Results of the research revealed the most frustrating online shopping scenarios:


Your delivery arriving too late for that important event despite paying extra to receive it on time


Spending an hour queuing online for tickets to an event - only to have the website crash when you’re about to pay


Having a delivery returned to the depot due to the address not being found


You buy some furniture online and the retailer pushes back the expected delivery date, only telling you after you’ve waited all day for it to arrive


When you click a button on the screen to ‘confirm your purchase’ the spinning wheel appears so you don't know if the purchase has gone through

Three of the top five come down in inaccurate address data or lost and late delivery. Anecdotally, when asked to recall which scenarios they found particularly annoying from the experiment, volunteers most often cited delivery problems suggesting how prevalent these are in their everyday lives.

One participant described just how mentally taxing waiting for a delivery was, explaining that it’s “the expectation of waiting and the uncertainty of it. Basically when things are not really up to me.” This lack of power and control reinforces the already prevalent sense of frustration and leaves people feeling annoyed, anxious or both, particularly when the item they’re waiting for is important or required by a specific time.

For those interested in what everyday situations people found most annoying, here they are. Remember, these were found to be as annoying as the online shopping events above:

bike lock

Having your bike stolen

laptop crash

Your laptop crashing just before dialling into an important video call

bin bag

Your bin bag starts leaking all over the floor


Getting unexpectedly stuck in traffic, making you late for a doctor’s appointment


Filling out a lengthy online form and when hitting ‘submit’, being told there’s an error and you have to start all over again

So which retail experiences are likely to leave you so frustrated you'll avoid returning to that online retail again?

Find out by taking our retail ranter quiz.