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What is Lifetime Value of Customers (LTV)

Updated: Jan 12

What is Life Time Value of Customer
What is Life Time Value of Customer

In the dynamic landscape of business, understanding the Lifetime Value of Customers (LTV) is essential for long-term success.

What is LTV?

Lifetime value (LTV) is a metric that measures the total revenue that a business can expect to generate from a customer over the entire duration of their relationship. It is calculated by multiplying the average customer value (ACV) by the average customer lifespan (ACL).

ACV is the average amount of money that a customer spends with a business over a given period of time, such as a month or a year.

ACL is the average amount of time that a customer remains a customer of a business. It is calculated by dividing the total number of customers by the number of customers who churn (stop being customers) during a given period of time.

Why is LTV important?

  1. Long-Term Profitability: LTV shifts focus from short-term gains, emphasizing lasting customer relationships for a continuous revenues tream.

  2. Resource Allocation: LTV guides strategic decisions, helping allocate resources effectively for a more sustainable business model.

  3. Cost-Effectiveness of Retention: LTV underscores the financial benefits of retaining customers over acquiring new ones, promoting overall profitability.

  4. Customer Loyalty and Advocacy: LTV's close tie to loyalty highlights satisfied customers contributing significantly to overall lifetime value and potential advocacy.

  5. Competitive Edge: Businesses leveraging LTV stand out by tailoring strategies for long-term satisfaction, fostering loyalty and differentiation in a crowded market.

  6. Adaptability to Market Changes: LTV, a dynamic metric, adjusts to changes, enabling businesses to stay agile, meet evolving expectations, and maintain relevance.

How to calculate LTV

The simplest way to calculate LTV is to use the following formula:

LTV = Average Customer Value * Average Customer Lifespan or (ACV * ACL)

Average Customer Value – Average order value of the customer

Average Life Span – Total Customers added in a particular timeframe i.e a year / Average time frame they ordered continuously before becoming inactive

However, there are more complex ways to calculate LTV that take into account factors such as customer segmentation, product pricing, and customer churn rates.


Let's say that you run a grocery e-commerce business that sells clothing. Your average customer value or average customer order value each month is Rs. 500 per month, and your average customer lifespan i.e. any customers that order from your website/app remains for 12 months on average. This means that your LTV is 500 *12 = Rs. 6000 per customer.

This information can be used to make a number of important business decisions. For example, you know that you can afford to spend up to Rs 6000 to acquire a new customer. You can also use this information to prioritize customer retention efforts. For example, you may want to offer loyalty programs or discounts to customers who have a high LTV.

Challenges in LTV Calculation

  • Data Accuracy: Inaccurate data can lead to flawed LTV calculations, impacting strategic decisions.

  • Dynamic Markets: Rapid changes in market conditions can render LTV predictions less reliable.

  • External Factors: Economic fluctuations and unforeseen events can influence customer behavior, affecting LTV.

  • Technology Integration: Businesses must integrate advanced analytics and AI for more accurate LTV predictions.

  • Ethical Considerations: Balancing data utilization for LTV with customer privacy and ethical concerns is increasingly vital.

How to increase LTV

There are a number of things that businesses can do to increase their LTV, including:

  1. Increasing customer engagement: The more engaged a customer is with a brand, the more likely they are to repurchase from them. Businesses can increase customer engagement by offering valuable content, such as blog posts, e-books, and webinars. They can also create loyalty programs and offer rewards for customer engagement.

  2. Improving customer service: Good customer service can help to reduce customer churn and increase LTV. Businesses should focus on providing excellent customer service at all stages of the customer journey, from pre-sale to post-sale.

  3. Upselling and cross-selling: Upselling and cross-selling are effective ways to increase the average revenue per customer. Businesses can upsell by offering customers more expensive or premium products. They can cross-sell by offering customers complementary products or services.

  4. Reducing customer churn: Customer churn is the rate at which customers stop being customers. Businesses can reduce customer churn by understanding the reasons why customers churn and addressing those issues. They can also offer loyalty programs and discounts to incentivize customers to stay with the brand.


In a nutshell, Customer Lifetime Value (LTV) is the behind-the-scenes hero for businesses. It helps them make the right moves to keep customers happy, sell more, and be super successful. So, businesses, gear up and use the power of LTV to take your success to the next level!

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