What is Churn Rate?

 
 

Your churn rate is the amount of customers or subscribers who cut ties with your service or company during a given time period. These customers have "churned."

 
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Churn Rate Calculation

The calculation of churn can be straightforward to start off with. Take the number of customers that you lost last quarter and divide that by the number of customers that you started with last quarter. The resulting percentage is your churn rate. As an example, a company that started last quarter with 100 customers and lost three over the course of the quarter would have a churn rate of 3%. 

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In the above example, we calculated churn rate as a percentage of customers lost, but there's more than one way to calculate churn. You can also calculate churn based on the number customers lost, the value of recurring business lost, or the percent of recurring value lost.  

Number of customers
Value
percentage

Regardless of how you choose to represent churn, tracking your churn rate is essential to success. It's almost always cheaper and easier to retain customers than it is to go through the process of acquiring new ones. Monitoring churn is the first step in understanding how good you are at retaining customers and identifying what actions might result in a higher retention rate.

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Churn Impact

Churn is a growth decelerator. Here's an example to help you think through the impact of your churn rate today on your business over the next five years: 

Let's say that today you have monthly recurring revenue of $15,000, and that every month you add another $2,000 to that. However, you have a churn rate of 3%. If all of that persists for the next five years, you'll end up generating almost $2.6 million. Not bad at all. 

However, let's say you're able decrease your churn rate by 10%, to 2.7%.  That gives you an extra $100,000 in revenue. If you're able to reduce your churn by 30%, that's even better. Your revenue goes up to $3 million dollars! Reducing your churn rate dramatically accelerates your revenue growth.  

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Churn Rate for Ecommerce

While Churn Rate has traditionally been used by businesses that rely on recurring revenue models, many of today's leading ecommerce companies are also adopting the metric.

Calculating churn for ecommerce is trickier, but doable, and well worth the effort. The key difference for non-subscription-based ecommerce companies is that they need to define what constitutes a churn event. For example, if a company knows that most of their customers who will make a repeat purchase do so within 90 days, they may choose to mark any customer who has not made a purchase in that time period as being "churned."

Whether you are a subscription or non-subscription-based ecommerce store, maintaining a handle on your churn rate will help ensure the long-term growth and health of your business.


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Signup for a free 30-day course to learn what you need in order to succeed with data. We've worked with more than 800 companies of all sizes and helped them build their data infrastructure, run analytics, and make data-driven decisions. Learn how the data landscape has changed and what that means for your company.

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Try it out using Stitch

Stitch offers a free 14-day trial for visitors to Churn-rate.com. During this period, you can import your historical data to a data warehouse and explore your churn rate in SQL or using the tools of one of our business intelligence partners. Give it a try today!


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