How Top NFT Brands Rank on Wallet Retention

5 minutes
Yuxiao Zhang

As a startup, we’re always focused on growth, but what I’ve learned over the years is that retention is “the silent killer” to borrow a phrase from Reforge. We’ve seen companies skyrocket in user acquisition, receiving praise and attention from peers and VCs only to have them surprisingly collapse later on. So as this lesson is still being learned in many web2 companies, it’s important to start learning them at web3 companies as well. This week, we wanted to look into some of the most popular collections and track their wallet retention over time to see how they stack up.


From best to worst retention rates: Adidas, World of Women, Moonbirds, CPG Pop, Clone X, Bored Ape Yacht Club. Now for those of you who are curious to see the analysis, keep reading! If you have bad retention, find the wallets churning and ask them what their reason for selling is. The first step is tracking those sellers, which you can do on Ludis Analytics ;)

Analysis (data as of Jan 28, 2023):

Take a look at wallet acquisition for each collection over time. The graph below shows how many cumulative wallets have participated in each collection over the lifespan of the project. Given that there’s a finite number of tokens available in each collection, we’ll likely won’t see acquisition numbers continue to rise as the collections sell out and users are retained.

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Data as of January 28, 2023. Research by Ludis Analytics

The lines go up and to the right. That means more reach, and that’s good. These collections have acquired lots of wallets, but can they keep them engaged by offering value to their owners? That gets answered in our churn and retention charts. Check out cumulative churn next.

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Data as of January 28, 2023. Research by Ludis Analytics

We see that each collection is experiencing upward sloping cumulative churn over time, which is fine as long as acquisition outpaces churn. Alternatively, if retention can stay near 100% then churn is not an issue. NFT collections will likely see retention rates around 100% after selling out because of their limited supply and an inability to “get rid of” the token in a similar manner to unsubscribing from a web2 product (because when one wallet sells and churns, another wallet must receive and be acquired into the collection). If retention rates fall from 100% after fully selling out a collection, that’s when our antennas should be peaked. Retention rate chart up next.

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Data as of January 28, 2023. Research by Ludis Analytics

The last 30 day retention rate trend for all collections except Bored Ape Yacht Club is still hovering near 100%. If this continues, this could imply that the collection is no longer as valuable as it once was to holders as they continue to sell their token. This could also happen if a buyer is purchasing from multiple sellers thereby showing up in the data as one acquisition but multiple churn. This becomes important for not just NFT companies, but any company seeking to create web3 products for consumers. You want broader product reach and high retention, giving you multiple opportunities to extend the lifetime of a customer and monetize that relationship.

How do you keep retention high? Well you could use Ludis Analytics to identify churning wallets, reach out to them and interview them to understand why they churned and if it’s really something to be concerned about.

Thanks for reading!