Kiwi Land Riding on Wave of Digitalisation: Three Emerging Trends Under Spotlight
- COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated digital transformation across different channels and business models.
- The recent developments concerning DEPA, Wine Collective Direct and E-invoicing reflect NZ’s extensive support for digitalisation.
- Keeping an eye out on cybersecurity and data protection risks is important for businesses hopping onto the digital bandwagon.
COVID-19 pandemic pushed the NZ economy into a tailspin while taking a huge toll on households & businesses. It also sparked a ferocious wave of digitalisation across multiple domains. Recognising the importance of this digital transformation amid changing consumer preferences and business survival prospects, Kiwi Land is actively embracing digital solutions at a macro level.
A study unveiled by Microsoft in October 2020 indicated that 62% of NZ organisations are accelerating digitalisation to adapt to COVID-driven new reality. Moreover, the research stated that Kiwi businesses are adopting digitalisation by way of introducing digital payments, launching digital products, and endorsing innovation & e-commerce.
Undoubtedly, digitalisation played a crucial role in pulling the NZ economy out of COVID-19 recession in 2020, with businesses deploying innovative digital solutions for seamless operations. As the nation enters into 2021, digital transformation is further expected to remain instrumental in getting the economy back to its pre-pandemic shape.
Given the scenario, three promising macro trends reflecting NZ’s growing support for digital trends deserve closer attention:
DEPA with Singapore Takes Effect
NZ exporters and SMEs can now take advantage of opportunities emerging from digital trade. The Digital Economy Partnership Agreement (DEPA) inked between NZ and Singapore in June 2020 has recently come into force, eradicating digital barriers for businesses. Notably, Canada has also an exhibited interest in joining the DEPA agreement alongside Singapore, NZ, and Chile.
The digital trade agreement is likely to rule in favour of SMEs, reducing the cost of trade and expediting their growth prospects. Additionally, DEPA can operate as a stepping-stone to launch NZ SMEs in international markets, which are usually accessible to only large businesses. Simplification of burdensome custom procedures via DEPA is further expected to accelerate SMEs entry into export markets.
Despite these lucrative benefits, SMEs need to stay ahead of the curve and tap the competitive space with strategic business initiative and innovative solutions. Besides, a successful operation of DEPA is anticipated to persuade more countries to form digital cooperation agreements with NZ, thereby unfolding fresh opportunities for SMEs.
Online Wine Marketplace Launched
NZ wine producers now have access to an innovative digital solution to sell their premium wine directly to international customers. NZ online wine marketplace, Wine Collective Direct will operate as an international sales channel for local producers in the ultra-premium and premium wine segments, starting February 2021. Wine Collective Direct is expected to emerge as a highly profitable sales channel for NZ producers, supporting the prosperity of the nation’s wine industry.
The initial market launch of this wine marketplace will comprise Hong Kong and Australian markets, followed by the UK and the US. Notably, the e-commerce platform has been launched at a time when the alcohol category is witnessing a substantial surge in online shopping.
The introduction of this innovative digital platform is likely to provide some sort of cushion to Kiwi producers severely hit by COVID-19 border closures and a sharp dip in wine tourists. Besides, the move is expected to extend the reach of local wine producers, helping them attain high-return export sales.
E-invoicing Now a Reality
E-invoicing has now received the backing of both NZ and Australian governments and could bring radical changes for Kiwi businesses. Both the nations are ready to start paying their suppliers via E-invoicing in the coming months.
The Australian government has recently made adoption of e-invoicing mandatory by businesses and across all levels of government. As part of government’s digital transformation plans, large corporates are required to adopt e-invoicing from 1 July 2021, with all other agencies embracing it by 1 July 2022.
The decision rules in favour of Kiwi Land, which has also signed up E-invoicing framework Pan-European Public Procurement Online (PEPPOL), akin to Australia. NZ government is also eyeing the acceptance of E-invoicing across all businesses through 2021 and into 2022.
The automation of E-invoicing is anticipated to promote huge cost savings in NZ, underpinning solid economic growth over the coming years. E-invoicing is also expected to remain instrumental in stimulating post-COVID SME recovery, limiting delays through manual invoicing and payment processes.
The road to digitalisation is unfurling a slew of opportunities for NZ businesses, fostering innovation and paving the way for new contact channels with customers. However, before hopping onto the digitalisation bandwagon, it is imperative for businesses to beware of cybersecurity and data protection threats accompanying digital transformation.
Integration of efficient risk management solutions in business ecosystems appears instrumental for businesses to thrive in the realm of digitalisation. Additionally, it seems crucial for companies to evaluate their individual situation and strike a balance between automation and manual processes.