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The Carnival Experience: Self-Checkout at Sea

Carnival Corporation has taken the notion of frictionless commerce and given it a whole new identity. When John Padgett, Chief Experience Innovation Officer at Carnival Corporation decided to create the ultimate vacation experience, he knew he needed to bring the physical and digital worlds together. Through the incorporation of headless commerce and emerging technologies like Internet of Things (IoT), bots, and wearables they were able to achieve this. Elastic Path’s Chief Technology Officer Sal Visca was able to sit down with John recently to discuss just how he was able to achieve the feat of building the world’s first vision of “smart cities at sea.”

While the OceanMedallion™ experience is an outstanding example of what is available for those leveraging headless commerce in the B2C world, nowhere does it say that kind of disruptive innovation isn’t attainable in any use case, including B2B.

At the heart of it, it “enables personalized service delivery at scale”, reshaping the experience for the customer based on a different priority. In this example, John emphasizes the catalyst for the creation of this award-winning innovation for Carnival customers was “maximizing the value of their time”. As mentioned in the video, he felt that any time the customer spent engaging in a purchase experience was time away from their vacation. In a B2B context, any time a customer spends working through a lengthy purchase process is time away from their daily tasks within their role. This API-first approach allows for the commerce element to be hidden in every scenario, leaving just the engagement experience front and center.

Sal captures it well in saying “traditional commerce is about the funnel and people starting the experience, trying to figure out what products there are but again, we want to bring commerce into the experience. Having an API approach to commerce, you embed it in the experience and keep it below the surface, the experience is what’s important. You’re not there to actually shop.” To John, this something he likes to call “turning transactions into interactions”.

When it comes to how Elastic Path fits into that John explains: “The reason we love Elastic Path in our overall experience platform is not just because of the technology but the alignment in vision. Because, you see, just like we see that the commercial components of a guest experience are a result of the experience not the result of a transaction.”

this shared vision, John touches on why offering this level of seamless
experience can be so incredibly powerful for organizations. “Whether an
element of an experience has a price or not associated with it, it
doesn’t matter. It’s really about the consumption of the experience in a
way that is never distracted by a hassle or frustration. That’s what we
can enable with Elastic Path as a key component.”