Enterprise Ireland has just announced another round of the €3.4m Online Retail Scheme — a chance for online businesses to apply for funding to boost their eCommerce model. This time companies can secure a grant of up to €25,000, or 50% off a €50,000 eCommerce project that’ll transform their online presence and sales.
Covid-19 has loomed over the last four calls of the ORS, but this round has landed in a different business landscape. There’s less talk of survival or drastic measures, or businesses reacting on the fly to accelerating digital demands.
The so-called ‘new normal’ is now just the normal way of doing business — trying to reach a digital-savvy customer base who have blurred the lines between the high street and online. Now that the panic has subsided, companies can analyse the business landscape and see how State funding could help shape their digital evolution.
Over 700 companies have received funding since the launch of the ORS, sharing nearly €30m in grants. It’s possible to apply for funding and take on the project in-house, but the vast majority of successful applicants partnered with a digital agency like Matrix Internet.
We have helped many Irish retailers become better online retailers and find new international markets. We create low-risk strategies for small and large retailers, and by upskilling and empowering their in-house teams we give them the tools to succeed online.
No matter what stage a retailer is at on their online journey, we have a welcoming team who will listen, consider, offer ideas and suggest a specific way forward. We are happy to have a preliminary conversation with any retailer who thinks the Online Retail Scheme could be a way to raise their game.
As a full-service digital agency, Matrix can help you craft a business plan and project that’s finely focused on your eCommerce needs, across the full digital spectrum. We’ve secured over €1.5m in funding for nearly 40 ORS project partners so far, beginning with a detailed, empathetic discovery and application process, to fully realised domestic and international eCommerce improvement programmes. We have an international team of 50+, featuring 18 nationalities and a wide range of digital skills that can strengthen any project.
So, as an online retailer, how could you and Matrix use the ORS funding to level up your eCommerce? Through our tailored Digital Spark, Matrix can focus on specific categories or combine disciplines to develop a holistic eCommerce solution. We’ve been on Enterprise Ireland’s approved agency list for many years, so we know how to navigate the grant landscape and maximise your potential.
Setting up and maintaining an online store or digital marketing campaign needs a solid strategy as a foundation. The Matrix in-house eCommerce team will develop a strong market entry strategy. We’ll turn your ideas into a solid business plan with a defined target market and ambitious but realistic goals. We’ll lay this foundation through sector analysis, A/B testing, eCommerce audits and competitor benchmarking.
We have designed and developed powerful new eCommerce platforms for dozens of our ORS clients, boosting their customer base while helping their brand grow domestically and internationally. Our web development team will meet your business needs with a user-friendly that’s mobile-responsive and seamlessly integrates with EPOS systems, stock management, ERP systems and other essential eCommerce functionality.
A deep overview of every aspect of your online presence, with recommended action points. Areas covered include branding and UI design; UX design; content; advertising and PPC; coding and security; SEO visibility; social media presence; email marketing; internal digital skills; competitive benchmarking and export potential.
We’ll turbo-charge your platform to deliver a truly multichannel customer experience, including bespoke plugins and training in third-party integrations such as:
Mailchimp/Klaviyo: Building your brand through automated marketing campaigns, social media and more.
Shopbox: A powerful AI tool for immersive, personalised online shopping.
Stripe/Mollie/Ayden: We’ll help you choose from the most innovative international eCommerce payment systems.
Google Analytics 4: The next generation of analytics, helping you make sense of your business data.
Google Shopping: Grab customers at the start of their product search journey with Google Shopping campaigns.
Yoast: The world’s leading SEO plugin — improves your site’s search engine rankings and content.
Throughout the 6-9 month project, you will have full access to Matrix’s in-house team of experts in web design and development, digital marketing and eCommerce strategy. The project will be collaborative, from the application process through to discovery and implementation.
Your internal project champion and key stakeholders will gain valuable training in these digital disciplines, leading to company-wide upskilling, removing the need for external consultation in the future.
The Matrix DM team can implement a growth strategy through all your associated channels — a results-driven programme that aligns with your company ethos and guarantees the optimum return on your investment.
Our SEO experts will make sure customers find you online, while our copywriters and social media and email marketing teams will reach the right users on all the right platforms.
Matrix will devise an in-depth localisation campaign, adapting all elements of your existing digital marketing campaigns to your target export markets. In 2022, we expanded internationally by launching a new base in Brussels. The Matrix Benelux team specialises in export and localisation strategies — we’ll help your company attract new international customers by pivoting your messaging to reflect the needs and interests of your international target audience.
This will involve updated content, SEO and content strategies, and on-the-ground market research into industry trends, emerging technologies, social trends and legislation.
We’ll help you navigate the complex guidelines and strategies around online marketplaces such as eBay and Amazon, like setting up a seller account, developing product listings, and handling customer transactions. With proper marketplace management, you can expand your reach and boost sales.
Matrix can optimise your storefront through personalised branding, and streamline the experience by implementing dynamic pricing models, integrating third-party plugins, improving listing content and generating monthly reports.
Get all the official information about the Online Retail Scheme and apply here. The deadline is May 3, so you only have a few weeks to develop a business plan. Get in touch with our eCommerce team today to discuss your options — let’s become project partners!
Want us to be your ORS partner? Let us know today!
By Conor McCaffrey