Evaluating the early impacts a downturn has on your customer’s behavior

One thing I’ve been wondering has been the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on long-term customer behavior.

With April over, there’s now a couple of months of data that can be used to see the actual impacts for your Shopify store.

In Repeat Customer Insights the Customer Cohort report would be the first place to look for behavior changes. It compares the purchasing behavior of customers based on when they first purchased which is a great indicator of their purchasing context (campaigns they saw, time of the year, overall financial environment, etc)

Example of a cohort report

To see how new customers have changed you can look at the sizes and amounts spent in the 2020-03 and 2020-04 cohorts.

Then you can find repeat customer behavior changes by looking at the diagonal from the bottom left to the top right. The diagonal shows you all the behavior in a specific calendar month across the cohorts.

(Diagonals also highlight seasonality factors very well, holiday shopping is ultra-clear for most stores using this method)

The actual values will give you hard facts to use but the shading will give you hints about problem areas (lighter is less orders, darker is more).

If you have found a problem in your customer behavior, many times it’s fixable by changing your customer’s expectations around your products. Difficult but possible to solve with work and time.

Eric Davis

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