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The Rise of Mobile Gift Cards

A recent CashStar study discussing the popularity of gift cards showed a surprising number of consumers are looking for a smartphone solution to keep track of the gift cards they receive. Thestudy looked at a diverse group of gift card givers and receivers from different demographic groups and regions across the country. What they found was that most prefer to give or receive mobile gift cards for a variety of reasons, including convenience, balance tracking, and the personalization it gives the ‘gifter’. So as gift cards remain a top gift choice for 9 years running, it’s important for merchants to note the desire consumers have for managing and storing them digitally.

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Smoking at Work: Not What it Used to Be

Smoking at work is not what it used to be. In the days of Don Draper, it was something everyone did, all the time, whether they were at work or home. Now, it's difficult to find a restaurant that even has a smoking section. According to a recent SHRM study that addresses smoking at work, employers have smoking cessation programs on their minds. According to the survey, 47% of responding employers restrict their employees smoking in some way during working hours.

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Pro Tips For Outsourcing An Incentive Program

A recent study from the Incentive Research Foundation, Engaging Outside Program Support for Incentive and Recognition Programs, is full of ideas on how to use outside firms to optimize your incentive programs this year. There are a number of ways to go about outsourcing an incentive program, from working with gift card providers as a cost effective reward solution, to having your program fully administered by an outside firm. Here are a few unique ways to outsource efforts, while keeping costs low and increasing your program(s) success rates:

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Whole Foods 'Values Matter' Brand Campaign

2016 is looking to be a huge year for the organic foods industry. And as the world's leader in natural and organic foods, Whole Foods Market is no exception. The organic foods giant is rethinking its business model and revamping its brand to stay competitive with a slew of new competitors. Whole Foods ended 2015 with over $15 billion in sales, and their growing competition can likely be attributed to their own success. Whole Foods Market CEO, John Mackey recently commented,

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2015 Gift Card Sales Reach $130 Billion

2015 gift card sales in the U.S. reach $130 billion, a 6% increase over 2014.

2015 gift cards sales are just the beginning as gift card sales are predicted to reach $160 billion by 2018. E-gifting had the largest increase, rising to 26% in 2015, representing $7.1 billion in volume. E-gifting is also expected to support the overall payment industry growth. Long-term prospects for e-gifting remain promising as more payment services become mainstream and plastic cards make the switch to digital.

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