Innovative Digital Solution to Help Wineries Expand Exports

From February, New Zealand wine producers will have access to a highly innovative online wine marketplace, Wine Collective Direct, to sell their premium wine direct to overseas consumers.

A New Zealand-first, Wine Collective Direct will provide a highly profitable sales channel for producers, enabling seamless Direct to International Consumer (DTiC) sales to support the prosperity of the New Zealand wine industry.

Wine Collective Direct will support local wine producers in achieving profitability in the historically difficult premium and ultra-premium market segments.

Wine Collective Direct Founder Grant Rimmer said the digital solution – designed to help New Zealand wine producers reach, connect and transact directly with global consumers  –  comes amid the increase of online shopping in the alcohol category.

“We’re delighted to be announcing this exciting development for the New Zealand wine industry at a critical time. In recent years, producers across New Zealand have invested heavily in wine tourism to reach high-end international consumers with a thirst for rare and limited production wines.”

In 2019, NZ Winegrowers reported that 776, 599 international wine tourists visited New Zealand and spent $3.26 billion.

However, COVID-19 has presented challenges to approximately 300 producers in New Zealand, impacted by a decline in international visitors that would traditionally visit for tastings, tours and Cellar Door purchases.

“On the cusp of what was set to be a record year for wine tourism including a massive boost from The America’s Cup, New Zealand producers are now also heavily exposed by the void of international visitors,” said Rimmer.

“Wine Collective Direct will exponentially extend their reach, helping them achieve high-return retail export sales within the premium and ultra-premium market segments. Acting collectively, we are stronger, and will go further globally together.”

New Zealand wine producers are invited to register to the DTiC marketplace in February 2021 before it begins rolling out to international consumers.

The initial market launch at the end of March will include Australia and Hong Kong, where the average direct to consumer bottle price (750ml) is NZD $49.23 and NZD $59.60, respectively (source: nzwinehome FY March 20).  According to the latest New Zealand Winegrowers KPIs, the average export price of bulk wine is NZD$4.03/L and packaged wine is NZD $8.75/L, respectively.

Following the launch in the Australian and Hong Kong markets, Wine Collective Direct will then roll out to the UK and USA as well as additional global locations.

“International online wine sales have added export and import compliance complexities that require a specialist approach to achieve high sales conversions,” noted Rimmer.

Grant Rimmer - Wine Collective Direct founder

“Off-the-shelf e-commerce platforms cannot handle the intricacies involved with the global export of an alcoholic beverage. Currently, only a handful of New Zealand producers offer fully enabled international e-commerce.”

Wine Collective Direct is powered by the direct-to-consumer export business that hundreds of local wine producers already know and trust, nzwinehome.  nzwinehome’s specialised cross border compliance and dynamic direct-to-door distribution ensure Wine Collective Direct delivers producers and international consumers a genuine end-to-end market solution.

“The need for our market solution has existed for some time and will provide long-lasting value into the future.  2020 created the urgency for decisive action and rapid development to help producers achieve their rightful share of market prosperity.”

Each wine producer who lists their wines on Wine Collective Direct will have their own branded e-cellar door (microsite) within which reflects their individuality and brand personality.

In addition, producers will benefit from the seamless technology of Wine Collective Direct’s e-commerce platform, supported by tailored digital marketing support and resources. Wine Collective Direct provides a uniquely transparent shopping experience – all bottle prices listed on the website are totally inclusive of tax/duty insurance, duty, packaging and door-to-door delivery – in the customer’s preferred currency, resulting in no surprises at checkout.

There is a subscription fee of $39.95/month for wine producers to be included on the platform – less than the average price of a bottle of premium wine.  Wine producers will determine their full share of the sales margin and can adjust and set their pricing when they log onto the site.

“We can’t wait to roll this out nationwide and help New Zealand wine producers achieve boundless growth via one platform,” concluded Rimmer.

In February and March, a series of launch events will be taking place in Central Otago, Hawke’s Bay, Marlborough and on Waiheke Island for New Zealand wine producers to learn more about how Wine Collective Direct will help them grow.

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