ATLANTA, Dec. 7 - For the upcoming holiday season, business owners will look forward to the fact that every gift card sold represents not only one future sale, but a potential lifetime customer as well. This is because a sizeable percentage of Americans (41%) have tried a retail store, restaurant or hotel for the very first time because they received a gift card. And many of these first-time customers become repeat business. 72% of them returned to the business; all that repeat business resulting from a single gift card.

These are just some of the findings from a telephone study conducted by Harris Interactive in October 2010 among 1,015 U.S. adults and commissioned by Givex, a global technology company, empowering businesses with the tools to acquire, learn, communicate and reward their customers. The study evaluates customers’ response to many of the strategies employed by businesses to retain them.

Once a new customer is acquired, the journey to customer retention requires building a relationship with them with relevant communication and appealing rewards. It won’t be easy. Different customers demand different treatment. For example, merchants are discovering that discounts aren’t having the universal appeal they’d wished. While consumers aged 35-64 overwhelmingly prefer discounts as a reward (46%).  Americans in the 18-34 category were more divided between discounts (32%), small instant rewards (17%) and large rewards, like trips (18%).  Consequently, the most successful rewards programs in the market are the ones that recognize the different needs of customers.

During the recent tough economic climate, many businesses saw the benefits of having previously invested in their gift card and basic reward programs, by having created a larger customer base to communicate and encourage repeat business with. However, they also realized; as the survey has shown, the importance of customizing these incentives, and personalizing communications to truly maximize their effect.

The more businesses focus on how they are acquiring new customers and learning about their specific needs, the stronger they are during slow economic periods and the faster they grow in normal trading conditions.

Source: This Harris Poll National Quorum® was conducted by telephone within the United States between October 14th and October 17th, 2010 among 1,015 adults (aged 18 and over). Figures for age, sex,  race/ethnicity, education, region, number of adults in the household,  and number of phone lines in the household were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. Results for a sample of this size are considered accurate ±  3.1%, 19 times out of 20.

About Givex

Givex’s technology has now significantly evolved from the first gift card and loyalty programs that began in 1999. We now provide customizable tools that empower businesses of all kinds to acquire new customers, build, maintain and expand their customer database,  effectively communicate with customers, and finally understand and reward their most loyal customers. Find out more at

About Harris Interactive

Harris Interactive is one of the world’s leading custom market research firms, leveraging research, technology, and business acumen to transform relevant insight into actionable foresight. Known widely for the Harris Poll and for pioneering innovative research methodologies, Harris offers expertise in a wide range of industries including healthcare, technology, public affairs, energy, telecommunications, financial services, insurance,  media, retail, restaurant, and consumer package goods. Serving clients in over 215 countries and territories through our North American,  European, and Asian offices and a network of independent market research firms, Harris specializes in delivering research solutions that help us - and our clients - stay ahead of what’s next. For more information, please visit

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