of evidence: The most frustrating thing about shopping in-store is waiting in line to check out.


But the study from Mood Media did underscore that there are still aspects of the in-store experience that shoppers value.

Nearly three-quarters (72%) of US internet users surveyed said it was important to be able to touch and feel products—women (77%) even more so than men (67%).

Almost as many, 66%, said they liked the “instant gratification” of shopping, and 48% said they liked to be able to browse and discover items while shopping in a store.

A significant number of shoppers also said they liked to be able to speak to a shop assistant. Some 26% said having a human to speak with was a top reason for shopping in-store. And while older consumers were the most likely to consider this a key reason to shop in brick-and-mortar locations, younger shoppers were not that much less likely to appreciate it as well.

As for the negative aspects of brick-and-mortar shopping, it will come as no surprise that waiting in line was the most commonly cited frustration.

Other widely cited negatives: Finding that an item is out of stock, or feeling that the atmosphere is too busy or hectic. And 33% said that unhelpful staff is a noteworthy negative—pretty much balancing out the 30% who say that human staffers are a key attraction to the in-store experience.

The Mood Media data closely parallels the findings of a February 2017 survey by Adyen, which found that the number one annoyance of in-store shopping was standing in line. Shoppers in that survey also expressed annoyance with being approached by salespeople, and said they felt pressured to make a purchase while in store.