Small businesses are experiencing high levels of success utilizing incentive programs that feature merchandise rewards, according to a recent IMRA (Incentive Manufacturers and Representatives Alliance) survey/study. The survey was conducted in partnership with the IRF (Incentive Research Foundation) and focused on companies with between $1 million and $50 million in annual sales.
IMRA found that 55% of U.S. small businesses use merchandise rewards, and 72% of them reported moderate to significant growth. According to the report, distribution of rewards is consistent with larger companies, using merchandise for reward/recognition/appreciation of employees (89%), salespeople (87%), distributors (83%) and customers (80%). Top merchandise rewards are awarded for a variety of objectives, including customer gifts (60%), top performers (59%) and sales quotas (53%).
The target audience responded quite favorably about the effectiveness of merchandise rewards –
- Our merchandise incentives work: they influence morale: 82%
- The merchandise we include is fresh and interesting: 77%
- Merchandise as reward is an effective motivator: 80%
- We provide merchandise rewards as additional, “different” benefit besides compensation: 76%
- The merchandise rewards we provide reflect who we are as a company: 71%
- We are satisfied with the way our merchandise incentives work: 76%
- Our merchandise incentives work – they influence behavior: 70%
- Merchandise rewards are more memorable than cash: 61%
Companies are using a wide mix of award types, including apparel, electronics, food/beverage, housewares, sporting goods, cameras, watches, clocks and luggage. Only 5% responded that they utilized gift cards/cash.
Program Rewards are Only Part of the Solution
This report confirms the value of utilizing merchandise rewards for incentive and recognition initiatives, but rewards are but a part of the overall solution. Successful incentive and recognition programs are built around a clear understanding of objectives, solid program management tools and technology, and effective communication. Half of the target audience in this study run points-based merchandise reward programs.
For a rewarding experience, contact us today and learn more about our incentive and recognition solutions. Click here to review the full IMRA Small Business Merchandise Market Study.