Crystal Cruises Delivers a Website Experience that Matches its Luxury Brand with Sitefinity

Crystal Cruises’ customers have high expectations for the Crystal website as they search for their ultimate cruise vacation. With Sitefinity, Crystal has created an immersive customer experience that matches its industry-leading luxury brand, while also improving business processes like content authoring and personalization.

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Challenge

Crystal needed to create a unique website to highlight the one-of-a-kind brand experiences and destinations it’s able to offer to customers.

Solution

With powerful integration capabilities and custom widgets, Crystal was able to breathe new life into its website and deliver the digital experience that customers expect from a luxury brand.

Result

Customers love the new site, as evidenced by the sharp uptick in key metrics like engagement rates and website traffic.

Story

Challenge

Prospective and loyal Crystal customers have high expectations of their online journey, from searching for the ultimate cruise vacation through reserving their specialty dining and excursions. As the World’s Most Awarded Luxury Cruise LineTM, Crystal must exceed expectations across every channel. Crystal realized that customers’ awareness, considerationand purchasing experience must match its unrivaled onboard experience.

“We went through a brand redesign late in 2017 to better highlight our unique customer experience offered by Ocean, River, Yacht and Expedition,” said Julie Freedman, Director of Digital Marketing for Crystal. “And we knew we needed a unique website to highlight the one-of-a-kind destinations we are able to reach with our more intimate luxury ships.”

Solution

Having had some prior experience with Sitefinity, Crystal engaged Sitefinity partner Americaneagle.com and digital agency MRM-McCann to build a site in concert with the brand relaunch. Not only did the site have to be visually dazzling and provide an engaging user experience, it had to be easy for the marketing team to make content updates on the spur of the moment, as voyages are sometimes affected by changing market conditions and newly added benefits.

“With custom widgets, Sitefinity allows the Digital team to define what’s needed and manage content at the itinerary and page levels,” Freedman said. “Sitefinity allows for marketing flexibility and full control of the content and messaging across the site.”

Result

Crystal’s new website, launched at the end of 2018, is proving its value with metrics that clearly show increased engagement. For example:

• Engagement among luxury shoppers, the most highly desirable segment, is up 158%

• Website page views are up year-over-year by 251%

• Request-a-quote lead activity (asking online for a callback) is up 35%

• Time spent on the Voyage Finder onsite engagement experience increased by 657%

• Bookings online increased over the prior booking engine by an astounding 1,150%

Behind the scenes, Sitefinity is having an equally powerful impact with integrations playing a leading role. An integration with MapBox provides visitors with interactive maps of routes and ports alongside pricing for each itinerary derived from the Versonix Seaware reservations system, which also feeds Crystal’s online booking engine. An integration with Salesforce is helping to generate an increased number of leads for sales with the ability to easily export leads from the site to Salesforce. Crystal also has integrations with with Panomax to display live feeds from ships at sea. 

“A true advantage for Crystal is that Sitefinity’s integration capabilities are very straightforward,” said Gregg Taylor, Technical Director of Americaneagle.com’s Sitefinity Practice. “With Sitefinity’s Siteimprove plug-in, they are getting ready to utilize that platform to further improve things like SEO, accessibility and content quality. And with easy redirect of URLs, Crystal’s team can readily implement SEO properties, outperforming its competitors.”

When it comes to targeting specific audiences, Crystal serves up custom content by geolocation, especially useful for customers in Asia. A Sitefinity retargeting widget serves up a banner with the last voyage visited when customers go from the booking engine back to the site. Within the cruise industry, itineraries are posted well in advance, sometimes a few years ahead of time. Using the Sitefinity SiteSync module, Crystal, too, is now able to build itineraries well in advance, staging them in the module to quickly go live when ready, sometimes forty to fifty voyages at a time.

Moving forward, Crystal plans to upgrade to the latest Sitefinity version for even more streamlined content authoring and usability improvements.

In conclusion Freedman said, “The website transformation has vastly exceeded everyone’s expectations, with performance showing astonishing improvement in just a few months.”
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