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Welcome to WebEngage! You’re now one step nearer to changing into a Retention champion! Please press play to take heed to the audio model of the weblog.

Cease me should you’ve heard this one earlier than – A effervescent tech startup enters an already aggressive market.

Due to a novelty issue, they witness meteoric progress. In a bid to scale exponentially, they apply for funding, succeed at it and use the cash from traders to accumulate new prospects with enticing reductions. 

With an unlimited buyer base, after exhausting funds from the primary seed spherical, they apply for a second spherical, get funded, pump up their valuation numbers, and use that cash to accumulate extra prospects.

Issues look regular, and the corporate sails easily for some time earlier than they hit tough waters – Prospects are churning, cash is burning, traders doubt, and gaping holes begin to sprout.

With none earnings to point out, they resort to mass layoffs, supply dangerous offers on merchandise & companies, and pivot blindly to climate the storm. Unable to see the sunshine on the finish of the tunnel, they provide in to ‘misery gross sales’ or worse – crash and burn.

Retention And The Big Brand Theory

On this article, we are going to cowl:

  1. The Huge Model Principle
  2. Why Did These Firms Fail?
  3. When Ought to Manufacturers Focus On Buyer Retention?
  4. How To Enhance Buyer Retention?
  5. Conclusion

Take into consideration why this occurs to so many corporations. There could possibly be a number of causes for failure, however the one frequent thread that connects these corporations is – no earnings.

There have been organizations that created nice merchandise which have been spearheaded by unbelievable groups but met with a sudden demise as a result of they weren’t worthwhile. Earnings are the underside line of any enterprise, aren’t they?

What you simply learn could sound like a Shakespearean story, however that’s what most startups undergo. Do you know that 90% of startups fail, and 10% of these failed startups go belly-up inside their first yr? When corporations punch above their weight with out the appropriate means, they most of the time fall prey to what I name ‘The Inverted Hockey Stick Impact,’ a steep decline within the agency’s progress that, if mapped on a graph, appears to be like like an inverted hockey stick. It’s a phenomenon the place corporations rise quick however fall quicker.

The Huge Model Principle

In rising markets like India, startup companies are booming. There are practically 66 unicorns in India, and about 36 hail from e-Commerce, fintech, or SaaS. Manufacturers compete to grow to be the subsequent huge factor, however a major chunk of these companies go belly-up throughout the first yr.

There have been a number of situations of corporations with varied enterprise fashions succumbing to an inverted hockey stick impact. Listed below are a few of them.


Jabong - Retention And The Big Brand Theory

Bear in mind Jabong, a as soon as on-line way of life & style behemoth? Based in 2012 across the e-Commerce growth, Jabong set foot in an area devoid of worldwide style. Its USP was that it gave Indian customers unfettered entry to unique international manufacturers earlier than increasing past attire into sneakers, equipment, and way of life.

To place issues in perspective, inside a couple of months of its inception, they have been garnering north of 6.4 million distinctive web site guests. Inside a yr, they have been rolling out 14000 day by day orders, 60% of which have been from small cities. The next yr, their income skyrocketed 50X whereas losses have been minimize by 4x. In the identical yr, they clocked a web income of Rs. 202 crores, a steep leap from Rs. 4 crores in 2011-12.

They appeared primed for progress.

Lower to 2016; they have been hemorrhaging cash, bleeding losses, refused additional investments by their lead investor, and finally bought to their competitor Flipkart in a hearth sale for $70 million.

Jabong’s wasn’t an remoted incident. Different corporations met with the identical destiny.


LimeRoad - Retention And The Big Brand Theory

In 2012, LimeRoad, an Indian social commerce D2C firm, was based as a discovery-first ladies’s style market with 750+ manufacturers. In its heyday, the thriving startup had about 1.7 crores (17 million) distinctive worth buyers, with a gross merchandise worth of greater than Rs 700 crores.

However three rounds of funding by coveted funding corporations, LimeRoad’s web income plummeted to a meager 69 crores in 2021-2022 from 179.95 crores in 2019-2020.

Lower to 2022; they have been in dire straits with liabilities price Rs 36.26 crore after they have been bought to V-Mart in a misery sale for Rs.31.12 crores in an all-cash deal.

Once more, LimeRoad was only one amongst many corporations that succumbed to this unlucky phenomenon. Let’s take a look at one other incident.


Flyrobe - Retention And The Big Brand Theory

Flyrobe, the style startup, was one of many pioneers of Renting-As-A-Service in India. Based in 2015, Flyrobe rented out on-demand premium designer outfits to its prospects. After elevating a Sequence A of $5.3 Million in 2016, Flyrobe was booming.

It promised to scale as much as 5 instances by March 2017 and was using excessive on the coattails of traders who have been additionally founders of profitable corporations like CRED, PayTM, Snapdeal, and Toppr.

By mid-2019, Flyrobe was struggling to make a mark within the unforgiving sharing economic system. The style rental startup was scrambling for consumers simply 4 years after its inception. On the finish of 2019, it was acquired by Lease It Bae, one other style rental firm, in yet one more misery sale.

By now, it have to be clear how there’s a clear sample in the way in which these corporations rose and fell.

Having mentioned that, we contemplated the identical query you might be.

Why Did These Firms Fail?

Market forces? Positive.

Unhealthy product-market match? Perhaps.

Nonetheless, it’s arduous to disregard the common fact – they ran out of cash. It’s nigh not possible for a enterprise to remain afloat with out capital.

While you burn all of your capital on buying prospects and none on retaining them, your money circulation takes a success, and the enterprise involves a grinding halt.

Acquisition with out retention is like filling a bucket of water that has holes.

All you’ll get is a leakage!

With retention, companies can construct and depend on a loyal neighborhood of advocates by way of steady buyer engagement to maintain the money circulation wholesome in addition to flip a revenue. The draw back? 

It’s a long-term answer, and persistence is the secret. For corporations to succeed quick in the long run, they need to succeed slowly within the brief time period.

It goes with out saying that income comes from consumer spends however, extra importantly, from repeat customers. For those who don’t have repeat customers, you’ll finally lose income. So is buyer acquisition the reply? No, as a result of buyer acquisition is pricey and cuts into an organization’s contribution margin.

Have a look at it this fashion – Would you quite have 5 prospects spend ₹1000 solely as soon as in your platform or one buyer repeatedly spend ₹500 each month?

Extra prospects don’t all the time equal extra income however making prospects keep does. The reply lies within the 80/20 rule, extra popularly often known as The Pareto Precept, which posits that 80% of your earnings come from 20% of your retained prospects.

Prospects go away your platform for a similar motive they joined it – due to a recent participant benefit. Retention is just not solely very important but in addition 400% cheaper than acquisition. Due to this fact, for rising corporations, buyer retention has, again and again, confirmed to be way more viable than buyer acquisition.

In keeping with a research by Bain & Co, a 5% improve in retention can enhance earnings by 25 to 95%. Retention could also be a long-term sport, however it paves the way in which for optimistic hockey stick progress. These numbers are simply the tip of an iceberg that signifies how buyer retention is a sustainable progress mannequin and goes hand in hand with elevated income.

This correlation between retention and sustainability begs a basic query.

When Ought to Manufacturers Focus On Buyer Retention?

Keep in mind that retention is a Day-0 drawback.

Most corporations make the error of practising buyer retention as soon as their ship begins leaking. Whereas retention may remedy such a state of affairs, it may additionally forestall it.


Allow us to conduct an experiment to grasp the economics of Retention from shut quarters and the way it could make virtually the identical cash, if no more, for a fraction of the price.


There are two corporations, X and Y, based in the identical yr, which are direct opponents.

X acquires 1,00,000 prospects MoM (Month-On-Month).

Y acquires 2,00,000 prospects MoM (Month-On-Month).

Firm X Firm Y Distinction
New customers MoM 1,00,000 2,00,000 -1,00,000

Firm Y acquires 2X greater than Firm X.

At first look (should you’re a betting individual), you’d in all probability wager on the success of Firm Y.

Let’s take a look at their retention numbers.

X retains 70% of its prospects.

Y retains 30% of its prospects.

Firm X Firm Y Distinction
New customers MoM 1,00,000 2,00,000 -1,00,000
Retention Charge 70% 30% 40%

X’s retention price is greater than Y’s.

A 40% distinction in retention price doesn’t seem to be an enormous deal as a result of Y nonetheless has twice as many shoppers as X. Suffice it to say Y remains to be main, and your bets are protected.

Let’s take a look at the economics of the 2 corporations over the course of the subsequent 13 months.

Firm X Firm Y Distinction
MAU on Month 0 1,00,000 2,00,000 -1,00,000
Retention Charge 70% 30% 40%

Hypothetical information for Firm X

When Should Brands Focus On Customer Retention?

(Adjusted for decimals)

Assuming that the CAC and the AOV stay fixed at 100/buyer, the

Whole cash spent on buying prospects = 130,000,000

Common CAC = 36

Whole Income = Rs. 356,309,137

Revenue = Rs. 226,309,137

Hypothetical information for Firm Y

When Should Brands Focus On Customer Retention?

(Adjusted for decimals)

Assuming that the CAC and the AOV stay fixed at 100/buyer, the

  • Whole cash spent on buying prospects = 260,000,000
  • Common CAC = 72
  • Whole Income = Rs. 359,183,675
  • Revenue = Rs. 99,183,675


  1. X spent half of what Y spent to accumulate prospects.
  2. X and Y’s CAC began at 100, however X’s CAC diminished to 36, whereas Y’s diminished to a mere 72, which is twice the price of X.
  3. X made Rs. 12,71,25,462 in earnings greater than Y.


Due to the next retention price, X generated virtually as a lot income as Y, however with 2.2X earnings for a fraction of the price throughout the similar timeframe.

Extra importantly, Model X is self-sustainable and may re-invest its earnings to accumulate extra prospects. It doesn’t have to depend on exterior assets. Model Y, nevertheless, may have a heavy dependency on investor-led progress, finally resulting in the inevitable.

This experiment, albeit profitable, does go away us with a burning query.

How To Enhance Buyer Retention?

Listed below are some fundamental buyer retention ways to get the ball rolling.

Establish optimizable metrics

Begin by outlining a listing of quantifiable metrics to outline what success appears to be like like. Every model may have its distinctive set of key efficiency indicators. There are a number of metrics a model can observe to measure the efficiency of its campaigns. Listed below are a couple of of them:

1. Buyer Acquisition Value (CAC)

The cash you spend on operating advert campaigns and different signifies that provide help to to accumulate new prospects is called Buyer Acquisition Value. Your objective is to cut back your CAC to channel these funds towards retaining prospects.

2. Buyer Lifetime Worth (CLV)

The cash {that a} buyer spends through the course of interplay with your corporation is named Buyer Lifetime Worth (CLTV). Optimizing CLV can even enhance your retention price.

3. Buyer Churn Charge (CRC)

The share of customers a model loses in a given timeframe is named the client churn price. Decreasing this share spikes buyer retention price.

Must you wish to study extra about related indicators, we’ve meticulously curated a listing of trackable metrics on this weblog.

Interact customers

Retention and engagement are like yin and yang. To retain, you could have interaction. Give it some thought. Customers received’t have a motive to remain except you give them one. You give them a motive to remain by partaking them throughout varied phases alongside the client journey.

1. Prime of the funnel (ToFU)

That is the place you employ engagement ways to draw prospects to your platform by driving model consciousness, producing curiosity within the product, and at last buying them. Some concepts embrace the creation of

  • Influencer advertising,
  • Product critiques,
  • Group constructing on social media,
  • Immersive advert campaigns.

2. Center of the funnel (MoFU)

That is the place you employ engagement ways to transform prospects to customers by planting a seed of consideration and intent in a possible buyer’s thoughts. Some concepts embrace manufacturing gated content material like

  • Product explainers
  • Buyer testimonials,
  • Newsletters,
  • Experiential campaigns,
  • Meet & Greets.

3. Backside of the funnel (BoFU)

That is the place you employ engagement ways to transform customers to paying prospects by getting them to guage your platform and decide. Some concepts embrace

  • E-commerce: Comparative guides for client merchandise,
  • Journey & Hospitality: Schedule a complimentary grooming session,
  • EdTech: Signing up for a free profession counseling appointment.

After all, this merely scratches the floor of funnels. To study extra, take a look at this weblog on the forms of advertising funnels tracked for improved conversions.

Enhance buyer expertise

For those who’ve ever unboxed an Apple product, you recognize that unboxing it’s an expertise. Customers like it. I imply, simply take a look at the barrage of unboxing movies on YouTube. They garner thousands and thousands in views, and these channels are a few of the fastest-growing YouTube channels in the present day!

A consumer is unlikely to decide on your model, not to mention stick with it, in case your consumer expertise is subpar. With the arsenal of instruments and strategies at our fingertips, it’s legal to not have a seamless UI/UX in your platform.

On the subject of buyer expertise, customers do choose a e book by its cowl. I imply, it’s a consumer’s world; The bottom actuality is that there are quite a few manufacturers to select from, competitors is fierce, every model is jockeying for consideration, and your potential buyer is spoiled for selection.

Buyer expertise (CX) and retention go hand-in-hand.

Some notable methods to complement CX are

1. Touchdown Pages/House Screens/Onboarding screens

If you wish to make first impression in your consumer, that is the place you do it. To verify your RoAS (Return On Advert Spend) improves, that you must get your customers to remain in your platform after they’ve clicked in your paid adverts and transformed. It will also be different sections of your web site/app which will drive extra traction than others. The vital factor to recollect is to know that are these sections and optimize components in these sections to generate conversions.

2. Help

An space the place most manufacturers are falling behind. An amazing product can solely take you to this point, however if you’d like your customers to be there for you, you must be there on your customers. Buyer help, be it handbook or automated, have to be woven into the material of your buyer’s journey. 24×7 help, value-added companies, and real empathy can go a good distance.

3. Omnichannel Engagement

What use are your a number of channels if they don’t complement one another for the sake of the consumer? Multichannel engagement not does the trick, however omnichannel engagement does. Via it, a model can work together with customers throughout predefined touchpoints and supply a holistic CX in doing so.

Hyper-personalize communications

Gone are these days when entrepreneurs would depend on the great ol’ spray and pray for conversions. At present, prospects count on manufacturers to know what they need and when they need it.

Enter hyper-personalization, which is a type of 1:1 bespoke expertise for every buyer. No two customers have the precise needs.

How would you are feeling if, for Christmas, you hoped for a brand new gadget and acquired a vacuum cleaner in its stead?

That’s how customers really feel when they’re proven the identical notification with none context. Don’t consider us?

In keeping with a Google report, shoppers are more likely to spend 40% greater than deliberate when experiences are extremely personalised.

So what makes such intimate interactions attainable?

To ship these experiences in real-time throughout channels, 1:1 personalization requires fast information aggregation and evaluation, cross-channel deployment, and machine studying constructed on advanced neural networks.

Such experiences are powered by refined algorithms hardcoded into clever engines. Though there are various engines available on the market, enable us for example with the assistance of the Catalog and Advice engine by WebEngage.

Blog Image - Recommendation Engine (1)

This engine has two transferring components: a catalog and a advice engine.


Preserve all of your product data in a single place and leverage that info to ship communications solely to the consumer. An instance can be getting the most recent discounted value for a product from a Catalog as a substitute of the outdated retail value.

Advice Engine

Personalize your messaging with suggestions based mostly in your customers’ actions. For instance, if a consumer purchases shorts, you should utilize our advice engine to recommend different merchandise that the consumer is perhaps eager about buying.

Due to such engines, hyper-personalization has made its mark on a number of industries.


Manufacturers in the present day are sidelining retention by solely strengthening their acquisition muscle as a substitute of upping their retention sport.

The best retention price could differ from sector to sector, however here’s a benchmark for common retention charges throughout industries.

Furthermore, retention comes with a number of advantages.

  • It’s 7 instances cheaper than acquisition,
  • Will increase buyer lifetime worth,
  • Breeds loyalists & advocates,
  • Boosts income,
  • Leaves extra capital to reinvest & pivot,
  • Acts as a sustainable progress mannequin.

If you’re uncertain the place to start, right here’s our buyer retention calculator to get you began.

Simply calculate your most vital metrics utilizing our ready-to-use calculator.

Retention, or lack thereof, could make or break your corporation. In in the present day’s fiercely aggressive market, it’s a dialogue corporations ought to be partaking in to construct long-lasting manufacturers and an hermetic neighborhood of devoted prospects.

It’s, in any case, the key sauce in The Huge Model Principle.

Learn how to Increase Retention and Preserve Prospects Coming Again