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customer retention statistics, shopper loyalty retention and trends, customer retention

25 Statistics Showing Why Customer Retention and Loyalty Matter

A statistical reminder that nurturing the seeds you’ve planted reaps the long term financial benefits of perennial customers and better brand recognition
Author - David Stuchbury
David StuchburyJuly 13th 20227 min read
man gesturing in front of his notebook

New customers are out there, but with loads of other businesses vying for their money and an economy that spells risk aversion for customers as well as profiteers, the better way to grow is to focus on customer retention benefits. 

Customer retention metrics show that building from the inside out is the best way to improve brand perception and increase product interest in new consumers, while steadily keeping existing customers happy and in the loop. 

It’s an approach under-utilized by most brands. Perhaps the most shocking statistic to lead off our list is this one: only 18% of brands focus on customer retention! However, for the brands that do, there are a few well-proven that demonstrate how smart apparel and beauty firms approach retention by rewards. The 25 customer retention statistics that follow here further support what we’re talking about.

Almost 65% of a company’s business comes from repeat customers

Source: Small Business Genius

That’s a huge number of repeat business or - flipside - business your organization is letting go after a single purchase. Think about it: A customer has already bought something; wouldn’t they be interested in something else? The catch: why the heck would they be interested? The answer: because you make them interested.

The 80/20 principle states that by studying the top 20% of your customers, you can work out how to attract similar people and increase your future profits


This one is quite well-known but always bears mentioning. The fact remains that 20% of the people have the most wealth and they're the ones shopping with you already. That’s why you reward them. On social media, they create the consensus that you’re too good to drop.

The Average Cart Abandonment Rate Across All Industries is 69.57 % 

Source: Drip

If seven out of every 10 shoppers won’t complete their transaction there's a lot of would be customers that walk away from buying something when the hardest part —customer awareness and acquisition is done. Talk about a last mile failure!

For most industries, the average customer retention rate is below 20%.

Source: SurveySparrow

Most industries still think in product-led marketing terms. A brand sells a t-shirt and Denise buys it. She tells a friend but, unless the brand has customer retention incentives attached, Denise and friend forget the product in ten seconds because 500 t-shirt brands are all selling exactly the same product. You work on keeping Denise with A1 CR incentives, like points for perks and rewards. Denise now remembers and talks about the product every time she’s rewarded. And she wears the t-shirt more.  

80% of customers believe that speed, convenience, knowledgeable help, and friendly service are the most important elements of a positive customer experience.

Source: PwC

See two customer retention metrics hidden in this generic sentence - speed and convenience means customers are buying online where you can monitor, measure and enact bespoke loyalty programs. But what do customers want? They want knowledgeable help and friendly service. In other words, they want to be treated intelligently and empathetically. Rewards are the cherry.


13% of unhappy customers will share their experiences with others.

Source: Help Scout

Which is a conservatively low number, right? Then again, if you haven’t got many happy customers because you don’t work on keeping them, 13% is a large head count. Or it’s a small number because you don’t have many customers period. How’s business these days?

58.7% of internet users believe earning rewards and loyalty points is one of the most valued aspects of the shopping experience.

Source: Insider Intelligence

Online shopping enables consumers to mint the experience for choice and monetary value; leveraging one site against another. Yes customers want to be loyal, but they won’t if it’s not rewarding - the company history and a list of values just won’t do.

87% of Americans are willing to have various details of their activity tracked in exchange for more personalized rewards and brand experiences

Source: Retail Dive

GDPR and online privacy are legal and ethical minefields. At the consumer level, this stuff only really bothers the paranoid. Maybe we should all be more paranoid, but if permitting the tracking of our spending habits results in, say, a $20 reduction on hot sneakers, most will take the shoes and trust the gatekeepers are doing their jobs. So why aren’t you using the data?

75% of consumers expect brands to make more of a contribution to their well-being and quality of life

Source: Havasgroup

Around 40% of brands actually do make a contribution. In ye olden days, having the latest brand offering in your hands boosted quality of life better than a Coca Cola head rush. But these days, more contribution means customer rewards programs that recompense in points, early access and ‘community’ involvement.

60% of brand-created content is failing to deliver

Source: Marketing Week

Because it’s clutter-content that fails to meet customers exactly where they’re at. It speaks of business strategies that are more aligned to acquisition-focused spread betting techniques - gambling the chips will fall here and there. But if you’re creating bespoke content for a smaller body of existing customers, you’re investing. Not playing the numbers. 

77% of consumers say they stayed loyal to specific brands for 10 years or more

Source: Small Biz Genius

These customers are the same ones who are generally pessimistic about the quality of service they get when they look elsewhere. They stay put with brands who give them outstanding CX because the competition is ugly and mean. Be attractive and friendly.

37% of consumers feel they need at least five purchases to consider themselves loyal to a brand.

Source: Yotpo

Brand loyalty is an inherent trait - customers get immense joy buying anything from anywhere they feel they’re being treated right. But it takes five dates to convince them it’s true love because, most of the time, the prince is a downright cad. Still, customers are hopeful, and it’s a long-term reciprocal they want.

65% of customers aged 18-34 feel social media platforms are an effective channel for customer service

Source: Customer Thermometer

That’s not online shopping. That’s customer service. That’s the world of pop ups and free delivery and returns and ‘Subscribe to our newsletter’ and ‘Because you’ve been a loyal customer…’ It’s an effective channel that is oh so rarely channeled effectively.

52% of marketers develop a strong email marketing strategy geared towards customer retention

Source: Nexess

Oddly, email has stayed relevant in an app-saturated world. The strength alluded to above is in harnessing the power of familiarity through an empathetic message of good news, that then delivers on the good news.

Search engine optimization (SEO) has an effectiveness of 13%

Source: Semrush

SEO and SEM are super effective at getting netizens to your shop window. Product and price get them inside and they may buy something, but none of this stuff is truly seductive. Saying someone’s name and listening to and responding to their needs is the aphrodisiac that wins customers over, and it’s done through rewards and incentives.

58% of customers belonging to a brand’s loyalty program buy from that brand at least once per month

Source: Annex Cloud

And it’s only that low because some customer loyalty programs just aren’t that great. Good ones make existing customers behave like new ones, many, many times over.

69% of customers choose their retailer based on where they can earn customer loyalty rewards and points.

Source: Invesp

In a world where pricing is becoming increasingly standardized, short of eBay and garage sales, customers are coming [via Ecommerce or brands’ bespoke sites] for the extras. These need to be relevant to their specific, ever changing needs and wants.

Loyalty programs play a role in 76% of a customer’s relationship with a brand.

Source: ThankyouUCash

Because it’s not enough for customers to want something, they want the brand to want them to want it for reasons beyond fiscal ones. Most people don’t like being mugged off about your brand’s supposed set of values that puts customers’ needs first. Just words.

74% of people have made purchase decisions for travel based on travel rewards programs.

Source: Finances Online

That’s people holidaying who in 2022 can’t afford not to squeeze every available extra from their extortionately expensive flights and hotels. Or it’s business travellers who would be stupid not to rack up the points with the very best rewards scheme on offer.

61% of retail companies cite customer retention as their biggest challenge.

Source: Zippia

It’s a double edged sword: challenging because those companies aren’t focusing on CR schemes that put CX and rewards first, and challenging because it’s so important to get it right. 

97% of customers say salespeople don’t ask enough about their needs.

Source: Salesforce

It’s not about your stock. The fact they’re engaged says they like your looks, they just don’t want to be sold more stuff. It’s not your expertise and pitch they desire either, it’s your [electronic] ear recognizing and responding to their preferences using your first party data.

Ecommerce/retail apps, on average, hold a 37% retention rate in 30 days and 18% in 90 days.

Source: Semrush

Social media apps have the best retention rates because they’re the ones where people exercise the most control and where they feel they are heard. The more successful eCommerce and retail apps create community through rewards and events that mirror the inclusiveness of SM.

Retail holds an average of 63% customer retention rate as consumers are bombarded with options from competitors.

Source: Semrush

Which proves that a majority of customers clearly want to be retained, but that they don’t like bombardment. You shelter and nurture the safe ground for the both of you. They’ll stay.

91% of customers are more likely to purchase from brands that provide them with meaningful and relevant offers

Source: Forbes 

It’s not enough to sell a product anymore. It’s just not. Sales used to be product and endorsement-led. That game’s not completely up, but for most customers the meaningful offer is not that $200 boots might help you play like Mbappe, but something more tangible. You gotta give folk what they can use right now: rewards.

89% of companies say that excellent customer service plays a huge role in customer retention

Source: Scribeless

You’d think they’d know what they’re talking about, these customers. Turns out getting to know them better is what many consider to be excellent customer service. Do that and the customer service benefits are yours to reap.  

Final thoughts on customer retention benefits

New business acquisition is hard and - by the numbers - not as successful as customer retention. Retention goes back to some fairly old school methods - listening, empathizing, rewarding - that most customers now expect to be provided online.

Outstanding online shopping experiences allow the customers to engage fully, with first party data telling you exactly what they want next. They want to be rewarded. Do that and they’re yours for a lot longer, plus they bring those illusive new customers into your sights.

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