A study of a cross-section of US businesses confirms that incentive travel, merchandise, and gift cards are popular tools for firms seeking to reward and recognize their employees, sales teams and customers. U.S. businesses spend $22.6 billion annually on incentive travel and over $53 billion on merchandise and gift cards to reward employees, partners and customers, the study reports. Key findings from the study include:
Non-cash Employee programs are the most prevalent, followed closely by Corporate Gifts. Non-cash Sales programs are present in almost one-half of U.S. businesses, and non-cash Customer Loyalty programs are present in one-third. Non-cash Channel programs are the least prevalent, with one-quarter of U.S. firms reporting the presence of these programs. The incidence of all program types increases with firm size.
Incidence of Non-Cash Programs
Weighted Total Incidence
% of Respondents
Sales Non-cash Rewards
Channel Non-cash Rewards
Employee Non-cash Rewards
Customer Non-cash Rewards
Source: Aspect Market Intelligence/Incentive Federation, October 2013. To avoid bias, calculations exclude respondents from industry lists such as Incentive Magazine. Calculations are based to all U.S. businesses, not just those offering non-cash awards.
Concluding, the report says that the study findings confirm that the incentives market is very large and thriving – the 74% of US businesses using incentive travel, merchandise, and gift cards spend $76.9 billion annually in this category. The market is largely driven by smaller businesses (those between $1 and $10 million in annual revenue).
For additional information about the Incentive Federation and to access the complete study with charts and graphs in PDF format, please visit here.