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Level up your eCommerce with the Online Retail Scheme

Enterprise Ireland has just announced another round of the Online Retail Scheme — a chance to transform your business with an eCommerce programme. Matrix had a 100% success rate in the first three rounds of funding, winning over €1.3 million for our clients. We’ll help you secure up to €64,000 in Round 4 — but act fast before the June 1 deadline.

Join our list of winning applicants

1933 Furniture Co
Offbeat Donuts
The Woollen Market
Mizenhead
Dominic Smith
Diffney
David Cullen Jewellery
The Gift & Art Gallery

Rethink your whole business model

The past two years has taught us that retailers can’t survive without a strong online presence, and the Online Retail Scheme has been a lifeline for nearly 500 Irish businesses. You now have a final chance to secure up to €64,000 for an eCommerce project that will lift your eCommerce strategy to the next level.

We’re at a post-pandemic crossroads, and businesses will survive and thrive through innovation. In the first three months of lockdown, Covid-19 accelerated eCommerce growth by 4 to 6 years, but retailers in 2022 are now reporting poor results online and in-store, through digital fatigue and a spike in consumer demands. This unprecedented leap online has also led to a global skills shortage in the digital space.

 

Matrix — the missing jigsaw pieces to your eCommerce success

As a full-service agency, Matrix is an international team with no shortage of digital expertise in all channels, with 1,500 successful projects behind us since 2000. Using our Digital Spark eCommerce improvement programme we secured over €1.3m for our clients in the first three rounds, and we can tailor the process to suit your digital goals, including:

Website design

Website design

Development/ New tools

Development/
New tools

Digital marketing and branding

Digital marketing
and branding

Auditing

Auditing

eCommerce strategy

eCommerce strategy

Content strategy

Content strategy

Training and upskilling

Training and
upskilling

 

Unlock your potential

With our 100% success in the Online Retail Scheme so far, we’re experts in the funding landscape, and we know how to unlock your digital potential in this ultra competitive final call. We are offering free consultations, and we’ll also help you write a winning application for free — we know how to formulate a winning application.

But what does your business need to get to the next level? We can help you to figure it all out. If you had to quickly adapt to the pandemic with an emergency online upgrade, we can take you to the next level with a new flexible digital roadmap to future-proof your business.

 

 

2022 Online Retail Scheme — who can apply?

If you’re an Irish retailer with 10+ staff and an existing online presence, you’ve cleared the first hurdle. The Enterprise Ireland website has all the relevant information but we’ve summarised the criteria below. If you’re a first-time applicant, your maximum grant is 80% of the project cost up to €80,000, so that’s €64,000 And if you’ve been successful in previous ORS rounds, your maximum grant is 50% of an €80,000 project cost (€40,000).

 

  • Irish-based retailer
  • 10+ full-time employees (part-time mix permitted)
  • Existing online presence (website or social media)
  • Have a store, with most revenue through B2C sales

 

Let’s take your online sales to the next level

We can deliver the complete ORS project end to end in-house, including research, strategy, website design and development, digital marketing, support and training. We’ll tailor our innovative Digital Spark eCommerce programme to your business, and deliver a successful and sustainable project. Partner with us today and we’ll become part of your team, starting with a winning application!

 

Just a few of our winning ORS clients

1933 Furniture Co
A stunning new brochure site for designer furniture retailer.
Offbeat Donuts
A new powerful eCommerce site sprinkled with drool-worthy visuals
The Woollen Market
Luxury yarns come to life in a new eCommerce site
Mizenhead
A new online home for iconic outdoor clothing brands
Dominic Smith
Thousands of appliances under one new virtual roof
Diffney
An online makeover for one of Ireland’s leading menswear stores
David Cullen Jewellery
A sparkling new site for a long-established Dublin jeweller
The Gift & Art Gallery
A new website for family gift shop is a work of art with powerful functionality

 

“Matrix Internet reached out to us to apply for the Enterprise Ireland Online Retail Scheme. After some introductory calls, we felt that the relationship was a good fit. Brian Cochrane led the application and did an excellent job in helping us deliver an impressive proposal. The Matrix team have been very supportive and professional every step of the way and we’re looking forward to completing the project with them.”
Conor Moran, 1933 Furniture Company

Book a free consultation today

How we transformed Offbeat Donuts

The task

Offbeat needed a mouthwatering new website that matched their playful nature, and Matrix baked up a colourful treat with a topping of premium user experience.

  • Visually striking and artistic custom graphic design based on agreed brand palette, including new icons and graphical illustrations
  • Integrates with food delivery partners such as Just Eat
  • Custom Store Order System — the custom Matrix Store Ordering System (MSOS) automatically distributes orders to each individual store via a streamlined and lightweight software solution so stores fulfill orders as quickly as possible

 


Further information

If you’re an Irish retailer who’s interested in the Online Retail Scheme, you should:

  • Read all available official information on the programme and make get to know all the objectives;
  • Check the eligibility criteria and rules;
  • Review evaluation and scoring;
  • Identify an internal champion in your company who will drive the project;
  • Engage with a digital agency who can understand your business, help with the application form and deliver a wide ranging eCommerce plan from start to finish. Matrix has been on the approved agency panel for Enterprise Ireland for many years, so we know exactly how to impress the judges with winning applications.

We’ve been taking notes at Enterprise Ireland webinars through the first two rounds, so you don’t have to. Here’s exactly what you need to know…

The ORS In one line

A grant to fund 80% of a project that would give any Irish retailer a top class eCommerce channel.

What is EI trying to do for Irish retailers?

  • Boost their eCommerce platform and capabilities;
  • Give them a long-term strategy for online growth;
  • Make them more visible to domestic and international audiences;
  • Develop a competitive online offer;

When?

  • Call open date: Thursday, May 6, 2022
  • Call Close date: Wednesday, June 1 (noon)
  • Enterprise Ireland has advised participants to start the application process as soon as possible — it’s time to think of your agency partner

How?

  • An online application system on the Enterprise Ireland website.
  • Supporting information (including 2 years’ accounts) and plan are required.

Who is it for?

  • Irish-owned retail businesses
  • 10 or more employees
  • Businesses with potential for online sales growth
  • Greater than 50% B2C sales activities

Who is excluded?

  • Franchisees
  • Agriculture or fisheries businesses
  • Hospitality and leisure sector
  • Gambling and some other areas

What work does it cover?

  • Research and discovery work related to online sales
  • Development of a complete eCommerce strategy
  • Improving the online presence and visibility to domestic and international audiences
  • Enhancing back-end and operational systems and integration work
  • In-house training
  • Salary costs of an internal project champion

What work is not covered?

  • Paid online advertisements
  • Website improvements which would happen anyway
  • Off-the-shelf software or subscriptions

How is it scored?

Applications will be scored by EI as part of a competitive process. Scoring as follows

30% – Strength and quality of the proposed project 

30% – Expected impact on viability of business and competitive position

15% – International ambition

15% – Internal champion

10% – Financial track record

Enterprise Ireland has covered some issues through question and answer sessions throughout various ORS rounds. Here are some of the issues they’ve addressed.

Q. How difficult is it to complete the form?
A. The form is complex and will need careful planning — Enterprise Ireland strongly recommends starting the application process and form as early as possible.

Q. How much emphasis is on export?
A. For this scheme, Enterprise Ireland have said it is enough for participants to have “ambition” to export now or in the future. This initiative from Enterprise Ireland has a mission to support and to solidify Irish retailers in a broad sense.

Q. Can previous EI scheme participants apply for this COVID-19 scheme?
A. Yes, if the previous project has been completed in full, then a new application will be allowed — and successful applicants can apply for a grant up to a maximum of 50%.

Q. What about previous ‘bricks and mortar’ retailers who want to convert to an online only format?
A. Enterprise Ireland have said that they will consider this and revert with a clarification. However, one criteria for the scheme is that participants must have 10 employees. EI have expressed an interest in any business that feels they have an USP or a unique offering. Additionally, EI have said that this is open to retailers in both rural and urban areas.

Q. Would the scheme support a click and collect development project?
A. EI have said that they will consider such an application on its merits and to see if it is in the broad spirit of the COVID-19 Retail Scheme.

Q. Could this work for a property business?
A. No, the programme is aimed at the retail sector in Ireland.

Q. Is the 10-employee stipulation a hard rule?
A. EI have said they will consider a combination of part-time and full-time employees.

Q. How many years do the accounts need to cover for the application?
A. 2 years of business accounts need to accompany each application.

Q. What about business models and industries not mentioned in the material so far?
A. EI would like people to email in any queries about such industries.

Q. How does the internal champion work with the agency?
A. An internal champion is allowed, to a maximum of €200 per day, and this cost must not exceed the cost of the agency work.

Q. Does the provider need to be based in Ireland?
A. No, the agency and provider can be outside of Ireland.

Q. Why doesn’t EI support Google Ads?
A. EI would prefer to invest in internal capabilities and strategic pieces that will endure, unlike paid ads or day-to-day marketing costs that expire immediately. The EU also has a state aid restriction that covers that.

Q. Can internal staff carry out all of the work?
A. No, an internal champion is allowed but this can not exceed the cost of an external agency.

Q. What service provider can be used?
A. Enterprise Ireland has an approved list of agencies, available on the EI website.

Q. What about endeavours that have already started?
A. Enterprise Ireland stated that they will not financially support work that has already happened, but if a new part of an existing programme has not commenced, it may be considered as part of this eCommerce-focussed programme.

 

If you would like to start a conversation about applying for the scheme, please email ecommerce@matrixinternet.ie