Wine industry analytics business nzwinemetrics is unlocking new profitability for New Zealand’s wine producers with analytics to help them achieve the best possible price for their wines within the direct to international consumer channel (DTIC).
Partnering with Mero, a specialist in business analytics solutions based on Microsoft software and tools, nzwinemetrics is rapidly gaining traction with vineyards around the country.
The nzwinemetrics analytics business originated out of nzwinehome, a company that makes it easy for vineyards to export direct to consumers. nzwinehome provides a complete packaging and delivery service for producers, including managing customs, taxes and all other requirements of the destination country. Its founder Grant Rimmer wanted all vineyards to be able to just say ‘yes’ to cellar door or online buyers who request New Zealand wine to be delivered to their home, around the globe.
nzwinemetrics provides analytics to wine producers looking for ways to sell their premium priced wines via the DTIC sales channel. Manager Geoff Wilson worked with Grant Rimmer to form nzwinemetrics to blend direct wine sales data with export and tourism industry data, finding overlaps that clarify market trends and answer critical questions for producers.
The number one concern of wine producers is profitability, Geoff Wilson says.
“They also want to know how their performance compares to their peers. They ask which destinations internationally hold the most value and pay price premiums. When we tell them where they are relative to other vineyards in the region and nationally, the most common reaction is ‘Wow, I’m actually underselling. They are sometimes surprised that there’s no immediate ceiling within the DTIC channel,” he says.
Underselling, in both price and volume, is the most common scenario, Geoff Wilson says.
“For example, Australia is our largest DTIC market at approximately 40%. If a vineyard is only at 30%, why? Are they not marketing correctly to the Australian market, or not capitalising on closing opportunities? We also benchmark e-commerce vs. physical sales.”
He says Hong Kong pays the biggest price premiums, followed by Singapore. The Japanese market pays a 10-15% premium over what Australia or the UK will pay. Asian markets prefer red wine, which tends to have a higher price.
Most New Zealand wine producers don’t have in-house analysts, so nzwinemetrics sells information on a subscription basis along with other bespoke DTIC sales advisory services. It offers a free high-level national overview, and a further two levels of deeper detail for individual producers.
Grant Rimmer says the ability to combine analytics with a delivery service is unique in the market.
“We’re not data or tech specialists – we partnered with Mero to select the right analytics solution and align it to our software. This includes full support with data cleansing, extraction and analysis,” he says.
Mero extracts and transforms raw data using a variety of tools – including open source tools to reduce cost. Mero loads the cleansed data into a cloud-based Microsoft Azure database, then uses Microsoft Power BI and SQL Server for reporting.
“Mero has gone the extra mile to help us deliver analytics that are right on the money. For us, the whole process has been quite painless,” Grant Rimmer says.
nzwinemetrics is now working to engage with regional and national industry bodies in the tourism and wine sectors. Grant Rimmer recently presented to vineyards on varietal values. 85% of the New Zealand wine industry traditional exports is sauvignon blanc, he says, but that’s not what visitors send home.
“Pinot noir is number one, followed by merlots/cabernet blends and Chardonnay. People want what they can’t buy back home,” he says.
“24% of all visitors to New Zealand are now actively taking a wine experience. Analytics can help New Zealand producers make the most of this massive opportunity. When wine tourism first became popular 15 years ago, selling a few bottles on a one-off basis was all that was possible. Today those full retail margin sales are now at least a case, often multiple cases per customer. But the most exciting part – yet to be fully realised – is that technology now enables producers to build ongoing sales relationships, lasting long after the consumers’ initial visit to their winery. It’s this extended sales opportunity that really helps producers achieve a worthwhile return on their commitment and investment to wine tourism.”
Photo: Grant Rimmer and Geoff Wilson.