Do you use gift cards in your business? The answer is probably “yes.” Whether it’s to reward a sales manager for closing a big deal, thank an employee for going the extra mile, or give a disgruntled customer a gift as a make good: B2B gift cards are a multi-billion dollar business each year.

The Incentive Research Foundation just released some very interesting data about B2B gift cards:

  •  52% of US businesses use gift cards to the tune of $22.7 billion annually.
  • More than half of B2B gift card spend comes from smaller businesses with annual revenue of $1-10 million.
  • Employee gift card programs are the most popular use type for B2B gift cards with customer gift card programs such as make-it-right campaigns and sales gift card programs like incentives following closely behind.
  • Most buyers report that their future spending will either remain flat or increase.

Another interesting factoid?

There is incredible inefficiency in how folks order and source their B2B gift cards.

While businesses with at least $100 million annual revenue are apt to use a card provider 34% of the time, smaller businesses stop by a retailer more than half the time they purchase B2B gift cards.

You probably know the drill. You’re a team leader and you want to thank someone on your team for doing a great job. You stop by the grocery store or a coffee shop on the way to work and pick up a gift card. Then let’s be honest, the gift card will sit on your desk for a few days before you actually deliver it. It takes a lot of time, you might have to pay fees, and if you’re lucky, you’ll remember to include it in your next expense report. It’s just harder than it needs to be. Remember: $22.7 billion is spent on B2B gift cards annually, so that’s a whole lot of trips to the grocery store, local coffee shop, or mall.

Read the complete research from The Incentive Research Foundation and let us know what you think of the findings. We’re trying to make purchasing and tracking gift cards easier with Tango Card and our tools. How would you solve some of the problems with B2B gift cards today?