Get $250 OFF setup and configuration fees for Loyal-n-Save! It's like giving your wallet a high-five! Learn More
Getting Started

A Comprehensive Understanding of Purchase Frequency

A Comprehensive Understanding of Purchase Frequency

You run an antique store. You offer a rich array of unique items (with a story or two behind them!). You set up an online store so vintage enthusiasts all over the world could check out your collection. People were admiring your collection of mid-nineteenth-century cameras and vintage vinyl records from the 1960s. However, you find yourself hitting a plateau. There’s been a long stretch where orders are not being placed. You’re not sure what’s going on.

It is well known that keeping existing customers costs significantly less than finding new ones. Since the cost of visits and conversions is steadily rising, customer retention is crucial for eCommerce businesses hoping to survive in a congested market. If days go by without a new order from a customer, you’re having trouble keeping a steady purchase frequency, and as a result, your chances of gaining them back decrease. However, if you regularly calculate purchase frequency (PF) and monitor it, you can inform your departments about one of the most significant measures of customer loyalty and engagement.

We will discuss purchase frequency in this blog post, including what it is, how to calculate it, and strategies for boosting it.

Purchase frequency: what is it exactly?

The purchase frequency, abbreviated as PF, is a measure of how frequently a customer makes purchases over a specific time frame. The potential to provide exceptional customer experiences that transform repeat customers into loyal ones increases with purchase frequency. It’s crucial to note that the purchase and repeat purchase rates, which show the proportion of customers who visit the store again to make a new purchase, are sometimes mistaken by people.

Over time, you’ll make more money the more frequently your customers make purchases from you. Purchase frequency is essential; you need to know how frequently customers return to your store to make purchases. In fact, businesses say that between 65% and 75% of their revenue comes from repeat customers, according to ThinkImpact.

Purchase frequency is one of the most crucial performance indicators for your business for the reasons listed below:

A sign of long-term expansion

A higher frequency value increases the likelihood of retaining more customers, which is a sign of sustained development.

One strategy to raise CLV (customer lifetime value)

The only two options to boost revenue from present customers are to persuade them to place more orders or to raise the average order value.

A provider of information for stronger campaigns

You can create more effective campaigns for both new and current customers by understanding your purchase frequency values.

Purchase frequency, alongside recency and monetary value, is crucial for segmenting customer behavior. This is when RFM segmentation comes into play. It enables you to divide up your customer base based on their past purchasing behavior and then optimize your campaigns using this information.

Difference between purchase frequency and repeat customer rate

Although they are similar metrics, purchase frequency and repeat customer rate are different things.

Let’s review: Purchase frequency is the total number of times a customer makes a purchase in a certain time frame. The proportion of all customers that completed at least two purchases within a given time frame is known as the repeat customer rate. As seen, the frequency is loose and uncontrolled, whereas the number of purchases determines the repeat customer rate.

As an example of the kind of knowledge you could learn with the aid of the PF, consider the following:

An average customer will buy from me at least four times per quarter.

The information that the repeat customer rate could reveal is as follows:

30% of all new customers will make a second purchase after their first one.

So, why is purchase frequency important?

Understanding your customers’ purchase frequency—including when, how frequently, and how quickly they need to restock—is essential.

The blindfold response

Businesses sometimes take a chance and flood customers with promotional emails, which makes them feel overloaded and irritated.

The smart response

On the other hand, there is the data-driven strategy, which involves understanding how frequently your customers make purchases and then predicting their needs by sending them timely restocking campaigns.

This is merely a straightforward demonstration to help you grasp the significance of understanding the purchase frequency for each individual customer. Additionally, you can utilize this indicator to comprehend customer satisfaction levels or the customer retention rate.

How to calculate purchase frequency

Your transactional data contains all the information required to calculate purchase frequency.

Divide the total number of orders by the total number of customers over the time period you wish to investigate to determine how frequently a customer purchases from your brand:

Purchase Frequency = Number of Orders / Number of Customers

Remember that the frequency of purchases varies and is influenced by a variety of circumstances, including:

  • The sector that your business operates in
  • The goods or services you offer
  • The consumption trends centered on the products of your brand
  • The number of customers served by the business

If we look at the average frequency of purchases by store age, we can see that as a business gets more experienced in the market, they become better at interacting with customers. The better you understand your customers, the more likely it is that purchase frequency will increase.

How to improve purchase frequency

You can monitor how frequently your existing customers interact with your brand by tracking purchase frequency. As a result, you can take appropriate actions to anticipate customer behavior and promote desired habits in both your existing and prospective customers.

Here are a few strategies to boost purchase frequency:

Employ metrics on customer behavior to design email marketing campaigns

With clever email campaigns that are sparked by the data you’ve already gathered about them, you can reengage and revive your new and recurring customers. You can determine the ideal moment to send a new sales-focused email to your customers by looking at the recency and the average number of days between transactions (also known as the times between purchases).

Establish a loyalty program and sign up customers for it

Providing discounts and high-quality goods alone won’t necessarily keep customers loyal. Allowing customers to sign up for your loyalty program will make them feel valued. Create a program that combines rewards with gamification, VIP advantages, tiers, and so on. When faced with aggressive techniques from competing companies, you will get stronger. The frequency of purchases and average order value can both be raised with the use of loyalty programs.

Enhance your product line for recurring sales

Although your primary items may suggest low purchase frequency, you can still come up with certain products that can lead to repeat business or products that complement the ones your customers initially bought. By knowing the demands and motivations of your customers, you can increase frequency within your industry. The next step is to structure your offers around what you know your target market values, placing special emphasis on how your goods and services improve their lives.

Make subscription-based purchasing available

For FMCG (fast-moving consumer goods) items that sell out quickly, the subscription-based buying option is great. You can make purchases more frequently and make your supply needs more predictable. Subscriptions promote repeat business from customers who are more likely to become your top customers. A fantastic example would be a neighborhood grocery store selling a monthly subscription box of their most popular cheeses, wines, and snacks, with each box having a different theme each month—say, featuring products made in California one month and products with a Maine theme the next.


One of the key performance indicators (KPIs) every business should track, along with customer acquisition costs, churn rates, net promoter scores, repeat purchase rates, and other retention metrics, is purchase frequency. It significantly affects customer lifetime value and customer retention. Frequency is one of the most important metrics for examining customer behavior because it is one of the three variables included in RFM analysis.

In need of making your customers feel more valued at your business? Reach out to one of the Loyal-n-Save specialists today to learn more about our rewards club and set up a demo today.

This article was written by Loyal-n-Save, an omni-channel customer loyalty solution for retailers looking to increase customer retention and new customer acquisition.


  • How to calculate purchase frequency
  • Purchase frequency

Posted on May 1, 2023


Danielle Dixon

Danielle is a content writer at Loyal-n-Save. She specializes in writing about implementing loyalty solutions proven to help a company grow.

A Comprehensive Understanding of Purchase Frequency

Let Your Rewards Program Be a Sales Automation Tool