Case Study

Costa Crociere: personalised digital experiences to attract new customers by retaining the customer base

Today, the world of travel and hospitality is undergoing a radical transformation. To remain competitive, it is essential to differentiate by offering new physical and digital services for different customers in different countries, languages and markets. This is the strategy that Costa Crociere, a cruise company in the Carnival group, is pursuing - aware that it is no longer the customers who adapt to the journey, but the journey that must meet the needs of increasingly demanding customers.

It is not enough to simply control digital channels - a precise strategy made up of continuous optimization and targeting is required. “The continuous improvement of the online experience and personalisation are key elements, thanks to which we have managed to grow our online sales with a double-digit increase. It is essential to personalise the messages, but it is equally important to know how to distribute them in the right way: this is why we have worked to build storytelling suited to the expectations of each country, where habits and desires are often different”, explains Alessandro Casellato, Guest Experience Digital & Transformation Director at Costa Crociere.

The goal is to create a ‘holistic’ experience that begins at home with the search for a journey, continues aboard the cruise ship, and does not end even once you go ashore, because the ‘relationship’ with the journey grows over time. To achieve this, Costa Crociere has decided to transform its digital strategy by leveraging Adobe’s innovative digital marketing platform to create an integrated and fluid ecosystem. Today, the Group, thanks to the technical consultancy of Aktive Reply - the Reply Group company specialized in design, development and implementation of Digital Experience Management solutions - is able to manage all websites in 13 different languages in the 19 markets in which it operates - as well as a proprietary app and various interactive monitors on board the Costa Smeralda flagship.

The Web experience, made much more modern and intuitive, now allows customers to independently find information on what it means to take a cruise with Costa - and book the trip that’s right for them. Once they have purchased the trip, they can customize it online by adding additional elements to enrich the experience: excursions, drink packages, wellness packages and much more. Once on board, guests will have the opportunity to continue personalizing their travel experience through the use of the app and interactive monitors.

Thanks to the Adobe platform, Costa can be reached by travellers through any touchpoint in the desired language, creating interfaces capable of adapting to any type of device. "We have seen an important growth in the ‘phygital’, that is a mix between physical and digital channels: more than 50% of those who call our contact centre have passed through the site, and those with us on board continue to interact also through digital and social networks,” says Alessandro Casellato, explaining that in recent months the company has redefined the entire customer journey process - identifying a precise role for each channel. “Just to cite an example, starting from social networks and then consistently declining the messages through all our digital touchpoints, we were able to transmit positive messages on cruise safety even in times of pandemic.”

The advantages of effective digital communication are undeniable, both for the company and for its customers. Thanks to the data that emerges from the use of sites and Apps managed through the Adobe platform, Costa Crociere is able to carry out forward-facing marketing strategies, on the one hand meeting the needs and preferences of new users, on the other offering experiences that are targeted to the preferences of known users. In this way, the cruise, which was formerly considered a ‘once in a lifetime’ experience, becomes an accessible and repeatable choice - and users themselves are encouraged to re-book. "The project satisfied Costa Crociere’s need to maintain direct and constant contact with the customer, with the aim of increasing the number of customers who will repeat the cruise experience with Costa Crociere", concludes Casellato.

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