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Incentives Industry Breakdown 2016

The incentives industry is thriving with 84% of U.S. businesses now using non-cash rewards to recognize and motivate their key audiences. Non-cash rewards come in many forms: from award points, gift cards, incentive travel, to merchandise, and more. In 2015, businesses spent $90 billion for these rewards and sales and employees are the largest audiences targeted when it comes to these non-cash rewards.

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Incentive & Loyalty Gift Card Market Worth $22.7 BILLION

Lots of info has trickled out of last week’s Motivation Show in Chicago, a conference and tradeshow dedicated to informing and educating on the latest loyalty techniques and employee motivation tools. Gift cards have long been a strong motivation contender, and now, in a preview of a new
Incentive Research Foundation (IRF) study; gift cards are found to be worth a total $22.7 billion in the U.S. alone and this doesn't include Third Party or Scrip sales.  “Of that $22.7 billion, $8.5 billion is spent on sales incentive programs, $7.3 billion is spent on employee recognition programs, $5.2 billion is allocated for customer incentives, and $1.7 billion is spent on channel sales programs”, says the IRF. Who’s buying gift cards in this market segment? The full IRF study isn’t available yet, but preview information can be found on
Incentive Magazine’s website.

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Study Highlights New Trends in Employee Awards – Gift Cards Favored!

Incentive Research Foundation (IRF) and the
Incentive Federation recently published a study that highlights gift cards as an employee reward preference over cash rewards. The study about incentive awards recognizes non-cash incentives as a way to control spending, while motivating employees and channel partners. The preliminary results of the study point out that employee cash incentive awards are averaging $732.00, which is triple the cost of non-cash awards. “The study validates our experience and belief that the average cost of a cash award is roughly triple that of either merchandise ($206) or gift cards ($240),” according to Incentive Federation Chairman Stephen Slagle.  “The total cost of incentives is especially important in our post-recession economy, so the data points stimulated extensive discussion around the benefits of each award type,” he explained. To read more about this study, visit
IMA’s Return On Performance. Check back with us regularly; we’ll publish a link to the full study results once they are available.

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