Varos Glossary

Time to Reorder

Time to reorder measures how much time has passed between when a customer purchases a product and then later repurchases that same product. 

Why Does Time to Reorder Matter as a Metric? 

In eCommerce, reordering time is one of several metrics that helps eCommerce companies develop a better understanding of their audience. Generally speaking, you can use reorder time as a barometer for brand health alongside metrics like returning customers and repeat order rate. Time to reorder also provides you with crucial insight into several other areas of your eCommerce business: 

  • How frequently you should restock certain products, and what level of stock you should have available at any given time. 
  • Upcoming surges or dearths of orders. 
  • Which customers are the most actively engaged with your brand. 
  • Which products in your inventory are the best sellers overall. 

Time to reorder tends to vary wildly by niche. A furniture, home decor, or apparel retailer is likely to have an extremely long time to reorder compared to an online store that sells makeup, moisturizer, or perishable items. The difference can range anywhere from days to years.  

Caption: Reorder value also varies by vertical. 

Calculating Reorder Time

The formula with which you calculate time to reorder — also known as the reorder point formula — is actually very simple. You simply need to calculate how much time has passed between the second order of your product and the first. This can be done by subtracting the first date from the second date.

Alternatively, you can also manually tally how much time has passed between the two order points. 

Tapping Into Reorder Time to Increase Revenue

Caption: Look for spikes in repeating order ratio — this can help you determine when your customers typically reorder certain products. 

While it is possible to reduce your time to reorder to some extent, you should not put too much effort into doing so. Instead, pay close attention to when and how customers typically reorder products from your store. Shape your messaging and outreach around this timeframe.

For instance, let's say your company sells beard oil. After studying sales and customer data, you determine that for the average customer, three months or so is their time to reorder. Trigger emails and SMS messages should therefore go out to a customer who's purchased beard oil from you two to three months post-purchase.

This is a tactic broadly known as a win-back automation. The idea is that you're targeting customers who may potentially become lost leads and attempting to re-engage with them. Abandoned cart emails represent another example of win-back automation in practice. 

You can also encourage reordering through a loyalty program that offers special discounts, deals, or content to anyone that signs up. Upselling and cross-selling both on-site and via direct customer outreach are also options, highlighting promotions and sales on products related to other purchases a customer has made. 

As is the case with customer retention, however, the best way to encourage repeat business is to make both the purchase and re-purchasing process as painless as possible — this can be achieved in a few ways: 

  • Encourage customers that purchase from your store to create an account and save their information for future purchases. Do not force registration on your customers. 
  • Make it easy for customers to both subscribe and opt out of any email or SMS campaigns your store operates. 
  • Make an effort to build a relationship with your audience through personalized outreach. 
  • Keep your messaging as simple and direct as possible. 
  • Consider incorporating QR codes somewhere into your sales funnel to help customers more readily connect with products that might interest them. 
  • Actively engage with customers at each stage of the buyer's journey, particularly when managing shipping and handling.