Returning Customers by Cohort metric tells you the percent of each cohort that comes back every month. It is the number of new individual customers in each month who made 1 returning order.
It is not a cumulative metric.
It's the number of customers that came and made a returning order in the months after that first purchase. Want to know how many customers came back in that first month and placed another order?
You may have a highly consumable product so you are curious if you have a natural loyalty to the product that makes them come back and purchase more. Or you have a drip campaign that tries to encourage people to return and make a purchase 1-2 weeks after their first purchase. This metric will help you see that activity.
If you are running email marketing, you will be able to measure these campaigns. Example: how many customers came back after receiving specific emails, segmented by marketing campaign? You can also see if a specific product is increasing the frequency of when customers come back.
Updated 3 months ago
Check out Repurchase Rate metric (a cumulative analysis) of customers returning behavior