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Customer Retention

Repeat Customer Rate in eCommerce: What is It & How to Improve It in 2024?

Published by
Yugansh Arora
November 29, 2023

In the ever-evolving landscape of eCommerce, businesses are continually seeking ways to enhance customer loyalty and drive sustainable growth. One crucial metric that plays a pivotal role in gauging customer retention is the Repeat Customer Rate. As we step into 2024, understanding and optimizing this metric is more vital than ever for eCommerce success. Often referred to as repeat rate in eCommerce or repeat purchase rate in eCommerce, this metric sheds light on the percentage of customers who make more than one purchase from a particular online store. This article will delve into the nuances of repeat customer rate, exploring its significance, how it is calculated, and, most importantly, strategies to improve it for a thriving eCommerce venture in 2024.

In this article, we will delve into the intricacies of repeat customer rates in the eCommerce landscape. Understanding this metric is crucial for businesses aiming to build lasting relationships with their customers and foster brand loyalty. We will explore the significance of repeat rate in eCommerce and its direct correlation to customer retention. Additionally, we will unravel the methods employed to calculate this metric, providing businesses with the insights needed to assess their current standing. Furthermore, we will equip you with actionable strategies to enhance your repeat purchase rate in eCommerce, ensuring that your business not only attracts new customers but also retains them for sustained success in the competitive online marketplace of 2024.

Understanding Repeat Customer Rate in eCommerce in 2024

In the ever-evolving landscape of eCommerce, repeat customer rate (RCR) stands as a beacon of customer loyalty and satisfaction. According to the latest industry report by Annex Cloud, a 5% increase in RCR can boost profits by up to 75%, highlighting its pivotal role in business success. The average RCR for eCommerce businesses currently hovers around 28.2%, with notable variations across industries. For instance, pet products boast an impressive RCR of 31.5%, while cosmetics lag behind at 25.9%. These statistics underscore the significance of tailoring RCR strategies to specific industry dynamics.

What is Repeat Customer Rate?

Repeat customer rate (RCR), also known as customer retention rate, is a key metric that measures the percentage of customers who make a second purchase from a business over a specified period. It is a crucial indicator of a company's ability to satisfy and retain its existing customer base. A high RCR signifies that the business is delivering a positive customer experience, fostering customer loyalty, and effectively converting one-time buyers into repeat patrons.

Strategies To Improve Repeat Purchase Rate in eCommerce

According to a recent industry report by Zendesk, RCRs continue to rise, with an average increase of 5% over the past year. This trend is driven by several factors, including:

  • The growing importance of customer experience (CX)
  • The rise of e-commerce and omnichannel retailing
  • The increasing use of data and analytics to personalize customer experiences

The report also found that RCRs are highest in industries such as:

  • Retail (73%)
  • Financial services (68%)
  • Technology (66%)
  • Healthcare (65%)

Why is Repeat Customer Rate Important for an eCommerce Business?

Repeat Customer Rate (RCR) holds significant importance for an eCommerce business for several reasons:

  • Customer Loyalty Gauge:
  • Repeat Customer Rate serves as a crucial metric for eCommerce businesses to gauge the level of customer loyalty, as it measures the percentage of customers engaging in repeat transactions.
  • "The Loyalty Landscape 2023" by Deloitte found that customer loyalty is a top priority for businesses, with 80% of executives reporting that it is a key factor in driving growth.
  • Revenue Stability Indicator:
  • The Repeat Customer Rate is an indicator of revenue stability, reflecting the ability of a business to generate consistent income from existing customers, in addition to attracting new ones.
  • "The Impact of Customer Loyalty on Revenue Growth" by Forbes found that businesses with a strong customer loyalty program experienced a 10% increase in revenue growth over those without such a program.
  • Cost-Effective Retention:
  • A high repeat rate in eCommerce implies that the business is effectively retaining customers, which is often more cost-effective than acquiring new ones through marketing efforts.
  • "The Cost of Customer Acquisition" by HubSpot found that it costs five to twenty-five times more to acquire a new customer than to retain an existing one.
  • Brand Advocacy Catalyst:
  • A favorable repeat purchase rate in eCommerce can lead to brand advocacy, with satisfied customers more likely to recommend the business to others, driving positive word-of-mouth marketing.
  • "The Power of Word-of-Mouth Marketing" by Nielsen found that 92% of consumers trust recommendations from friends and family more than advertising.
  • Enhanced Customer Lifetime Value (CLV):
  • Improving repeat customer rate contributes to increasing the overall Customer Lifetime Value, as loyal customers tend to make more purchases over the course of their relationship with the business.
  • "The CLV of Loyal Customers" by University of Melbourne found that repeat customers have a lifetime value that is six to seven times higher than new customers.
  • Feedback Mechanism:
  • Monitoring changes in repeat purchase rate provides valuable feedback on customer satisfaction and the effectiveness of retention strategies, enabling businesses to make informed improvements.
  • "The Importance of Customer Feedback" by Harvard Business Review found that 80% of consumers are willing to provide feedback to businesses.
  • Competitive Edge Builder:
  • A high repeat rate in eCommerce sets a business apart from competitors, signaling to potential customers that the brand not only attracts new buyers but also retains them over time.
  • "The Loyalty Value Chain" by Bain & Company found that businesses with a strong customer base can command higher prices for their products or services.
  • Long-Term Financial Health:
  • Repeat Customer Rate is a key factor in determining the long-term financial health of an eCommerce business, as it directly influences the predictability and sustainability of revenue streams.
  • "The Impact of Customer Loyalty on Financial Performance" by Deloitteconcerning found that businesses with a strong customer loyalty program have a 25% lower risk of customer churn.
  • Customer Engagement Benchmark:
  • RCR acts as a benchmark for customer engagement, indicating how well a business is able to keep customers interested and involved in its products or services.
  • "Increasing business-to-business customer engagement through social media" by Aalto University found that there is a strong correlation between customer engagement and customer loyalty.
  • Strategic Growth Facilitator:
  • Businesses can strategically leverage insights from repeat customer rate to facilitate growth, adjusting retention marketing and retention strategies to continually enhance customer loyalty and satisfaction.
  • "The Customer Loyalty Growth Formula" by Salesforce found that businesses that use customer loyalty data to inform their strategic decisions can achieve a 25% increase in revenue growth.

Benchmarking Repeat Customer Rate

Benchmarking your Repeat Customer Rate (RCR) is an essential practice for eCommerce businesses aiming to evaluate and enhance their customer retention strategies. This process involves comparing your RCR against industry standards and best practices to gain valuable insights into your business's performance. By understanding where your business stands in relation to others in the industry, you can identify strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities for improvement.

How Do You Calculate Repeat Customer Rate?

Calculating Repeat Customer Rate is a straightforward process. The formula involves dividing the number of customers who have made more than one purchase by the total number of unique customers during a specific period. The formula is as follows:

repeat customer rate formula

Breaking Down the Repeat Customer Rate Formula:

  1. Number of Customers with Multiple Purchases: This numerator represents the count of customers who have made more than one purchase within the defined time frame. These are the customers who have shown loyalty by returning for additional transactions.
  2. Total Number of Unique Customers: The denominator is the sum of all unique customers who made at least one purchase during the same time period. This includes both first-time buyers and repeat customers.


Suppose your online store had 500 unique customers in a month, and out of these, 150 customers made more than one purchase during that period. The Repeat Customer Rate would be calculated as:

This means that 30% of your customers made multiple purchases within the specified time frame.

Significance of Calculation:

  1. Customer Retention Insight: RCR provides a clear indication of how successful your business is at retaining customers over time. A higher percentage signifies strong customer loyalty and effective retention strategies.
  2. Performance Benchmarking: Comparing your Repeat Customer Rate to industry benchmarks or your own historical data allows you to assess the effectiveness of your current customer retention initiatives.
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5 Tools to Quickly Calculate Repeat Purchase Rates in eCommerce

1. Google Analytics

Google Analytics 4_repeat customer rate ecommerce

Google Analytics is a robust web analytics service by Google, offering eCommerce features that track and report user interactions. It enables businesses to calculate the Repeat Customer Rate by distinguishing between new and returning visitors. With user segmentation, event tracking, and custom reports, it provides detailed insights into customer retention and behaviour.

2. Shopify Analytics

Shopify Analytics Reports For All ECommerce Stores to track repeat purchase rate

Shopify Analytics is an integral part of the Shopify eCommerce platform, providing merchants with tools to track and analyze their online store's performance. Specific reports, such as 'Customer' reports and 'Repeat Customer' reports, allow businesses to calculate the Repeat Customer Rate and analyze customer loyalty through insights into purchase frequency and customer segmentation.

3. Kissmetrics

Kissmetrics is an analytics and conversion platform that focuses on customer engagement and behavior. It tracks individual user behavior, making it suitable for calculating the Repeat Customer Rate by analyzing user journeys, including multiple purchases. With user-level tracking, businesses can understand patterns and preferences of repeat customers, aiding in refining retention strategies.

4. Mixpanel

Mixpanel is an advanced analytics platform that specializes in tracking user interactions with web and mobile applications. For Repeat Customer Rate calculation, Mixpanel provides detailed insights into user engagement, allowing businesses to understand how often customers return for additional purchases. It offers features like funnel analysis and cohort analysis to track user behavior over time.

5. Heap Analytics

Heap Analytics is an analytics tool that automatically captures every interaction on a website or application. It aids in calculating the Repeat Customer Rate by providing detailed data on user interactions. Heap's event tracking and segmentation capabilities allow businesses to analyze patterns in customer behavior, helping optimize strategies for customer retention and loyalty.


Determining what constitutes a good Repeat Customer Rate (RCR) is context-dependent and influenced by various factors, including industry, business model, and objectives. Generally, a higher RCR is considered favorable as it signifies a loyal customer base and effective retention efforts. However, benchmarks can vary:

  • Industry Standards

Benchmarks differ across industries. For instance, sectors with longer purchasing cycles may have lower RCRs compared to fast-moving consumer goods. Referencing industry-specific benchmarks provides a meaningful comparison.

  • Business Goals

Aligning RCR with specific business goals is crucial. Some businesses prioritize acquiring a high volume of one-time customers, while others focus on cultivating a loyal, repeat customer base. The definition of a good RCR should harmonize with overarching business objectives.

  • Historical Trends

Analyzing trends in your own historical data provides insights. Positive trends over time indicate effective retention strategies, while declines may necessitate adjustments to customer engagement or marketing approaches.

  • Customer Lifetime Value (CLV)

Considering RCR alongside Customer Lifetime Value is essential. A good RCR contributes to increased CLV, reflecting the potential for repeat customers to generate more revenue over their lifetime.

  • Continuous Improvement

Instead of a fixed benchmark, businesses should prioritize continuous improvement. Regularly assessing and refining strategies based on customer feedback and market dynamics ensures the RCR remains aligned with evolving objectives.

How Does Repeat Customer Rate Vary by Industry?

Repeat Customer Rate (RCR) can vary significantly across industries due to distinct customer behaviors, product characteristics, and purchasing patterns. Several factors influence how businesses in different sectors experience and interpret their RCR:

  • Purchase Frequency Dynamics

Industries with high purchase frequency, like fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG), tend to have higher Repeat Customer Rates (RCRs). Products that consumers buy regularly, such as food or toiletries, lead to more frequent repeat purchases.

  • Product Life Cycle Impact

RCR can be influenced by the lifecycle of products within an industry. Industries with longer product life cycles, such as electronics or durable goods, may experience lower RCRs as customers make infrequent purchases.

  • Subscription-Based Models

Industries employing subscription-based models, like software as a service (SaaS) or subscription boxes, often have higher RCRs. These models foster ongoing customer relationships, resulting in predictable and repeat revenue.

  • Brand Loyalty Significance

Sectors where brand loyalty is significant, like luxury goods or certain fashion brands, may exhibit higher RCRs. Strong brand allegiance can lead to customers consistently choosing a particular brand for repeat purchases.

  • Customer Engagement Complexity

Industries with complex purchase decision processes, such as business-to-business (B2B) services, may experience lower RCRs. The intricacies of decision-making in these sectors can extend the time between repeat transactions.

Pros and Cons of Repeat Customer Rate in eCommerce


  • Predictable Revenue Streams

A high Repeat Customer Rate contributes to predictable revenue streams, allowing businesses to forecast and plan more accurately. This predictability facilitates better resource allocation and strategic decision-making.

  • Reduced Marketing Costs Over Time

As repeat customers are already familiar with the brand, marketing to them tends to be more cost-effective. Over time, businesses can reduce their marketing expenditures while maintaining or increasing revenue.

  • Trust and Relationship Building

Repeat customers often indicate a higher level of trust and satisfaction with a brand. Building and maintaining these relationships can lead to a positive reputation, encouraging more customers to choose the brand over competitors.

  • Cross-Selling and Upselling Opportunities

Repeat customers provide opportunities for cross-selling and upselling. Businesses can introduce complementary products or premium offerings, potentially increasing the average transaction value.

  • Flexibility in Pricing Strategies

Loyal customers may be more receptive to loyalty programs, discounts, or subscription models. This flexibility in pricing strategies can be leveraged to encourage repeat purchases and foster customer loyalty.


  • Overemphasis on Frequency

Relying solely on RCR may lead to an overemphasis on transaction frequency. While frequent repeat purchases are positive, neglecting other aspects of customer value, such as average order value or overall satisfaction, can be a limitation.

  • Industry and Seasonal Variations

RCR may not be directly comparable across industries or in businesses with significant seasonal variations. Industries with longer purchasing cycles or seasonal products may naturally have lower RCRs.

  • Limited Focus on Acquisition

An exclusive focus on RCR might divert attention from customer acquisition efforts. While retaining existing customers is vital, neglecting new customer acquisition may hinder overall business growth.

  • Product Lifespan Influence

In industries with products that have longer lifespans, such as durable goods, achieving high RCRs can be challenging. The nature of the products may not necessitate frequent repeat purchases.

  • Potential for Stagnation

A consistently high RCR might mask underlying issues if it's achieved without efforts to innovate or expand the customer base. Businesses need to balance retention with a proactive approach to prevent stagnation.

10 Best Strategies to Improve Repeat Customer Rates in eCommerce in 2024

1. Personalized Customer Experience

Tailor the customer experience by leveraging data to understand individual preferences and purchase history. Personalized recommendations, exclusive offers, and targeted communication can enhance customer satisfaction and loyalty.

2. Loyalty Programs and Rewards

eCommerce Loyalty Programs_what is repeat purchase rate in eCommerce

Implement a robust loyalty program that rewards customers for repeat purchases. Offer points, discounts, or exclusive access to incentivize ongoing engagement and reinforce the value of choosing your brand.

3. Post-Purchase Communication

Post-Purchase Messaging_repeat customer rate in eCommerce

Establish effective post-purchase communication channels, including order confirmations, shipping updates, and follow-up emails. Keeping customers informed and engaged after a purchase enhances their overall experience.

4. Customer Feedback and Surveys

Collect feedback from customers through surveys or reviews. Act on this feedback to address concerns, improve products or services, and demonstrate a commitment to customer satisfaction, fostering loyalty.

5. Subscription and Auto-Replenishment Options

repeat purchase rate in eCommerce_subscription

Introduce subscription services or auto-replenishment options for products that customers use regularly. This simplifies the purchasing process, encourages repeat transactions, and provides convenience for the customer.

6. Exclusive Access and Previews

Offer exclusive access to new products, promotions, or previews to repeat customers. Creating a sense of exclusivity fosters a strong connection and makes customers feel valued.

7. Strategic Email Marketing Campaigns

Ecommerce Email Marketing Examples_repeat customer rate in ecommerce

Develop targeted email campaigns based on customer behavior. Segment your audience to deliver personalized content, promotions, and recommendations, keeping your brand top-of-mind for repeat purchases.

8. Social Media Engagement

Foster a community on social media platforms where customers can engage with your brand and each other. Encourage user-generated content, run contests, and use social media as a platform for exclusive promotions to enhance customer loyalty.

9. Surprise and Delight Campaigns

Implement surprise and delight campaigns to exceed customer expectations. This could include unexpected discounts, personalized gifts, or hand-written thank-you notes, creating memorable experiences that encourage repeat business.

10. Continuous Improvement Through Analytics

Utilize analytics tools to track customer behavior, identify patterns, and assess the effectiveness of retention strategies. Regularly analyze data to make informed decisions, refine your approach, and continuously improve the customer experience.


In brief, the recent Zendesk report highlights a 5% increase in Repeat Customer Rates (RCR) in eCommerce, reflecting the growing impact of customer experience, e-commerce trends, and data analytics. Industries like retail, finance, technology, and healthcare lead in achieving high RCRs. Recognizing RCR's significance is crucial for businesses, serving as a vital metric for customer loyalty and long-term financial health.

The outlined strategies, from personalized experiences to loyalty programs, empower eCommerce businesses to navigate the competitive landscape effectively. Benchmarking against industry standards and adopting proven strategies not only improves RCR but also fosters sustainable growth and customer advocacy. In the evolving eCommerce landscape, a nuanced understanding of RCR remains key for success in 2024 and beyond.

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