After the recent success of the first phase of Enterprise Ireland’s Online Retail SchemeEnterprise Ireland has just thrown another lifeline, with the second phase of COVID-19 Online Retail Scheme that has €5.5 million in eCommerce improvement grants. This will be shared among Irish companies hoping to boost their online capabilities, with an eCommerce store.
In the shadow of recent COVID-19 related restrictions, online retail store owners may feel like shutting up shop, but this renewed €5.5m Competitive Fund again aims to reward innovation in companies that show resilience and a willingness to adapt to new challenges with a substantial online business grant.
Budgets may be more precious than ever, but if you have a dream project that could transform your company’s digital future, the new phase of Enterprise Ireland expects to fund extra 155 companies in this round. This makes things all the more competitive as now businesses will be chosen and the number of entries might be significantly high because of the buzz generated during the first round.
Companies should be quick to act on this opportunity. Enterprise Ireland is opening the call for funding on Monday, August 31, 2020, with a close date of 3 pm on Monday, September 28. No applications will be accepted after this time.
Our easy to follow infographic tells you all the essential information you need to know about the 2nd round of COVID-19 Online Retail Scheme. Click HERE to see it in full size.
The Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation (DBEI) awarded €5.5m for this Enterprise Ireland grant — and ‘innovation’ is the keyword here. We don’t advise companies to seek funding for upgrades to existing online channels that would be happening anyway, and if you ask for funding for ‘off-the-shelf’ software or pay-per-click ads, your application form will get slam-dunked into the waste bin.
Instead, Enterprise Ireland is investing in Irish-owned retail companies that are striving to create jobs and generate growth through online sales — with an end goal of international success. This can be achieved by adding a brand new online store. If your company has the above ambitions and has 10 or more employees, this scheme could help steer your ship through these uncharted waters.
Judges will be impressed by projects in the following three categories:
In-depth analysis of your company’s current online presence, target audience and brand. Applicants should explain how their proposed research project can help inform future business strategies and create a path to digital excellence. EI are encouraging applicants to find angles for differentiation and USPs.
Following directly from research, a suitable project may be to develop a written digital strategy and a roadmap for implementing well-researched findings. Judges will be looking for companies that have a robust plan to maximise online store potential and devise omnichannel offerings.
If you feel your company has a strong foundation in research and strategy development, it’s crucial to convince judges that you have the potential to implement these strategies to meet your business goals. This will include enhancing your online store’s presence in Ireland and internationally, through Search Engine Optimisation and improvements to ‘back end’ systems such as supply chain management and systems integration.
Can I work with Matrix and get a grant from the COVID-19 Online Retail Scheme?
You can work with an agency to achieve your goals through projects that fall under the research, strategy or implementation banner — and as a full-service agency, Matrix will have you covered here. In fact, Matrix had a 100% success rate in the first round of applications, securing over €350,000 of grant funding for our retail clients. Additionally, we are on the approved list of consultants released by Enterprise Ireland on the official Online Retail Scheme page.
In the wake of the COVID-19 disruptions, we have developed a holistic eCommerce improvement programme called Digital Spark, that will empower Irish companies to take a proactive approach to eCommerce in a time of uncertainty.
Digital Spark is a dynamic initiative that will ignite your whole business model — from research workshops and strategic planning, to implementing powerful new web functionality.
To find out more about Digital Spark, click here, or to see how Matrix can be a perfect fit for an Online Retail Scheme application, take a look at our services and case studies. The application will typically take 2-3 days to complete, but as an approved EI agency, we can offer free expert help with the whole process, as long as you choose Matrix as your project partner.
By Conor McCaffrey
By Ruchi Singh