Digital Wine Ventures (ASX: DW8) has reinforced its presence in Australia’s key wine-producing regions by growing the sales and marketing team behind investment vehicle WineDepot.
The new team members include three business development managers, a customer service manager, a digital marketing strategist and a final mile manager primarily based across Margaret River in Western Australia and the Yarra Valley in Victoria.
One of the business development managers will be based at Hawkes Bay in New Zealand, representing WineDepot’s first presence outside of Australia and giving the business a bilateral marketing opportunity.
New Zealand entry
Digital Wine’s chief executive officer Dean Taylor said an entry into the New Zealand market was inevitable for WineDepot given recent levels of commercial interest.
“Over the last few months, we’ve been approached by a growing number of New Zealand wine producers looking for easier and more cost-effective ways to service their Australian customers without needing to develop an active presence here,” he said.
“We have developed an import-export solution that allows approximately 500 New Zealand wineries to hold inventory here on consignment and take advantage of our integrated trading and logistics platform to service direct-to-consumer and direct-to-trade orders.”
With Australia being one of New Zealand’s largest export markets, Mr Taylor said there would be “enormous opportunity” for wineries to save on freight using WineDepot’s platform.
“Currently it costs around $90 to ship a dozen bottles of wine between New Zealand and Australia but by using our platform, the shipping can be reduced to about $7.95 per case to metropolitan areas,” he said.
“That’s a price many wineries will happily absorb [and] I’m confident we will soon see a trans-Tasman wine market open up with a rapidly-growing base of direct-to-consumer orders.”
The new appointments follow on from WineDepot’s July announcement that it was in a “good position” to start ramping up its customer acquisition program in preparation for the launch of its direct-to-trade marketplace later this year.
“We have recognised that having boots on the ground in key areas under current COVID-19 market conditions is absolutely essential,” Mr Taylor said.
“Recruiting experienced, respected and knowledgeable industry professionals who are already immersed in these communities also opens a lot of doors for us.”
“To date we have managed to achieve what we have with two business development managers in South Australia with one of them working only two days per week [so] I’m looking forward to seeing what an expanded sales and marketing team can achieve.”