Retention tells you whether users are returning to your product over time. Our retention report helps you analyze how your product has grown over time and what's making your customers return to your platform.
This report displays retention for visitors or accounts based on their first interactions with your selected source. This is different from our Retention by First Use dashboard widget, which creates cohorts based on when users first generate any activity within your app.
Note: The retention report presents data for identified users only. Anonymous visitors aren't included.
Understand retention reports
For retention, a month is defined as 30 days, and a week is defined as 7 days. This means each individual visitor or account has its own 30-day or 7-day timeframe that rolls up into a cohort.
The "First Visit" value for visitors and accounts determines which users are included in retention reports. To further illustrate what this looks like in the retention report, let's consider two visitors, User A and User B, who have different "First Visit" values.
Here's how each user’s timeframe is calculated when using a 1 Month cohort size, which shows data in 30-day increments:
|April 15 to May 14
|May 15 to June 13
|June 14 to July 13
|April 30 to May 29
|May 30 to June 28
|June 29 to July 28
Similarly, here's how each user’s timeframe is calculated when using a 1 Week cohort size, which shows data in 7-day increments:
|April 15 to April 21
|April 22 to April 28
|April 29 to May 5
|April 30 to May 6
|May 7 to May 14
|May 15 to May 21
Create a retention report
To create a new retention report, open the Behavior menu from the left-side menu, and then select Create report > Retention.
The default view shows you all of your unique visitors in the last six months using a 1 Month cohort size for any activity across all of your apps.
Each row is referred to as a cohort, which is why retention analytics is also known as cohort analytics. In the default view, Pendo only displays all the unique and identified visitors in each cohort. After you update your report using the provided filters, your data adjusts accordingly.
Modify the report to your preference using the following filters:
Source. Choose which app and activity you want to include in your data set.
- Activity. Select the type of activity that you want to check retention for: Pages, Features, or Track Events. The default setting is All Activity, which incorporates Pages, Features, and Track Events.
- App. Select a specific app group (all web or all mobile apps) or a single app.
- Activity Selector. If you select Pages, Features, or Track Events in the main Activity dropdown, then this dropdown appears so you can choose the particular event that you want to measure.
- Cohort Type. Review your results in visitors or accounts.
- Cohort Size. Choose if you want to divide your user base by Month or Week based on the first date they visited your app. In retention analytics, a month is defined as 30 days, and a week is defined as 7 days.
- Segment. The default segment is everyone who visited your product or app. You can update your desired target group as needed.
- Date Range. Based on the selected cohort size, data is displayed for the last 6, 9, or 12 months or weeks.
Segments and activity retention
Choosing a Feature, Page, or Track Event in the Activity filter is different than choosing a segment option:
- When using a segment filter, you're measuring the retention of the segment of users who have ever interacted with an event. The retention percentage still increases if they've used anything in the app.
- When using the Source Activity filter, unlike the segment filter, retention percentage increases only when the users interact with that particular event. This way, you can measure the retention of a specific Page, Feature, or Track Event for any segment, such as retention of the Reports page for NPS promoters.
Choosing All Activity and the Visitor cohort type with an account-based segment could pull in different or more visitors than when using the Everyone filter:
- When using the Everyone segment, you're measuring the retention of the first visit date of a visitor attached to any Account ID.
When using a segment with an account-level based rule (for example,
Account ID = Acme Org), you're measuring the retention of a visitor's first visit date under an account that fits the segment rule.
As an example, imagine the retention chart is set to All Activity, Visitors, 1 Week, and Last 6 Weeks (April 1 to May 13).
- If Visitor A first visited your app on March 1, they wouldn't show up in the report if the segment was set to everyone.
- Visitor A would show up in the report if the segment was set to
Account ID = Acme Organd the first event that had Visitor A attached to Account Acme Org was May 1.
- As an example, imagine the retention chart is set to All Activity, Visitors, 1 Week, and Last 6 Weeks (April 1 to May 13).
Default date ranges for weekly cohort size
When using a cohort size of 1 week, the default date ranges of Last 6 Weeks, Last 9 Weeks, and Last 12 Weeks are adjusted to ensure the cohorts include an entire week of data and that each weekly cohort starts on a Sunday.
For example, if today's date is Wednesday, May 6 and for a cohort size of 1 Week and a date range of Last 6 Weeks, the retention chart shows data for the following 6 weekly cohorts.
- Sunday, Mar 22 to Saturday, Mar 28
- Sunday, Mar 29 to Saturday, Apr 4
- Sunday, Apr 5 to Saturday, Apr 11
- Sunday, Apr 12 to Saturday, Apr 18
- Sunday, Apr 19 to Saturday, Apr 25
- Sunday, Apr 26 to Saturday, May 2
Sunday, May 3 through Wednesday, May 6 aren't included in the default Last 6 Weeks date range since those dates would only create a partial week.
Interpret your retention report
Within a row, each cell shows you the retention of a specific cohort, which is the percentage of users who returned to your product or app after each week or month passed.
The shade of blue for each cell in the chart is based on the following percentages:
- Darkest blue: 80 to 100% retention
- Second-darkest blue: 60 to 79% retention
- Middle-shaded blue: 40 to 59% retention
- Second-lightest blue: 20 to 39% retention
- Lightest blue: 0 to 19% retention
The first week or month (Week 0 or Month 0) always displays 100% retention since all visitors within the cohort accessed your product or app for the first time.
The second week or month (Week 1 or Month 1) displays how many users returned to your product the following 7 days or 30 days, depending on your selected cohort size.
For example, imagine you had a total of 769 visitors in April 2023 and the retention report indicates that 33% of your visitors returned in Month 1. This means approximately 253 visitors out of 769 visitors used your product or app again within a 30-day period.
All cells are independent of each other, so you might notice an increase in percentage in some instances, which means more visitors used your app in that timeframe.
If you see an asterisk (*) next to the percentage, this means that the number is subject to change because there's still time remaining for the month (30-day increment) for that cohort.
Interact with the chart
If you select a cell within the chart, a panel opens and displays the list of visitors that are included in the calculation. The list displays the total number of users forming that particular cohort percentage and up to 250 Visitor IDs. Selecting a Visitor ID directs you to that visitor’s detail page.
Similarly, you can select the Dropped Visitors tab to see everyone (up to 250 visitors) who was present in the previous period but haven't returned in the current period.
At the bottom of the panel, you can also select Export CSV to download all of the Visitor or Account IDs from the selected cohort with your preferred metadata values in the CSV file. Add your preferred metadata, then select Generate CSV.
Save your retention report
To save your retention report, select Save in the top-right corner of the page.
Enter a Report Name and Description, update the Visibility to Everyone if you want other users in your subscription to view and edit the retention report, and then select Save Report to save the report.
After you save the report, you can access the path through Behavior > Retention or Behavior > View all reports.