Minister of State for Employment Affairs and Retail Business, Neale Richmond, encouraged retailers to apply for funding to enhance their online presence and increase online sales.
In the latest round of the Online Retail Scheme, funded by the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment and administered by Enterprise Ireland, retailers can access up to €25,000 in grant funding to strengthen their ecommerce capabilities.
Minister Richmond strongly encouraged businesses to apply for the Scheme, saying, “Irish retailers have proven their resilience over the past few years, adapting to changing customer behaviour in many cases by developing an online presence. This not only serves customers in Ireland, but potential customers across the world. An online presence is no longer optional for many businesses, it is a key part of any business model and the benefits are huge. While it may be an intimidating prospect for some, the government is determined to support businesses on this journey. The Online Retail Scheme is there to help ease this transition and I am delighted that it is again open for applications.”
“Since 2018, the Online Retail Scheme has allocated over €28 million in funding in supporting more than 700 projects from Irish retailers. Importantly, the Scheme has a national reach with more than 70% of successful retailers from the previous funding rounds based outside Dublin. Businesses who have participated in the Scheme have reported increased sales, in Ireland and abroad, new employees and an enhanced digital skill set among their current employees. Clearly, digitalisation makes a tangible difference to the success of Irish businesses. I would encourage all eligible retailers to strongly consider the benefits of this Scheme and apply for funding.”
The Scheme provides direct financial support to retail companies to develop a more competitive online business offering to complement their in-store offering. It is administered by Enterprise Ireland and there is €3.4 million available in this round of funding.
Teri Smith, Manager, Retail, Consumer and Online Department, with Enterprise Ireland said, “the Online Retail Scheme is making a real difference to the bottom line of hundreds of retailers across the country and has potential to open up new markets for the retail sector. An enhanced online presence not only boosts sales in the short-term, it also brings longer-term benefits, allowing retailers to better use data to understand customer needs and manage customer relationships.”
The Outdoor Scene, based in Goatstown in Dublin previously received funding under the Online Retail Scheme.
According to Managing Director Eamonn O’Hare, “having an attractive, engaging online presence is vital for our business. We’ve used the funding available through the Online Retail Scheme to enhance our website, outdoor.ie, and use the platform to showcase our range of outdoor garden products. Customers can easily navigate our offering and choose the best products for them and their families. The Online Retail Scheme has enabled us to increase sales and importantly connect with our customers. I would encourage every retailer to examine the potential of e-commerce and digital innovation that this funding supports.”