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Small Business Impact on Incentive Spending
|Gift Cards/Gift Certs.||78%||59%||84%|
|Group Incentive Trips||21%||18%||1%|
Other research revealed that for merchandise usage by audience, three merchandise categories dominate in terms of prevalence in sales programs. They are: food and beverages, electronics, and apparel. The remaining categories of merchandise are not negligible—the least-frequent categories are found in one out of five programs.
Within channel programs food and beverages are everywhere, while electronics and writing instruments also make a strong showing. Housewares, however, are absent within channel programs.
For employee programs, electronics take the top spot, followed by food and beverages and apparel. Sporting goods, luggage, watches and clocks, and home décor are other categories favored for employee programs.
What's more, for programs offering merchandise or individual travel awards, points-based systems of earning and redemption are used to varying degrees, depending on the audience type. Channel programs have a very high incidence of points programs for both merchandise and individual travel, while points are more common for merchandise-based sales programs than those including individual travel. Points are not common within employee programs.
The chart below reveals the incidence of points-based programs by award type.
A large percentage of companies were in agreement when they were asked if their non-compensation reward mix includes cash. When asked to describe these cash rewards, however, many program managers mentioned bonuses and gift cards. The implications are twofold: There is not a commonly understood line between compensation and rewards, and gift cards are considered cash-like to some program managers.
Incidence of cash as a non-compensation reward:
Sales programs: 71%
Channel programs: 66%
Employee programs: 61%
In terms of the application of specific types of reward and recognition, buyers also were asked about various program rule structures and the types of reward and recognition they prefer in each of these circumstances. Some reward and recognition types are preferred more or less than others, depending on programs. The broader learning, however, is that all types of rewards and recognition are used to reward participants for all types of programs.
For more information on the research or to learn more about the association, visit www.incentivefederation.org.