While money is a good incentive, gift cards are even better. They're basically just money in a card, but this small distinction makes a big difference.
First of all, gift cards have more of a true gift perception than cash. Cash is usually perceived as compensation and will most likely be used to pay bills or pad savings. With a gift card, recipients can get something that they normally wouldn't have purchased with money. It's gifting them the opportunity to treat themselves in a guilt-free spending.
Not only can recipients treat themselves, but they will also have a more meaningful and joyful overall experience. Gift cards feel more personal and are often shared with family and friends, which makes it much more memorable once they spend it. Think of being a kid. Was getting an envelope of money better than being taken to a toy store to pick out a present? Offering a gift card is more than a reward, it's also offering a special experience.
In addition, gift cards are more discrete. It can get awkward talking numbers when it comes to cash bonuses and can come out as a bad form of bragging. In contrast, people can feel a lot more comfortable talking about receiving a gift card.
When trying to motivate desired behaviors, we've long known that non-cash incentives are more effective cash. Back in 1994, Goodyear Tire did a research that showed the value of cash versus non-cash reward during a sales incentive program that ran in over 900 stores for 6 months, which involved selling a specific type of tire. At half of the stores, employees had a chance to earn cash for every 12 tires sold and at the other half, they were offered merchandise rewards for the same amount of tires sold. The research demonstrated that the stores working with non-cash incentives had outsold the cash incentive ones by 46%.
In conclusion, gift cards are definitely an option to consider when it comes to incentives. They're great, effective, and Gift Card Warehouse has over 180 retailers to choose from!