Retailers have been encouraged to apply for funding to enhance their online presence and increase online sales.
Under the latest round of the Online Retail Scheme, funded by the Dept of Enterprise, Trade & Employment and administered by Enterprise Ireland, retailers can access up to €25,000 in grant funding to strengthen their ecommerce capabilities.
Since 2018, the Online Retail Scheme has allocated over €28 million in funding in supporting more than 700 projects from Irish retailers. The Scheme has a national reach, more than 70% of successful retailers from the previous funding rounds based outside Dublin.
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.
Minister of State for Employment Affairs & Retail Business Neale Richmond said: “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.”
Minister Richmond continued: “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.”
“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,” said Teri Smith, manager, retail, consumer and online department, with Enterprise Ireland. “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.”