CUSTOMER RETENTION STATISTICS – The Ultimate Collection for Small Business

CUSTOMER RETENTION STATISTICS - The Ultimate Collection for Small Business

We’ve collected these customer retention statistics for small businesses from a variety of sources. Enjoy the list and see if any catch your attention that might be especially relevent to your company.

What is Customer Retention?

Customer is strategic efforts a business makes to keep existing customers engaged and loyal over time. It involves nurturing positive relationships with customers to encourage repeat purchases, foster brand advocacy, and reduce customer churn.

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By providing exceptional experiences, personalized services, and addressing customer needs, businesses aim to retain customers, ensuring long-term revenue, and maximizing customer lifetime value.


Last updated: October 16, 2016


customer retention statistics



  • 80 percent of businesses surveyed rely on email marketing for customer retention.
  • 56 percent of survey respondents considered email marketing to be the most effective method of reaching customer retention goals.
  • 36 percent of U.S. retail professionals said organic search drives customer retention.
  • 43 percent of U.S. retail professionals said paid search drives customer retention.
  • 44 percent of U.S. retail professionals said social media drives customer retention.
  • 37 percent of U.S. retail professionals said retargeting drives customer retention.
  • 21 percent of U.S. retail professionals said affiliates drive customer retention.
  • 18 percent of U.S. retail professionals said referral marketing drives customer retention.
  • 8 percent of U.S. retail professionals said mobile marketing drives customer retention.


customer retention statistics


  • It costs 5 percent more to acquire a new customer than it does to keep a current one.
  • It costs 16x more to bring a new customer up to the same level as a current one.
  • 82 percent of companies agree that retention is cheaper to execute than acquisition.
  • A mere two percent increase in customer retention can lower costs by as much as 10 percent.


  • 82 percent of consumers in the United States said they stopped doing business with a company due to a poor customer experience.
  • Companies lose 71 percent of consumers due to poor customer service.
  • 68 percent of customers leave you because they perceive you are indifferent to them.
  • 60 to 70 percent of customers will do business with a company again if it deals with a customer service issue fairly even if the result is not in their favor.
  • 47 percent of customers would take their business to a competitor within a day of experiencing poor customer service.
  • 66 percent of consumers who switched brands did so because of poor service.


customer retention statistics

  • The average repeat customer spends 67 percent more in months 31-36 of their relationship with a business than they do in months 0-6.
  • A five percent increase in customer retention can lead to an increase in profits of between 25 and 95 percent.
  • Lowering your customer churn rate by five percent can increase your profitability by 25 to 125 percent.
  • Repeat customers spend 33 percent more than new customers.
  • A 10 percent increase in customer retention levels results in a 30 percent increase in the value of the company.

Customer Retention Statistics Summary

Customer Retention StatisticsPercentage
Probability of selling to existing customer60-70%
Probability of selling to new prospect5-20%
Future profits from 20% of existing customers80%
Business from existing customers65%
Executives prioritizing customer retention32%
Annual customer churn rate15%
First-time customers not returning11-20%
Businesses using email marketing80%
Most effective method for customer retentionEmail marketing (56%)
Organic search driving customer retention36%
Paid search driving customer retention43%
Social media driving customer retention44%
Retargeting driving customer retention37%
Affiliates driving customer retention21%
Referral marketing driving customer retention18%
Mobile marketing driving customer retention8%
Cost to acquire a new customer compared to keeping a current one5% more
Cost to bring a new customer to the level of a current one16x more
Companies agreeing retention is cheaper than acquisition82%
Increase in customer retention leading to increased profits25-95%
Lowering customer churn rate leading to increased profitability25-125%
Repeat customers spending more than new customers33%
Increase in customer retention levels leading to increased company value30%

The Importance of Customer Retention

Customer retention is a critical aspect of any successful business strategy. While acquiring new customers is essential for growth, it is equally important to retain existing ones. Building a loyal customer base can significantly impact a small business’s long-term success and sustainability.

Here are some key reasons why customer retention deserves special attention:

Sustained Revenue and Profitability: Existing customers are a valuable source of consistent revenue. They are more likely to make repeat purchases and often spend more with a business they trust. As customers become familiar with a brand and its offerings, their loyalty translates into sustained profitability over time.

Cost-Effectiveness: Acquiring new customers can be significantly more expensive than retaining existing ones. The costs associated with marketing, advertising, and promotional efforts to attract new customers can quickly add up. In contrast, retaining customers requires focused efforts on providing excellent service and fostering relationships, which is generally more cost-effective.

Brand Advocacy and Word-of-Mouth Marketing: Loyal customers are more likely to become brand advocates and recommend a business to their friends, family, and colleagues. Positive word-of-mouth marketing generated by satisfied customers can drive new customer acquisitions without the need for extensive marketing campaigns.

Increased Customer Lifetime Value (CLV): Customer retention directly impacts the customer lifetime value (CLV) for a business. By encouraging repeat purchases and customer loyalty, the CLV rises, contributing significantly to the overall revenue generated from each customer.

Competitive Edge: In today’s competitive business landscape, customer retention can be a powerful differentiator. A company that excels in retaining customers and providing exceptional service gains a competitive edge over rivals solely focused on customer acquisition.

Insights for Improvement: Engaging with existing customers allows businesses to gather valuable feedback and insights. Understanding customer needs, preferences, and pain points enables businesses to tailor their products and services to better meet customer expectations.

Stability in Turbulent Times: Economic uncertainties or shifts in the market can impact customer acquisition efforts. However, a loyal customer base acts as a stabilizing force during challenging periods, providing a steady stream of revenue.

Building Trust and Relationships: Consistent positive experiences lead to trust and strong relationships between businesses and their customers. Trust is a cornerstone of customer retention, fostering a sense of reliability that encourages customers to remain loyal.

Nurturing Customer Loyalty Programs: Implementing customer loyalty programs rewards customers for their repeat business, encouraging them to continue choosing a specific brand over competitors.

A Platform for Growth: Customer retention provides a solid foundation for business growth. When businesses can rely on loyal customers, they can allocate resources to expand their offerings, explore new markets, and invest in innovative initiatives.

Bottom Line

As you can see above, the impact of customer retention can be felt from your bottom line to your marketing tactics (e.g. SEO), cost of sales, and customer service. Click the links below for more insight into customer retention:

Retain Customers Photo via Shutterstock

More in: 11 Comments ▼

Matt Mansfield Matt Mansfield is the Tech Editor and SEO Manager at Small Business Trends where he is responsible for directing and writing many of the site’s product reviews, technology how-to’s, and lists of small business resources as well as increasing the reach of our content.

11 Reactions
  1. I think you need to give them a good reason to choose your product or service over the competition and you have to give them a good reason to stay. Sometimes, all you need to do is just go another mile and that will be enough to make them stay.

  2. So email marketing is still useful for customer retention eh? I was quite surprised for it is 2016.

  3. It’s always tough to keep everyone happy… thanks for sharing Matt 🙂

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