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The better the question. The better the answer. The better the world works. У вас есть вопрос? У нас есть ответ. Решая сложные задачи бизнеса, мы улучшаем мир. У вас є запитання? У нас є відповідь. Вирішуючи складні завдання бізнесу, ми змінюємо світ на краще. Meilleure la question, meilleure la réponse. Pour un monde meilleur. 問題越好。答案越好。商業世界越美好。 问题越好。答案越好。商业世界越美好。

How can digital drive growth when there’s no scope to expand?

Adding new dimensions to Royal Caribbean’s future

EY - Adding new dimensions to Royal Caribbean’s future

By looking at digital from every angle, we helped our client to add value in innovative ways

Where some might see a bright future, visionaries see a glaring need. Royal Caribbean knew their business was in an enviable position, with every cabin booked. But that spoke of limitations as much as it did of success, which led to a compelling question: Where could the company add value?

The question was particularly pressing because the cruise industry was showing signs of digital disruption and moving into the future with unsettling speed. Simply adding physical capacity, an expensive and lengthy process, could leave the business behind the curve. To win the future, the company needed to be a disruptor itself.

Jason Liberty, Royal Caribbean’s CFO, explains: “Innovation is in our DNA. We’ve always led with innovation in how we approach our customer. With changes in consumer trends and an on-demand economy, people are expecting frictionless activities. If you’re not frictionless, you’re at risk of being disrupted, and we’ve always tried to be the disruptor. One of the key enablers of that is through digital.”

They realized they needed a broad digital strategy that would help them stay ahead of the competition and accelerate the business. It needed to encompass both the short and long term. They asked us to help.

Unlocking value in new ways

We helped Royal Caribbean unlock value in ways it hadn’t considered. We started by helping it rethink the organization from top to bottom – not with the goal of embedding digital, or adding digital departments, but of being digital. We looked at digital from every angle. As a first step, we made the case for a digital officer role in the C-suite, and helped bring the new executive up to speed.

EY established a team of advisors from a range of disciplines — IT, cybersecurity, data analytics, customer strategy and tax — that worked closely with Royal Caribbean to support an end-to-end business transformation: Project Excalibur

Royal Caribbean CEO Richard Fain emphasized that this was much more than just installing new widgets. It was a “holistic, multidimensional digital ecosystem” that would reshape how the company works.

It started with an extensive rebuild of back-office operations, putting the company in a position to collect and analyze more data than ever before.

Fain explains: “When we first retained EY, we had 27 separate databases where a client may appear. We’re now bringing that all together so it’s all in one place and easily accessible. We can then get into the question of what to do with the massive amounts of data this generates.”

The data has allowed them to develop an exponentially better understanding of their customers. They can offer higher-value packages targeted at a particular group: off-shore excursions for those who love physical activity, for example, or cooking classes and premium dining for “foodies.” It can identify customers who would be willing to pay more for premium experiences.

Valued customers – and customer value

For Fain, “time, especially on vacation, is one of the most important commodities you have and that goes across any age group.” The challenge was to give customers more time to spend enjoying their vacation by making the whole process as seamless as possible.

EY broke down every aspect of the customer experience from boarding to activities to getting around the ship and is introducing digital approaches to make this experience bespoke and frictionless. Guests can take a selfie using their smart device, which will be displayed on a digital boarding pass. During boarding, guests will simply walk through a scanner that uses facial recognition technology to automatically check them in, making the process seamless. They can plan activities by watching virtual reality (VR) videos of shore excursions. There are also augmented reality (AR) features, which allow guests to play games and interact with their environment using their smartphones.

The goal is to increase guest satisfaction and expand the pool of return customers, while firmly keeping an eye on engaging the next generation of vacationers.

Royal Caribbean is now poised to seize the upside of disruption in both the short and long term, and can continue to build its brand as an innovator and market leader.

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