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Getting shoppers at 350+ merchants on 4 continents in more than 20 countries and 42 destinations across the globe to use 1 credit card. For a 400% growth in trackable sales.

The Cultural Challenge:

Convincing shoppers that a deal that seems too good to be true is truly a good deal.

Originally, RCS was approached by Premium Outlets in the US to convince Japanese travelers to shop at their outlets. However, at the time, outlets were an unfamiliar concept to the Japanese, and though the outlets offered great deals on top brands, these deals were so good they seemed suspicious to the target.

RCS Capabilities:

Partnerships, Partner Management, Incentive Programs, Creative Development, Multi-lingual copy and design, Direct Response, POP, Collateral, Post-program reports and evaluation.

What we did and how we did it…

The Idea:

RCS proposed a partnership with Visa that would enable Premium Outlets to leverage the brand trust established by Visa. It gave outlet merchants exposure to millions of visitors. It offered Japanese Visa cardholders a savings program from outlet merchants. It also gave them incentives to spend more—if they reached a target spend level, they received a gift from one of the outlets’ top brands. This not only increased share of wallet, it helped track spending to the program. Visa also enjoyed the benefit of increased exchange fees. In this way, RCS created a win-win-win situation for Premium Outlets, Visa, and Visa cardholders.

The Execution:

RCS created the Premium Outlets USA Shopper’s Guide in partnership with Visa, who distributed the Guide to tens of thousands of Japanese cardholders who traveled to the US, driving them to shop at PO USA.

The Initial Results:

The results of this initial program led to a long-term relationship between RCS and Premium Outlets not only in the US, but overseas. It gave outlet merchants valuable exposure at no cost, increased traffic and trackable sales. And it gave Visa a competitive advantage over rival credit cards and payment systems. RCS delivered results over and above the target set by each client:

  • Premium Outlets tracked sales growth of more than $2 million annually for the next 15 years on an annual investment of less than $60,000.
  • In the last 8 years, Visa has enjoyed over 400% growth in cross-border spend

Results Like These Have Resulted in a Relationship That’s Kept Growing For More Than 20 Years

Over the next 20 years, and continuing today, RCS partnered with Visa and merchants across the globe on a series of programs, taking the original idea as a template and then localizing it for different nationalities, demographic groups and merchant partnerships:

  • Introduced outlet shopping in Japan, with Visa experiencing a doubling of card sales.
  • Expanded the Outlet Shopping Guide to Japanese travelers in Europe, growing from 8 outlets in 5 countries to 22 outlets in 9 countries in just 3 years. These Guides grew to include other merchants outside of the outlets, with offers in retail, dining, activities, museums and accommodations—making the program more valuable for all partners and the target traveler.
  • In 2010, as the Korean economy grew, and Korean overseas travel expanded, the program was retooled and trans-created to speak to the needs and desires of Korean travelers. RCS also created other programs unique for the Chinese market.
  • In 2012, as Chinese overseas travel took off, RCS adapted the program idea for the unique demands of the Chinese overseas shopper, developing a series of programs for different destinations, including partnership offers for Visa cardholders at Heathrow Duty Free shops.
  • By 2014, with over 100 million Visa cards on issue in China, RCS developed programs for cardholders and issuers with over 220 merchants in more than 20 countries in Europe, Asia, Oceania and North America.
  • In 2015, RCS developed offers for Visa with e-commerce merchants in Europe, Asia, the US and Oceania.