IRF Sees Rosy Industry Outlook in 2020
The Incentive Research Foundation's "Industry Outlook for 2020: Merchandise, Gift Card and Event Gifting" reports high levels of economic net optimism during the Fall of 2019 and a positive outlook for 2020. The new study provides useful insights and benchmarks on non-cash reward types, average spend, and how incentive programs are being administered.Key findings in the report include:
- A Positive Outlook for 2020: Industry stakeholders have very strong expectations for 2020, with 85% reporting they expect their company to have strong financial performance.
- High Economic Net Optimism for Incentive Programs: The Fall 2019 Net Optimism Index for incentive programs was 41%, consistent with Fall 2018 (43%) and up from Summer 2017 (22%).
- Reporting and Analysis Are On the Rise: Corporate users conducting analysis on how programs change behavior increased to 44%, compared with 25% in 2019.
- Average Merchandise Reward Value?$160: Logoed brand-name merchandise and electronics are the most common rewards with corporate respondents, while sunglasses and electronics are the most popular among third-party providers.
- Online Retailer Gift Cards Outpace Coffee: Retailers that are exclusively online (e.g., Amazon) are 2019's most popular type of gift card (65%)—ahead of coffee (61%), 2018's top gift card choice.
- Personalization & Engagement in Event Gifting: The marketplace experience has grown in popularity, with 58% of respondents reporting they use the marketplace as an engaging way to deliver event gifts.
The release of the IRF's "Industry Outlook for 2020: Merchandise, Gift Card and Event Gifting" was supported by IRF Research Advocacy Partner, Blackhawk Network. For more information, or to view the report, visit www.theirf.org.