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IMA Europe Publishes Market Estimates for Loyalty Programs, Gift Cards

Loyalty AppreciationThe IMA Europe used already available research to estimate the size of the European market for loyalty programs and gift cards, suggesting it’s larger than the US. The full report is available only to IMA Europe members.  

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The European market for loyalty programs totaled $36 billion in 2022 and $59 billion for gift cards, together dwarfing the US market, according to the estimates.
IMA Europe says the estimates are based on an analysis of country specific reports on gift cards and loyalty programs published in Research and Markets, which describes itself as the largest market research store. The “methodology involved a bottom-up calculation, starting with individual country market values to estimate the market value for different European regions, and then calculating the total European market value. Where country-specific reports were unavailable, we extrapolated market value based on reasonable assumptions, clearly indicating such instances in the report. We also included additional metrics from the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank to provide a broader macroeconomic context.”
Gift Card and Incentive AppreciationThe European market for loyalty programs is estimated to be 0.16% of the total GDP (gross domestic product) for the region. “When this financial volume is distributed across the population, it equates to an average yearly expenditure of $52 per European citizen.” Individual spending on loyalty programs is estimated to average $74 in the US, exceeding the average in Europe. “While Americans generally spend more on a per-person basis, Europe outshines the US in terms of total market size and its ratio to GDP. These insights are particularly valuable for industry stakeholders interested in understanding the differing market dynamics between these two regions,” the report says.
In 2022, the European gift and incentive card market represented 0.26% of the entire European GDP. When this aggregate market value is divided among the total population, the resulting average value per European citizen amounts to $86 per annum, the report estimates. “The total market value in the US is substantially higher, coming in at $195 billion. This elevated valuation results in an average annual expenditure of $584 per citizen on gift cards and incentive cards. Further accentuating the market's relative importance in the US, this segment represents 0.85% of the national GDP, which is considerably higher than its European counterpart.”
The authors of the report “recognize that the incentive market is broader than just gift cards and loyalty programs. However, these are the sectors for which uniform, and publicly accessible market value data was available.” This report “presents the insights derived from multiple group interviews conducted with IMA executives representing diverse geographical regions across Europe. Careful selection was made to include leading executives, considering their expertise in various areas such as gift cards, merchandise, travel, platform providers, sustainability focus, crypto experience, and more. In total, we engaged in conversations with an impressive 30 market experts from six different regions.”

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