2021 Incentive Trends To Watch For

BY Lucy Fang
Jan 29, 2021
2021 incentive trends

A busy new year has started. Incentive program managers are focusing forward on what will be important for their 2021 rewards programs. Fortunately, they don’t need to consult a magic 8 ball for insight. The Incentive Research Foundation (IRF) released their 2021 trends report, which has a great deal of data to help plan for the year ahead. We will go over some of their top findings. 

Types of Incentives

The IRF found that in 2020 merchandise was used by 68% of incentive programs, and gift card use rose 26% after the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. They predict that in 2021 there will be an increase of 33% for gift cards and 24% for merchandise. They also predict that later in the year, as the vaccine rolls out, there may be an increase in demand for experiential rewards. This is why in 2021 incentive program managers should seek out reward distributors with robust incentive offerings, which include cash-equivalents, such as gift cards and prepaid cards, as well as merchandise and experiential rewards. 

Secrets For Incentive Program Success

It appears that part of the secret to successful incentive programs is choice and personalization. The IRF found that things like branding and giving incentive program participants choices in what incentive they received greatly increased the program’s effectiveness. All Digital Rewards’ own research has shown that self-selection is incredibly important to incentive program participants, which is why we recommend a tailored reward mix, fit to your program’s demographics.

Virtual Incentives

As with many things in the last year, incentive programs are focusing more on digital rewards. Even before the pandemic, most incentive program experts would recommend digital incentives for their instant appeal to participants. When consulting incentive programs reward providers, it is good to ask if they offer digital incentives. 

2021 Incentive Programs

As incentive program managers are making their plans for 2021, a broad portfolio of rewards will be common. It is essential to program managers to increase the motivation of their participants and to help accelerate economic recovery, as well as the recoveries of individual businesses. The effectiveness of merchandise and gift cards as motivators will continue to be a key to the growth and success of many incentive programs.

All Digital Rewards has extensive experience in working with incentive programs. We can provide the right rewards, technology, and support to create an effective incentive program to help you prepare for a successful 2021 incentive program. To speak to one of our incentive program experts and learn about how we can help you, call us now at 866-415-7703, or click on the button below to schedule a demo.