Carnival Cruises case study header

A customer success story

Increasing Mobile Sales With A Complex Checkout

Steven Frier, Director of Ecommerce, Carnival Cruises

Steven Frier, Director of Ecommerce for Carnival Cruise Line, is no stranger to mobile. Carnival, a leading global cruise company, has had a mobile presence since 2011, first a transcoded site and then a separate m.dot site. Steven knew that, for Carnival’s customers, mobile was a key part of the purchase journey, which typically involves significant cross-device research before buying and can include a period of months or even years between purchases.

“Mobile was kind of off in a silo, where it had its own team dedicated to working on it, but it just could not keep up with the speed of several teams. It needed to brought up to the forefront and have an equal chance.”

With a significant amount of Carnival’s traffic coming from mobile, Steven wanted to make sure mobile development happened in tandem with and kept pace with desktop.

“We have lots of resources dedicated to development of the site and we’re releasing features all year long. Mobile was kind of off in a silo, where it had a dedicated team working on it, but it just could not keep up. It needed to be brought up to the forefront in order to have an equal chance. Mobify actually gave us that opportunity, not only helping us with speed to market but keeping up with parity on designs and features.”

“There are, I think, opportunities around how we’re messaging and talking about mobile moments and asking how we can better leverage mobile devices.”

Partnering with Mobify

The initial focus for Carnival’s engagement with Mobify was to support their mobile ecommerce efforts by building out a new mobile purchase path including the booking engine. In working with Mobify, the company was able to introduce key features that weren’t available to guests on previous mobile sites, allowing it to reach parity with the desktop offering.

“The first phase of mobile has been really focused on building out the purchase component. We now have our booking engine, which is, I believe, within our industry probably the best mobile booking engine and maybe the only mobile booking engine at this point for mobile web.”

Carnival is seeing great results from their focus on streamlining the complex booking process for their customers. Their mobile conversion rate, courtesy hold rate (the ability to ‘save’ a booking for a pre-determined period of time before purchasing) and time spent on the site have all increased significantly.

“We have to educate our customers on the fact that it’s a multi-destination vacation, there’s the hotel piece, there’s dining, there’s the experience on board and activities you can do once you’re actually in port with our shore excursions. There’s a world of things you need to educate the customer on and help with their consideration.”

For Steven and his team, the next shore they have their sights set on is mobile customer engagement. Knowing potential guests’ appetite for information and their tendency to switch between devices to discover and research cruise information, Carnival is now turning its focus to delivering an exceptional customer experience on mobile.

“As we know, people are researching in one place and booking in another, whether it’s starting on mobile and finishing desktop or the reverse. We definitely need to build the experience out because it helps with the purchase decision. There are opportunities in how we’re messaging and talking around mobile moments and asking how we can leverage the device a little better. I think there’s a lot of opportunities around that moving forward. Just like our booking engine, the experience is not super simple. We have to educate our customers on the fact that it’s a multi-destination vacation, there’s the hotel piece, there’s dining, there’s the experience on board and activities you can do once you’re actually in port with our shore excursions. There’s a world of things you need to educate the customer on and help with their consideration. Even before they get to the pricing and cruise and what’s included, there are a lot of areas.”

Going forward, Steven is enthusiastic about continuing to partner with Mobify to extend Carnival’s internal capabilities and its mobile leadership within the cruise industry.

“Any opportunity that we have to continue building the cross-device story is huge for me. I think everyone knows that the story exists, but very few people are able to tell it well – what the cross-device journey is and how to improve the experience. We definitely see Mobify as having a seat at the table with us and being a strategic partner. I feel like you’re an extension of our team, and we want to continue to grow that engagement.”