Community Tip: Measure Cross-Pollination with Retention - Mixpanel

Community Tip: Measure Cross-Pollination with Retention

This Community Tip will explore a powerful use case for Mixpanel Retention commonly called “cross-pollination.” Cross-pollination is a very powerful approach to understanding purchasing behaviors.

Retention reports visualize how often your customers return and engage with your application. You can use this data to measure how changes to your application impact customer behavior. You can also use this tool to compare how retention varies among your customers based on the data you store in your event properties.

With this mind, it is quite clear that the uses for retention reports extend far beyond simply looking at whether your customers signed up and then came back and did anything else (commonly called “cohort analysis”). You can get even more specific insight by tailoring the report based on your events and properties.

A fantastic use case for retention is to analyze cross-pollination in user behavior. How likely are your customers to engage with certain parts of your application after engaging with others? Are customers who purchase clothing likely to purchase electronics? Are customers who listen to rock music likely to listen to country music? The answer to these questions can help you determine how to allocate marketing funds and how to target your ad campaigns to ensure maximum horizontal engagement across.

Cross-Pollination in E-commerce

Here are three examples of how you can analyze cross-pollination using Mixpanel’s retention reports:

As an e-commerce site, you might ask whether users who purchase one type of item are likely to purchase a different type of item. In the example below, you can see that customers who purchase furniture are likely to come back to your application and buy other items for their home in the weeks that follow. Perhaps there is a marketing opportunity that takes advantage of this purchase pattern.

Perhaps you are interested in seeing whether customers who bought something on their home computer are likely to start buying products on their mobile device. In the example below, you can see that, in general, only ten to thirty percent of users who made a purchase via web then purchased something on their mobile device. Perhaps there is a need for more symbiosis between your web and mobile applications to improve these numbers. Perhaps developing a cross-platform shopping cart could move the needle on sales. Such great insights from a simple report!

Applications to other types of purchases

As a travel application, you may wonder whether customers who search for flights are also taking advantage of your new hotel search feature. By looking at this cross-pollination retention report, you can see that a solid third of your users came back and searched for hotels in the first weeks after searching for flights.

With Mixpanel, as with life in general, knowing is only half the battle. These cross-pollination retention reports should give you valuable insight that catalyzes a change in your business strategy.

For more in depth information on how Retention is calculated, check out our Common Questions.

Other questions? You can always write to to speak to someone smart, quickly!

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