Built-in benchmarks

Explore Recurly's innovative built-in benchmark reports to compare your key performance metrics against industry peers over selected timelines. Gain insights and enhance your business strategy.


Required plan

This feature or setting is available to all customers on any Recurly subscription plan.


Recurly’s new built-in benchmarks will help companies gauge their performance against similar companies to prioritize strategies and initiatives to improve key business metrics. All Recurly merchants are included in benchmarking.

Key benefits

  • Industry comparison: Compare key subscription metrics with industry benchmarks to understand performance relative to peers, identifying areas of strengths and weaknesses.
  • Competitive insights: Gain insights into how competitors are faring in terms of subscription metrics, uncovering areas to differentiate and improve to gain a competitive edge.
  • Data-driven decisions: Develop informed strategies with real-world data to help set realistic goals and expectations for subscription growth and customer retention.
  • Forecasting and planning: Enable more accurate forecasting and long-term planning to help businesses set reachable growth targets and allocate resources effectively.

Key details

Dashboards with built-in benchmarks

The renewal invoices dashboard will provide insights on renewals that are successfully paid against all renewal invoices

  • Industry benchmark for renewal invoice paid rate.
  • Renewal invoice outcomes (with corresponding payment recovery methods).

The renewal declines dashboard will provide insights on renewals that fail on the initial transaction attempt.

  • Industry benchmark for renewal invoice decline rate.
  • Ability to filter by failure type, payment method, and payment gateway.

Recurly will continue to add in additional built-in benchmarks to highlight your business’s performance against others in your industry.

Built-in benchmark calculations

Renewal invoice paid rate

The % of renewal invoices created in a period that are successfully collected (invoice state=paid).

  • For example, in April there were 800 renewal invoices created of which 600 were paid: invoice paid rate=75%.
  • If two weeks later, an additional 100 invoices are paid (after going to through dunning), the renewal invoice paid rate would be 87.5%.

The time period uses the “invoice creation date”.

Renewal invoice decline rate

Percentage of renewal invoices that fail on the initial transaction attempt.

Renewal invoice decline rate

This metric represents the proportion of renewal invoices where the initial transaction attempt was unsuccessful.

  • Definition of initial transactions: These are categorized as the first attempt to process a transaction on an invoice.
  • Reason for focusing on the first transaction: By considering only the initial transaction, we ensure a standardized comparison across different merchants. This standardization is crucial as merchants may have varying numbers of retry attempts for each invoice. By comparing the first attempt outcomes, we maintain a consistent and fair benchmark across all merchants.


Q: What should be my approach when using built-in benchmarks, and how do I respond to low benchmark rankings?

A: It's crucial not to immediately worry if you encounter a low benchmark rating. Such ratings do not necessarily mean there is a problem. In many cases, businesses have legitimate reasons for lower scores in certain metrics. Remember, your percentile ranking is just a comparative measure against your peers. Here are some points to consider:

  • A change in your benchmark ranking, such as a drop from the 85th to the 65th percentile over a year, should prompt an analysis of changes within your business relative to your peers.
  • Understand that customer demographics, a significant factor in benchmark metrics, tend to remain constant. For instance, serving lower-income consumers often correlates with higher Renewal Invoice Decline Rates and lower Renewal Invoice Paid Rates.
  • Adjustments in your Dunning settings should be examined for their impact on your Renewal Invoice Paid Rate. Utilizing tools like the Compare Dunning Campaigns and Recovered Revenue dashboards can be insightful.
  • If you notice substantial shifts in any benchmark metrics, it's advisable to analyze the trends over several months, particularly for businesses with fewer than 100 subscribers, as they are more prone to fluctuations.
  • Enabling additional features like Account Updater in Recurly might help in improve these metrics.

If your benchmark is notably low within your industry or shows a declining trend, consider the following actions:

  • A declining Renewal Invoice Paid Rate may indicate ineffective recovery mechanisms. Re-evaluating your dunning settings and ensuring that the account updater is enabled for all card types could enhance your paid rates, thereby improving your industry percentile.
  • An increasing Renewal Invoice Decline Rate can be addressed by analyzing and prioritizing your most effective gateways or payment methods, and deemphasizing less efficient ones.

Q: What companies am I benchmarked against?

A: Benchmarks compare your business to that of other companies in the same vertical as you are. Recurly’s exclusive built-in benchmarks are drawn from the experiences of over 58 million unique subscribers and 2,200 global brands, which includes merchants with different subscriber volume and and order sizes.

Q: What additional benchmarks capabilities are coming?

A: In the coming months, new benchmarks will be added to focus on subscriber acquisition and retention. Recurly is also considering adding in additional ways to filter these benchmarks, such as average order size, and other considerations.

Q: How can I change the industry against which I am benchmarked?

A: To adjust your benchmark industry, simply navigate to the Analytics Settings page and request the change. This adjustment will enable you to compare your percentile rankings with merchants in the newly selected industry. Please note that the change will take effect one day after your request.

Q: Why do I see changes in my historical benchmarks?

A: Variations in historical benchmarks are typically due to a few reasons:

  • Benchmarks will change as invoices are processed throughout the course of the month. For example, invoice paid rate is based on the invoice creation date, but invoices in dunning at the end of the month will continue to be collected after month end, impacting invoice paid rate and associated benchmarks. Additionally, the renewal invoice decline rate can change after the end of the month if the initial invoice transaction attempt occurs after the invoice was created.
  • When merchants leave the Recurly platform, Recurly is required to delete the site’s data, which results in changes to historical benchmarks.
  • New merchants joining the Recurly platform will alter the percentile rankings of existing merchants.
  • Occasionally, Recurly may reclassify the industries of certain merchants, which can also lead to changes in benchmarks.

Q: What defines a “Renewal” Invoice?

A: A renewal invoice is created as part of an ongoing subscription. Key characteristics of a renewal invoice include:

  • Exclusion of the initial signup subscription invoice.
  • Exclusion of the first invoice following a trial period.
  • Renewal invoices are a subset of recurring invoices. While all renewal invoices are recurring, not all recurring invoices are considered renewals. For instance, recurring invoices also encompass the first invoice of a subscription and the first invoice post-trial.
  • Not all invoices in a subscription are recurring. For example, invoices for credits or subscription changes are not recurring. This is determined based on the individual charges on the invoice.
  • This categorization of invoices (e.g., recurring/renewal) applies to all transactions on the invoice, ensuring alignment between renewal decline rates (based on transactions) and renewal recovery rates (based on invoices).