Frequently Asked Questions

General FAQ's

1) What does RFM Calc actually do?

Put simply, we allow you to create highly detailed and advanced ecommerce reports for any ecommerce site. Everyone who owns/runs an ecommerce site can easily look at sales, visitor numbers, conversion rate, average order value etc, this data is readily available. However for metrics like New vs Returning Customers, Customer Lifetime Revenue, Average Time Between Orders, RFM Segmentation and more, very few (if any) of the most popular ecommerce platforms actually provide this information put of the box. That's where RFM Calc can help!

2) Who created RFM Calc?

RFM Calc launched in 2020 as the result of a lot of hard work from a very small development team with a vast amount of ecommerce experience, based in the North-West of England.

Projects & Users

3) Why are reports grouped by project?

Creating a project allows you to easily store all the required settings to generate a set of reports in one place; we recommend that for every ecommerce site you report on, you create a separate project. You can then retain all settings and column mappings for each report you generate in that project. Column mappings can be overridden for each report created but for various reasons, certain settings can only be changed at the project level.

4) How many projects can I create?

This depends on your account plan; you can see full details in the account plan section of your account. You can edit the settings for, or entirely delete a project at any time.

5) Can I add additional users to a project?

Yes, if your account plan supports this, you can invite additional users to your project. These users can then view, add and delete reports from the project they've been added to. You can remove a user from a project at any time and indeed, a user can remove themselves at any time from a project also.

Importing Order Data

6) How do I import my ecommerce order data into RFM Calc?

To make our service as compatible as possible with all ecommerce platforms, we opted for the most universally available file format we could think of for order exports; the trusty CSV file. The majority of ecommerce platforms (including Magento and Shopify) support CSV exports out of the box and even if your platform doesn't, the chances are you've had to add CSV export functionality in order to integrate with another system. CSV files are certainly not glamorous, but they're ideal for this purpose.

7) What happens to my order data after I upload it?

When your report is processed, we convert your CSV into temporary database tables which are used to generate your report. As soon as your report generation is complete, these temporary tables and your order CSV file are permanently deleted from our systems. If your account plan allows you to download a complete customer CSV file, we'll generate this at the same time. This is stored securely but for privacy reasons, it's automatically removed from our systems after 7 days.

8) What order format should my CSV file contain?

Ideally your CSV file should contain one line per order and be ordered oldest-newest in terms of order date. If your CSV contains multiple lines per order, our system will handle this automatically for you (combining all the information from the multiple lines into one order accordingly) but these lines will count against the order row limit for your account plan. Likewise, when creating a project, you can specify that the order date in your file runs newest-oldest if you wish and we'll take care of that too. Remember, you can manipulate your CSV file before you upload it if you wish to change the file order or remove any order rows manually yourself.

The essential columns we need to process your file are 'Order ID', 'Order Date', 'Order Value', and 'Customer ID' ('Customer ID' can be any customer identifier, such as the customer email address).

9) Does my CSV file need specific column headers?

No, as long as your CSV has a header row you can just map the required columns to any column in your CSV when you schedule your report. You can also save these mappings against your project so they're pre-populated next time.

10) How much order data should I upload?

That's really up to you, but we'd recommend you upload as much data as possible. 2 years is normally a sensible minimum period when looking at Customer Lifetime Revenue and similar metrics, but you can absolutely upload a longer time period. We split our visual charts into 24 month segments (the last chart in each section will show less than 24 months if you don't upload a multiple of 24 months of data), so if you want to keep those neat, you may wish to upload data in a multiple of 24 months between the oldest and newest order.

11) Can I exclude certain order data from the report?

Yes, when scheduling your report you can exclude by order status (e.g. you may wish to exclude cancelled orders) or by customer ID (e.g. you may wish to exclude any orders placed by your internal staff). You can of course just remove any order rows you don't want to include in your report from your CSV file before you upload it too.

Any orders with an order value of 0 or less will automatically be excluded from the import process. In addition, any months with zero orders and revenue will be excluded from charts and tables in your report.

12) What currencies does RFM Calc support?

We support every world currency. When creating a project, you set the default currency for the reporting (e.g. what currency the Customer Lifetime Revenue is shown in). If your order export contains a 'Currency Code' column (ISO 4217 format), we'll convert orders in other currencies to your default currency at the prevailing exchange rate before processing them.

13) Does the 'Order Date' column need to be in a specific format?

No, we can interpret pretty much any order date from your CSV. When creating your project there is the option to force either a US or European interpretation of the date which you may need to enable if you're having issues.

14) What are the 'Custom Columns' available on paid account plans?

The Custom Columns feature allows you to report on other data in your order export CSV file; we'll generate monthly and overall revenue and order charts for this data. Typically our users may use this on columns like 'Payment Method', 'Shipping Method' and so on to get a beautiful visual representation of the performance of different options in these areas. Reports on 'Custom Columns' can only be generated if the column you specify contains more than 1 and no more than 50 distinct values.

15) Can I import and generate reporting for product data as well as order data?

This isn't directly possible via our system. Many ecommerce platforms don't export product data as part of the CSV order export process, and for those that do, the way products are listed can vary hugely depending on the platform. So for ease of use, we decided to just stick with generating data based on orders and customer data, rather than product data. However, it is possible to use a 'Custom Column' to include product data within your report if you wish to.

16) I have a question about another project setting / report column

Throughout the project and report creation process, you'll find little help icons next to each field. Click these help icons for detailed information and guidance on the individual setting in question.

Your Ecommerce Report

17) What format is the report produced in?

The report is produced as an interactive HTML document.

18) How long will the report take to produce?

We use background robots to generate the reports, so the answer is really "it depends". Reports from paid account plans are prioritised above reports from our free plan and the higher the account plan of the owner of the report project, the more priority is given to the report generation. We'll email you automatically as soon as your report is ready.

19) Can I save the report as a PDF file?

Yes absolutely, just use the 'Print as PDF' option in your favourite browser. To make sure this is as seamless as possible, we apply page breaks to the printable view of report in the appropriate places and we render all interactive charts as static images in the printable view, to ensure they print/save as a pdf correctly.

20) Can I hide certain parts of the report from the printed/PDF version?

Yes, we've implemented a very easy system to allow this, simply click on any areas of your completed report. These areas will then be hidden from the printable/pdf view of the report, allowing you to hide certain sections if you wish before distribution.

21) How long physically is the report that is generated?

This depends on the amount of order data uploaded, and the use of 'Custom Columns', but typically reports will be between 30 and 60 pages long; we generate a lot of data for you... it's the least we can do :)

22) How can I change the reported name of Custom Columns included in my report?

Some of the custom columns you want to report on may not have the most presentable names; the solution is simply to change the name of the column header in your CSV before you upload it.

23) Can I anonymise customer information in the generated report?

In short, yes. When your report is processed, we convert your CSV into temporary database tables which are used to generate your report. As soon as your report generation is complete, these temporary tables and your order CSV file are permanently deleted from our systems. However, if you wish to anonymise all customer data contained in the report, there is an option to do this during the report creation process. This will not affect the other data generated in the report in any way.

24) Can I add extra data to my CSV and use this as a Custom Column?

Yes! This is where RFM Calc can be even more powerful if you have some Excel skills; you can absolutely add more columns to your CSV before you upload it and our system will process this for you. For example, one of our favourites is adding a column to determine if the order was shipped to the billing address or delivery address; this can help identify where you have spikes in gift purchases and also give you an overall figure for the importance of allowing customers to ship to a different address.

In Excel, you can add another column with a header like 'Shipped to Billing Address' then use the formula =IF(ISNA(MATCH(I2,J2,0)), "No", "Yes") where I2 is the billing address and J2 is the shipping address. Then when you upload your CSV, just include 'Shipped to Billing Address' as a Custom Column and we'll do the rest.

Your Customer CSV Export

25) What is the Customer CSV export?

As part of the report generation process, on selected account plans we'll generate a CSV file containing all your customers (1 customer per line) along with key data about these customers.

This data can be extremely powerful and can be used in a variety of ways; for example you could generate an email list segment to target particular customers, or create a custom audience from the list to target selected customers via paid search/social advertising.

26) Which account plans is the Customer CSV export available for?

The full customer CSV export is generated automatically with your ecommerce report for accounts on the following plans:

  • Small
  • Medium
  • Large

27) What columns are included in the Customer CSV export?

The customer CSV file we generate contains the following columns:

  • Customer ID
  • Customer First Name
  • Customer Last Name
  • Customer Combined Name (First Name and Last Name combined in one column)
  • Customer Company
  • Customer Email
  • Customer Phone
  • Orders Placed
  • Total Spend (Converted if necessary to the default project currency)
  • Average Spend per Order
  • First Order Date
  • Last Order Date
  • Last Order Spend
  • Predicted Next Order Date (See below for how we calculate this)
  • Predicted Next Order Spend (See below)
  • Customer Has Lapsed (See below)
  • Recency Score, Frequency Score, Monetary Score (all based on the generated RFM boundaries for your report)
  • Overall RFM Score (Recency * Frequency * Monetary)
  • RFM Segment (S1 to S5 based on the overall RFM score segmented across your full customer base)

28) How are the predicted next order date and spend calculated in Customer CSV export?

For the predicted next order date, we simply add the average time between the appropriate order counts to the last order date of the customer in question. For example, if a customer has placed 2 orders, we'll take the average time from your ecommerce report between the 2nd and 3rd order for all customers, and add this time to their last order date to get the predicted date for their next order.

The predicted spend is calculated in exactly the same fashion; we take the spend from the customer's last order and add it to the average difference in order spend based on the order count of what will be their next order.

It's worth remembering that the predicted order date and value are generated using fairly basic mathematics. The larger your order file the more accurate these are likely to be, but there's not some hugely complex machine learning algorithmic process involved. We just include these columns as a little indicator to aid with customer targeting.

29) How is a lapsed customer defined in the Customer CSV export?

We define a lapsed customer as one who's predicted next order date has passed the date of the newest order in your order file. We don't use the current real world date to define this as a customer could have placed an order in the period between the latest order date in your CSV file and the date you upload the file, but of course our systems have absolutely no way to know this.

Account Plans

30) What account plans are available?

There are 4 paid account plans available in addition to our free plan; you can see full a full list of differences between our plans in the account plan section of your account or in the pricing section on our home page.

31) Can I try RFM Calc for free?

Yes! Our free plan will always be free and supports all our core report types; you can give the free plan a try for a long as you like before upgrading your account.

32) Why are the paid account plans so cheap?

We recognise that although these advanced ecommerce metrics are incredibly useful to help your ecommerce business grow, many businesses may not see this reporting as essential. Therefore we've priced our plans at a fairly nominal level to make them as attractive as possible.

33) Which payment gateway do you use to collect payments?

All our payments are collected via the leading and secure payment gateway Stripe

34) Which payment methods do you accept?

You can make payment using all major credit and debit cards. As a UK based company, all payments are charged in GBP.

35) Can I change or cancel my plan at any time after I upgrade?

Yes; with our billing portal you can change or cancel your account plan at any time. If you upgrade, we'll prorate your current plan payments and offset this against your new plan. If you cancel your plan, you'll still have access to your upgraded features until the next billing date, when your account will then be automatically downgraded to our free plan.

36) What happens to my existing projects and reports if I downgrade my account?

If you downgrade your account and are left with (for example) more projects in your account than your new account plan supports, we'll automatically delete any projects over the limit defined for your new account plan, starting with the oldest project first.

37) Does the monthly subscription price include any sales tax?

No, all prices are exclusive of any sales tax however at present as we're a brand new start up, there are no taxes applicable.

38) Can I delete my account entirely?

Yes, you can delete your entire account at any time via your account dashboard. Please note that all data will be removed and we will not issue any refund for the remainder of any paid subscription if you delete your account. If you wish to just cancel your paid plan but retain your account, you can do this easily via our billing portal.

Affiliate Program

39) What is your Affiliate Program in summary?

Our easy to use affiliate program pays a huge 50% commission on paid account sign ups, meaning you could earn up to £89.50 for every new user you refer to us (terms apply). To get started, simply visit the affiliate program section in your account and generate your unique affiliate link.

40) How long do users I refer have to upgrade their account?

To count as a referral, the user has to sign up for a free account in the same session they click your referral link. However, once they've signed up, their account will permanently be linked to yours and you will earn commission if they upgrade to a paid account plan at any time in future.

41) What is the validation period?

After a user you have referred has upgraded their account, there is a validation period of 45 days before the commission payment is cleared for withdrawal. If the user still has an upgraded account (same or higher level) after this period (i.e. their subscription has renewed for a second month), your commission will be validated. If the referred user has deleted their account or has downgraded their account, the commission will not be validated. You can monitor the progress of all users you have referred from the affiliate dashboard in your account.

42) How are my earnings paid?

Cleared commissions are paid in GBP via PayPal to an account of your choice; this is currently the only method of commission payment we can provide. You can request a withdrawal once your validated commissions exceed our minimum withdrawal limit of £100.

43) Where can I promote my affiliate link?

You can share your affiliate link as widely as you please, however please note that any form of spamming (defined entirely at our discretion) such as unsolicited email, spam forum posts or blog comments and the like will result in your account being removed and all commissions forfeited.

You can promote your affiliate link via PPC or Paid Social advertising however you can not bid on the "RFM Calc" brand term or any variations of it.