Repeat customer rate: E-Commerce Explained

Discover the secrets behind high repeat customer rates in e-commerce with our comprehensive guide.

Understanding Repeat Customer Rate

Repeat customer rate is a metric that measures the percentage of customers who return to make a purchase again after their initial visit. It calculates the number of repeat customers a business has in a given period. In essence, it showcases the loyalty of your customers and directly correlates with your company's growth potential.

Definition and Importance

Repeat customer rate, also known as customer retention rate, is a crucial metric for e-commerce businesses. It measures how many of your existing customers are loyal enough to make return purchases. High repeat customer rates indicate that you have a loyal customer base that trusts your brand and products. This means that you can potentially generate more revenue from them in the long run, increase customer lifetime value, and decrease acquisition costs. The more loyal customers you have, the less you need to spend on marketing to acquire new customers.

Calculating Repeat Customer Rate

To calculate your repeat customer rate, you first need to define a time period. For example, a year. Then, divide the total number of repeat customers during that period by the total number of unique customers. Multiply the result by 100 to get the percentage of repeat customers. The formula is:

  1. Number of repeat customers / Total number of unique customers = X
  2. X * 100 = Repeat customer rate as a percentage

Industry Benchmarks

It is essential to know the industry benchmark for repeat customer rate to understand whether or not your business is performing well. According to a study by RJMetrics, the average repeat customer rate for an e-commerce business is around 32%. However, this varies depending on the industry and the products sold. For example, businesses that sell consumables or products that need replacement often have a higher repeat customer rate than those that sell one-time purchases.

Factors Influencing Repeat Customer Rate

Several factors can influence how likely a customer is to make a repeat purchase. As a business owner, understanding these factors is crucial to increase your repeat customer rate.

Customer Satisfaction

Customers who are satisfied with their buying experience are more likely to return to make another purchase. Providing excellent customer service and maintaining high-quality products is essential to increase customer satisfaction. Additionally, encouraging customers to leave feedback and addressing any issues promptly can help ensure that their experience with your company is positive.

Product Quality and Pricing

The quality and pricing of your products can also influence whether or not customers return to purchase again. Customers are more likely to make repeat purchases if they perceive your products to be of high quality and reasonably priced. Keep in mind that offering discounts or promotions can attract customers initially, but if they don't feel they're getting good value, they may not return.

User Experience and Website Design

The user experience and website design of your e-commerce store can significantly impact your repeat customer rate. A user-friendly and easy-to-navigate website with a straightforward checkout process can enhance the overall customer experience, making customers more likely to return. Conversely, a clunky, difficult-to-use website can deter customers from returning.

Customer Service and Support

Providing excellent customer service and support can be a significant factor in increasing your repeat customer rate. Customers who receive prompt, helpful, and personalized support are more likely to return to your store in the future. Make sure that your customer support agents are knowledgeable, friendly, and available to address any issues that customers may have.

Strategies to Increase Repeat Customer Rate

Now that you understand what repeat customer rate is and the factors that influence it, let's explore some strategies businesses can use to increase their repeat customer rate.

Personalization and Targeted Marketing

Personalization and targeted marketing are essential strategies for increasing customer loyalty. By capturing customer data, such as purchase history and demographics, businesses can tailor their marketing efforts to specific customers' interests and preferences. This can make customers feel valued and appreciated, building a stronger relationship with your brand and making them more likely to return.

Loyalty Programs and Incentives

Implementing loyalty programs and incentives can also help increase your repeat customer rate. By offering rewards for repeat purchases or referrals, you can motivate customers to come back to your store. You can also offer exclusive discounts or early access to new products to reward loyal customers.

Post-Purchase Follow-Up and Engagement

Following up with customers after a purchase is an excellent way to show that you care about their experience with your company. You can send personalized thank-you notes, request feedback, or offer product suggestions based on their purchase history. These engagement tactics can help build a positive relationship between your brand and your customers, increasing the likelihood that they will return.

Streamlining the Checkout Process

Making the checkout process more straightforward and streamlined can reduce customer frustration and increase the likelihood of repeat purchases. Make sure that your checkout process is intuitive and easy to navigate, with minimal form fields and a clear call-to-action. Additionally, offering multiple payment options and providing transparent shipping and return policies can enhance the overall customer experience, increasing the likelihood of repeat purchases.

Measuring the Impact of Repeat Customers

Finally, let's explore how to measure the impact of repeat customers on your business.

Customer Lifetime Value

Customer lifetime value (CLTV) is a measure of how much revenue a customer generates for your business throughout their lifetime. By focusing on increasing your repeat customer rate, you can improve your CLTV and increase your overall revenue. You can calculate your CLTV by multiplying the average value of a purchase by the average number of times a customer makes a purchase in a given period, then multiplying by the average customer lifespan.

Retention Rate vs. Acquisition Cost

Another way to measure the impact of repeat customers is to compare your retention rate to your acquisition cost. Retention rate is the percentage of customers who continue to make purchases after their initial visit. By increasing your retention rate, you can reduce your acquisition cost, as you won't need to spend as much on marketing to acquire new customers.

Repeat Purchase Probability

Repeat purchase probability measures the likelihood of a customer returning to make another purchase based on their previous purchase history. By analyzing this metric, businesses can identify which customers are more likely to make repeat purchases and tailor their marketing efforts to these customers accordingly.


Repeat customer rate is a crucial metric for any e-commerce business. By understanding what repeat customer rate is, the factors that influence it, and the strategies you can use to improve it, you can build a loyal customer base and increase your revenue potential. By measuring the impact of repeat customers, you can understand how much value a loyal customer is worth and focus your efforts on retaining existing customers. So, invest in building an exceptional customer experience and implement strategies that aim to keep your customers coming back for more.

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