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5 Unfortunate Things You Didn’t Know About Rewards Catalogs

Product Limits, Inflated Prices, and Lacking Online Platforms
Picture this: The year is 1850 and it’s your mom’s birthday; you need to purchase a gift for her. So you go to your local fabric store or tailor and purchase either the raw goods or item itself. Done and done. If you look closely at that scenario you’ll see that your options are limited to what is available at your local store, and the prices set within that space.

Enter in: Catalogs


Before the golden age of catalogs, consumers could only purchase goods locally. While this stimulated the local economy, it severely limited choice, and created a type of monopoly that allowed the local store owners to charge whatever they wanted. With catalogs, customers were no longer limited by distance or price. They were able to comparison shop and have items from far away brought to their homes. 

Fast forward to today, we now have Black Friday and Cyber Mondays. Today, most people shop online or in-person making catalogs a thing of the past.

5 Unfortunate Things You Didn’t Know About Rewards Catalogs:

1. Limits


Catalogs were once a way to provide more choices, and eliminate the travel barrier for people to get goods. Now they have, in fact, limited choices. There is such a large array of products and a huge selection for each, it’s impossible to list every item in a catalog. Each employee is unique and their idea of the ideal reward may be different than what is listed in a catalog.

2. Price


Where catalogs were once a way to determine fair pricing, now they are priced to include the miscellaneous costs a company might incur from storing these items. The overhead is added to the price which means these items have a high markup.

3. Employees Have to Work Harder for Catalog Rewards


Where a TV direct from a store may cost $500, by redeeming through a catalog program that same TV may instead end up costing an employee $800. This high markup is due to the huge up charges stemming from storage of inventory.


This also shows that employees will need to work harder for their rewards. If they’re spending $800 on a reward that costs $500 they’re working almost twice as hard.

4. Instant Gratification…in 6-8 weeks


Since one of the principles behind employee rewards and recognition is timely, On The Spot Recognition rewards, having to choose an item from a catalog, then wait weeks and weeks to receive it, defeats the principle of timely recognition.

5. Lack online presence


Just as in 1872, when the first catalog was sent out it was a revolution, and times have changed again. Now, catalog-selected reward programs are a thing of the past, and there are online platforms for employees to choose their rewards!

What Are Your Options?


Direct To Retail - E2's Philosophy


Energy 2 Engage's Employee Engagement and Recognition Programs and Sales Growth Programs are designed in a way where we help you execute on your goals, not warehouse catalog items.  Our Direct-To-Retail model is the basis of your company branded Rewards platform, where they use their VISA Digital Debit Card to go shopping directly with whatever retailer they want. Whether it's Amazon, Home Depot, or any other online merchant, the participant can redeem instantly! 



CTA Rewards Program  (2)