What is Cohort Analysis and How to Use It?

Samuel Monse

Samuel Monse

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Cohort analysis is a method of tracking and analyzing the behavior of groups of users who share a common characteristic over time. This allows for more in-depth understanding of user behavior, as it eliminates the influence of outside factors and focuses on specific segments.

As a business owner, you are always looking for ways to improve your bottom line. One way to do this is to understand your customers better. Cohort analysis can help you do just that.

Cohort analysis is a tool that allows you to group your customers based on when they made their first purchase. This information can be used to understand how your customers behave over time.

How to use cohort analysis?

There are many different ways you can use cohort analysis. For example, you can use it to:

  • See how loyal your customers are

  • Understand what causes customers to churn

  • Find out which marketing campaigns are most effective

  • Learn which products are most popular with each cohort

To use cohort analysis, first determine the time period you would like to analyze (such as monthly or annually). Next, group your customers or users into similar cohorts based on a common characteristic, such as signup date or purchase behavior. Finally, track and compare the metrics and behaviors of each cohort over time to gain insights into customer retention and purchasing patterns.

One example of how cohort analysis can be useful is in analyzing the success of a new product or marketing campaign. By tracking the purchasing behavior of cohorts who were exposed to the new initiative versus those who were not, businesses can see the direct impact on sales and make informed decisions on whether to continue investing in the initiative or pivot their strategy.

In addition to tracking purchasing behavior, cohort analysis can also provide valuable insights into customer retention rates. By comparing the actions and engagement of different cohorts over time, businesses can identify potential drop-off points and work towards improving customer retention.

How to define cohorts?

One common way to define cohorts is based on a certain action or event, such as signup date or purchase date. This type of cohort analysis can be used to track customer retention and compare the behavior of different groups over time.

Another method is to segment users based on attributes such as demographics or location. This can be helpful in understanding variations in behavior among different segments of the user base.
It is important to note that cohorts should be mutually exclusive, meaning each user can only belong to one cohort at a time. Additionally, the timeframe for the cohort should be clearly defined in order to accurately track and compare behavioral patterns.

How to find cohort analysis in GA4?

In GA4, cohort analysis can be found in the "Research" section. To access this, click on "Research" and scroll a little bit right to "cohort study".

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From here, you will be able to see how different cohorts are performing in terms of key metrics such as engagement, retention, and conversion rate. You can also use the "Compare Cohorts" tool to directly compare the performance of two specific cohorts.

In order to get the most out of cohort analysis, it is important to track a variety of different metrics over time. Some examples of metrics you may want to track include:

  • Active users
  • Engagement (e.g. sessions, pageviews, time on site)
  • Retention (e.g. number of returning visitors)
  • Conversion rate (e.g. number of leads or sales)

By tracking these metrics, you will be able to gain a better understanding of how


So there you have it! Cohort analysis is a tool that can be used to group customers based on common characteristics and track their behavior over time. By understanding how your customers behave, you can make informed decisions on how to improve your business. Thanks for reading!

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