Incentive Research Foundation Releases Positive Industry Outlook for 2020

Share Article

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.

News Image
With projected increases in incentive budgets and use of gift cards, merchandise and experiential rewards, the IRF’s Industry Outlook for 2020: Merchandise, Gift Card, and Event Gifting reports strong optimism around non-cash reward and recognition programs for 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.

“With projected increases in incentive budgets and use of gift cards, merchandise and experiential rewards, the IRF’s Industry Outlook for 2020: Merchandise, Gift Card, and Event Gifting reports strong optimism around non-cash reward and recognition programs for 2020,” said Stephanie Harris, IRF President. “As budgets and participation grow, expectations also increase. Reporting and analysis have increased dramatically this year, and participant satisfaction is emerging as a key metric.”

The IRF surveyed 377 industry professionals, including corporate, supplier, and third party segments, tracking key metrics over ten years. The study provides trends in economic optimism, budgets, award types, and reporting for incentive programs. Key findings in Industry Outlook for 2020: Merchandise, Gift Card, and Event Gifting include:

  • Outlook for 2020 is Positive: Industry stakeholders have very strong expectations for 2020, with 85% reporting they expect their company to have strong financial performance.
  • Economic Net Optimism is High 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 Growing: Corporate users conducting analysis on how programs change behavior increased to 44%, compared to 25% in 2019.
  • Average Merchandise Reward Value is $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 type.
  • Personalization and Engagement in Event Gifting: The marketplace experience has grown in popularity, with 58% of respondents reporting they use 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

To view or download a copy of the Industry Outlook for 2020: Merchandise, Gift Card, and Event Gifting please visit: https://theirf.org/research/industry-outlook-for-2020-merchandise-gift-card-and-event-gifting/2705/.

For insights into the current state and outlook for incentive travel, view or download a copy of the Incentive Travel Industry Index: https://theirf.org/research/irf-site-and-ficp-release-preliminary-findings-for-the-2019-incentive-travel-industry-index/2695/.

About the IRF:
The Incentive Research Foundation (TheIRF.org) funds and promotes research to advance the science and enhance the awareness and appropriate application of motivation and incentives in business and industry globally. The goal is to increase the understanding, effective use, and resultant benefits of incentives to businesses that currently use incentives and others interested in improved performance.

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Andy Schwarz
Visit website