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Innovative Digital Solution Launches To Help Wineries Expand Premium Quality Export Sales

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 provides 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 historically difficult premium and ultra-premium market segments.

Wine Collective Direct Founder Grant Rimmer says 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,” says Rimmer.

“Wine Collective Direct will exponentially extend their reach, helping them achieve high-return retail export sales within 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,” says Rimmer. “Off-the-shelf ecommerce 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 ecommerce.”

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 ensures 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,” says Rimmer.

Each wine producer who lists their wines on Wine Collective Direct will have their own branded e-cellar door (microsite) within www.winecollective.direct 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 is more than just a marketplace, it's also a marketing place," says Grant.

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 in to the site.

“We can’t wait to roll this out nationwide and help New Zealand wine producers achieve boundless growth via one platform,” says 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. To attend, or sign up for an informational webinar, please email hello@wc.direct or RSVP via www.winecollective.direct/trade-launch-events.

For more information visit: www.winecollective.direct.

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