Now that we’ve covered which KPIs can help you measure acquisition and engagement on your website, let’s have a look at using digital analytics KPIs to evaluate customer retention and loyalty behaviours.

It’s generally said that acquiring new customers can be 5x more costly than retaining existing ones, and depending on who you ask, that figure goes up to 25x or more. The bottom line here is what you already know: It’s smart to focus on retaining existing customers and building loyalty with them. So how can you use digital analytics to assess and develop customer loyalty? What site metrics should you be tracking to measure visitor loyalty and retention?


Must-have KPIs

Keep an eye on the following indicators to see whether your site is generating return visits from loyal, repeat customers:

  • Visit frequency: number of visits per unique visitor
  • Number of logins to existing accounts
  • Rate of logged-in visits (number of logged-in visits divided by number of total visits)
  • Churn rate (rate of account or service cancellation)
  • Average repeat purchase rate


For greater insights into your customers’ loyalty, and how it’s being reflected on your website, analyse the following:

  • % of conversions that are repeat purchases

Do your visitors come back to convert a second time, or many times? Use visitor segmentation to identify groups of customers who’ve made just 1 or 2 purchases… and those who have made many repeat purchases. Then, use this information to inform how you speak to and target these different customer segments. For example, you might target your 1st-time repeat buyers with a retargeting campaign, whereas you might take a more personalised approach with your most loyal customers (taking into account their extensive purchase history to craft ultra-relevant messaging).

  • % of orders made using rewards points or a loyalty card
  • % of orders made using promo codes or vouchers

Analysing the above two elements will help you assess the success of your loyalty and customer rewards programmes. Are your customers taking full advantage of the benefits you offer them via rewards points or promo codes? If the share of orders made using points or codes seems relatively low compared to the number of advantages you offer loyal customers, you might want to examine whether these customers are adequately aware of all the benefits you’ve made available.

  • Newsletter subscription rate… and unsubscribe rate

Are people interested enough in your content, products or brand to want to hear from you directly in the future? It’s important to analyse your subscription (and unsubscribe) rates over time, as they can help you keep an eye on how well your offerings are resonating with your target audience.

  • % of visits from customers in each stage of the customer lifecycle

Use visitor segmentation to differentiate your prospects, first-time buyers, loyal buyers, and at-risk customers (these groups will be defined according to criteria you’ve set, based on your site and business model). Then, track each segment over time to see how the distribution of your customers into these lifecycle categories is evolving. For example, if you observe that your share of “loyal buyers” is decreasing, while your share of “at-risk” customers is growing, you can take immediate corrective measures.


While we hope these KPIs and ideas for new analyses have helped you ensure that you’re measuring what matters for these major objectives, just remember, the most crucial digital analytics KPIs to follow are the ones that reflect your specific business and offerings.


> Learn all about defining and implementing strong KPIs! Read the white paper: “KPIs: Define and Act – Integrating KPIs into your company’s strategy”



A Silicon Valley native, Ashley has 10 years of experience as a marketing writer and previously worked in B2B digital marketing at Google. She joined AT Internet in 2014 to help create and deploy our international communications in 6 languages. She enjoys distilling complex topics from the ever-changing digital universe into clear, actionable ideas.

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