Inside Moët Hennessy: How a Classic Brand Stays Ahead of the Times

Natasha Sholl By Natasha Sholl | 23 Jul 2019

Gavin Merriman, Head of Digital, Moët Hennessy, takes us inside the brand’s e-commerce strategy and how it always stays one step ahead of the market.

Ahead of Online Retailer Conference & Expo, we speak to Gavin Merriman, Head of Digital, Moët Hennessy, about creativity, innovation and why you won’t want to be late to the AR party:

What are the three top things that retailers should be implementing now to plan for the future?

The most important things are still getting the basics right with a solid value proposition that’s extremely well executed at each point of the consumer journey. But beyond that my top three picks would be…

  • Data and AI: Building a strong data strategy that’s able to help optimise the customer experience and drive business performance will become increasingly important. In store analytics and IoT will present a major opportunity for those best equipped to leverage them.
  • Voice: Still very much in its infancy but will become increasingly important to the retail experience with the potential to make large chunks of it much more frictionless.
  • Augmented Reality: This one still feels way over the horizon but once the wearables and embeddables pass the tipping point they’ll totally reinvent the in-store experience and you won’t want to be late to the party.

What are the current major disruptors that brands and retailers need to be aware of? Can you plan for future disruption?

For me the most important disruption to focus on is how rapidly consumer expectations are evolving. We’re now used to having instant access to every song and every film from our pockets. We’re used to ordering food from our favourite restaurants and watching it make its way to us in real time within 30 mins. What ‘good looks like’ has changed and with it the goal posts have moved for us. People increasingly expect highly personalised and sharable experiences and they don’t expect to wait. It’ll get increasingly difficult for retailers to craft experiences which compete with these reframed expectations.

Regarding the second part of the question: Yes, you can plan for disruption, but given the large number of potential disruptions spanning technology, society, and environmental; it can be hard to plan for all of them. But you can give yourself the best possible chance of future success by developing a robust innovation and transformation process and culture which helps prepare the business for constant change.

There is so much to get on top of when it comes to remaining competitive in the current (and future) landscape. How can / should brands and retailers block out the noise and focus on what is really important to them?

Our innovation program is designed to address this for us as its objectives are aligned to our key business challenges and opportunities. This puts every potential innovation through the same filter and process with a consumer lens to help ensure we focus our efforts on the best bets.

Get on board early and lead the way or wait to see how everything plays out and learn from others? What’s your strategy when it comes to early adoption of new technology or trends?

It depends on the technology or trend. But we’d typically rather be early adopters. Moet Hennessy’s vision is to be always one step ahead and one of the core LVMH values is to be creative and innovative. We can’t achieve either by adopting a follower position. It’s better to be in there learning and building capability.

E-commerce: What’s next?

The online retail experience is still typically very transactional. Using data wisely with a collaborative mindset gives brands and retailers the opportunity to integrate storytelling into the consumer journey without disrupting key conversion paths.

See Gavin Merriman present at Online Retailer on the Moët Hennessy Case Study: Storytelling in the age of new retail, social and mobile. To see the full agenda for Online Retailer Conference & Expo (to be held 24-25 July at the ICC Sydney) or to buy tickets, click here.

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