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10 Tips For Choosing The Right Incentive & Reward Solution Vendor

Every incentive program seeks for high user experience satisfaction scores while maintaining operational efficiency. The right technology makes this much easier. Technology manages participants, activities, event processing, different use case redemptions, validations, QA, reward fulfillment, reporting, and more. 

Organizations want to find ways to use technology to improve incentive payout processing, management, and fulfillment for their customer surveys, product rebate, employee recognition, health and wellness, sales incentive, and channel partner initiatives. 

However, it can be tricky to find the right incentive and reward software provider. These tips will help you evaluate your choices.

1: Understand the Types of Providers

There are two main types of vendors on the market: pure-play loyalty platform providers and loyalty managed services providers.

Pure-Play Incentive Platform Providers

A pure-play vendor offers technology to control and build incentive programs. These vendors will support framework establishment, program logic, implementation, strategic guidance, and analytics. 

Characteristics of a pure-play incentive provider:
  • The organization is the owner of their program
  • Extended participant data integrations
  • Sophisticated loyalty incentive system engine
  • Easy and fast user adoption
  • Direct solution integrations, including third parties
  • Quick to launch and bring to market
  • Wide variety of pre-built rewards for engagement
  • Wide variety of pre-built transactional reward options, including points accrual, codes, games, and redemption templates
  • Strategic account management

Incentive Management Service Provider

This type of vendor provides an incentive program-specific consulting to the organization and assists with developing strategies, building, and managing programs, measuring performance, market research, and other services as needed.  Most management service providers join forces with a loyalty technology platform provider to execute the technology build. Some agencies can develop custom loyalty solutions for clients.

Characteristics of an incentive management service provider:
  • Granular campaign segmentation
  • Highly complex rule sets for personalization
  • Changes and updates to the program require discussions, decision tables, and approval
  • Complete management of program execution and management
  • Services stacked on top of a set of technologies
  • Owns proprietary consumer data assets for prospecting and analytics

Deciding on the right incentive provider for your organization comes down to the level of control your team wants to have over your program and data.

2: Understand the Strategic Partnership Offered by the Provider

Your incentive software vendor should be available to provide strategic guidance throughout your program partnership. The provider should offer the right technology, but you also need to ensure that the provider team can leverage their industry expertise to help your organization achieve long-term business goals. 

3: Check the Program Logic

A few key factors determine if the incentive technology is the right type for your business: the kind of incentive program supported, participant behaviors tracked and or validated, mode of reward delivery, and level of insights and reporting.

4: Learn the Provider’s Innovation & Adaptability Capabilities

The program, brand, and participant relationship is constantly changing. You need a provider who can help you get the information you need to improve your participants and admin users’ experiences. Your approach to engaging participants with your brand and program requires you to be dynamic enough to adapt to changes. Choose a vendor that reinforces your need to be agile. 

5: Understand How the Provider Handles Implementation?

Implementing your program shouldn’t be overly time-intensive. The desire to avoid long-term implementation may make out-of-the-box programs seem attractive, but they often lack customization capabilities. The right vendor won’t make your business choose between a custom-build and speed to launch. 

6: See what Integrations are Offered

Ensure the vendor has a straightforward integration process with the other systems in your technology stack, including both your online and third-party solutions.

7: They Should Have Comprehensive analytics

A vendor should offer comprehensive, real-time data on your incentive program. Ensuring you can gauge the program’s effectiveness and optimize it as needed. Basic metrics include activities and or sales claimed, validation,  earn rate, quality control, product redemption, average redemption value, and enrollment participation rate.

8: Check for Omnichannel Capabilities

Businesses with retail locations should consider a vendor that provides a solution that can integrate in-store and online.

9: Examine their Security

Your vendor should have a history of being proactive and adapting to new security issues on an ongoing basis and compliance with government and payment industry regulations.

10: Look for Recommendations

You may want to start making your vendor evaluation list by first talking to friends and/ or colleagues who have used an incentive software solution provider before. Once you have your prospective vendor list, request a product demo from two or three vendors. 

If you would like to learn more about how to pick the right incentive and reward solution vendor, you can read our guide here, or you can talk to our team at All Digital Rewards. Call or click the button to schedule a demo.