Enterprise Ireland have announced the second call for their pilot Online Retail Scheme. The €1.25million fund is targeted at online retailers to encourage acceleration of their online offerings and can be used to fund research, strategy development, implementation and training.
The pilot scheme’s second call is an initiative of the Government of Ireland and Enterprise Ireland, and originates from the work of the Retail Consultation Forum. Under this second competitive call, successful Irish retailer applicants with the ambition to internationalise through a strengthened online offering can receive funding ranging from €10,000 to €25,000.
The scheme’s purpose is to support online retailers to strategically enhance their online sales capabilities to increase competitiveness and subsequently scale their businesses in international markets.
The Online Retail Scheme is open to applications from Irish owned retail businesses with 10 or more employees, and who have a physical retail outlet.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]
Applicant companies must be an Irish-owned retail enterprise that has the potential to create jobs, generate growth in sales and internationalise their business. The business must also:
- Have an existing online presence (eg website or social media)
- Have a retail outlet and derive the majority of revenue from the retail outlet(s)
- Must employ at least 10 employees in the Republic of Ireland (on a full-time equivalent basis)
Typical elements involved in developing a sophisticated and transactional online presence include:
- In-depth analysis of the company’s current and potential online presence and capabilities, target audience and brand. This research should help the applicant make informed decisions about e. optimisation of online marketing channels, web functionality, payment systems specification, catalogue presentation, supply chain management, consolidated inventory systems, order fulfilment and consumer experience
- Development of a written digital strategy and a roadmap for implementation including resource and business process considerations
- Identifying how the company’s value proposition should be demonstrated online, what aspects should be emphasised and how to best to present this to online customers
- Ensuring that the company’s online presence is being fully utilised/optimised to fulfil its overall potential, supporting the overall business strategy
- Consideration of omnichannel offering (including marketplaces and social media)
- Optimising the company’s online presence to ensure international visibility (eg web enhancement and localisation, associated business process enhancements, search engine optimisation etc)
- Enhancing related “back end” systems (eg product presentation, supply chain management, systems integration to improve consumer experience etc)
- Undertaking training to successfully enhance and maintain a robust online retail operation, for example accounting, e-marketing, catalogue management, e-commerce systems etc
The scheme is NOT open to the following:
- Franchisees of retailers for whom the franchiser provides material online support
- Projects focused solely on the domestic market
- Projects which do not propose significant additional functionality to the online presence of the applicant company will be considered ineligible
- Applicants who were approved any other State or EU funding for the project for which they are seeking funding
- Companies active in the primary production of agricultural products, fishery and aquaculture
- Companies active in the provision of hospitality and leisure services (eg hotels, restaurants
- Food retailers who cannot demonstrate a credible plan to reach a minimum of 10% of international sales
- Companies active in the sale or distribution of alcoholic beverages where consumed on the retail premises
- Applications which relate to activities that Enterprise Ireland considers as ineligible or as involving an unacceptable reputational risk: the gambling sector, including ‘gaming’ (as defined in the Gaming and Lotteries Act 1956), Adult entertainment and Tobacco products
- Companies which have previously availed of funding for an e-marketing improvement assignment from Enterprise Ireland or which are eligible for this grant from Enterprise Ireland
- Aid for export-related activities to third countries or Member States and favouring domestic over imported products
- Companies which have already reached their De Minimis aid limit
Successful applicants will be awarded funding to support a maximum of 50% of the project costs. The minimum grant amount payable is €10,000 under this scheme. Therefore, applications which do not propose company expenditure on the project of a minimum of €20,000 will be considered ineligible (the grant will reimburse up to 50% of eligible expenditure as set out below).
All eligible costs are required to be directly related to the implementation of the work programme.
Eligible costs include:
- Salary costs of a senior internal project champion (manager level or above) in the applicant company to work with an external consultant on this project. The costs to support the salary of the internal project champion must not exceed the external trainer/consultancy costs. A maximum of 1 internal champion per company is eligible for salary costs.
- Fees of established external consultant(s) to develop a digital strategy and further develop/enhance the company’s transactional website or online presence. The grant must be used to introduce additional functionality
- Fees for staff to undertake training required to develop and implement an online retail operation
Ineligible costs include:
- Upgrades to existing online channels that would happen anyway or could be considered business as usual
- The purchase of hardware or “off the shelf” software package licences or subscriptions e.g. for Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
- The funding of online advertising campaigns eg pay per click campaigns
Cresco Innovation works with companies to develop and implement innovation strategies. We help client companies identify opportunities to develop new products and services, and then create a package of support to ensure that the idea is turned into a commercial reality.
Our services include securing grants (as a team we have raised around £40million over three years), business planning, IP advice, access to finance and funders, project management and IP commercialisation support.
We regularly act as the interface with the funding bodies and help clients ensure that their projects are properly managed to ensure the best outcome for all.
Phil holds an honours degree in mechanical engineering and has worked as a technologist, project manager, research funding bid author, key knowledge holder, bid manager and funding acquisition quality manager. He has delivered more than £19million to clients.