What is the EI Covid-19 Online Retail Scheme grant?

What is the EI Covid-19 Online Retail Scheme grant?

Enterprise Ireland has put into place an innovative scheme for retailers to help them move on and recover from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s called the Covid-19 Online Retail Scheme and (supported by the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment) it will fund 80% of the cost of working with an ecommerce agency to put into place a structure to grow your online business.

The latest round of this scheme is open from 5th May 2022 till 1st June 2022: the previous three rounds took place in May 2021, May 2020 and September 2020.

The purpose of this scheme is to enable Irish retailers to develop their online business, helping them to increase their customer base and build a more resilient business, both online and offline.

How much of a grant is available?

For the first time the grant is calculated at a maximum of 80% of the eligible expenditure of up to €80,000. The maximum grant available is up to €64,000.

For applicants who were awarded funding in the previous Online Retail scheme calls, the grant is calculated at a maximum of 50% of eligible expenditure of up to €80,000. The maximum grant available is up to €40,000

Please find the table below:

1st time Applications

Total Project CostEI Grant (80% of total project cost)Retailer Contribution (20% of the project cost)
Example 1€80,000€64,000€16,000
Example 2€70,000€56,000€14,000
Example 3€60,000€48,000€12,000

2nd time Applications (Repeat retailers)

Total Project CostEI Grant (50% of total project cost)Retailer Contribution (50% of the project cost)
Example 1€80,000€40,000€40,000
Example 2€44,000€22,000€22,000

The minimum grant amount a retailer can apply for is €20,000

Click here to contact ChannelSight for more information about how to apply for this grant.

Who carries out the work?

Enterprise Ireland requires an experienced ecommerce agency to work with the retailer to deliver this digital transformation for the business. A company employee must also work on the project, liaising with the external agency.

Why work with ChannelSight?

ChannelSight has been successful in helping retailers win funding in the three previous grant rounds in 2020 & 2021, having worked with them at each stage of the application process.

The applications were submitted on a no win, no fee basis, meaning that whatever time was required by the ChannelSight team to help complete the application form was not billed to the retailer in the event that the application was unsuccessful, leaving no risk to the retailer.

We are now working with these successful grant applicants to take them through a full digital transformation of their retail businesses: getting products online and realigning their entire business to reflect the multichannel buying experience that customers now expect.

Eligibility criteria

Currently there are three main criteria for eligibility for this grant:

  • The applicant should be Irish-owned and must employ 10 or more people on a full-time equivalent basis and has the potential to sustain or create jobs, generate growth in online transactions and with an ambition to internationalise their business in future.
  • You must have an existing physical store and some form of online presence (website or social media).
  • You must derive the majority of your revenue from retail sales from a physical store.

Contact ChannelSight for more details about these eligibility criteria.

Click here to contact ChannelSight for more information about how to apply for this grant.

What services does ChannelSight offer to retailers under this scheme?

Typical elements in developing a refined and transactional online presence include market research, consultancy for developing a digital strategy, implementing the proposed strategy and supporting and training internal staff in new ways of doing business.

Research

Understanding the market environment for your business will form the groundwork for the development and implementation of your online strategy. Researching current retail trends, what’s changing in your own sector (online and offline) as well as learning from leading players in Ireland and beyond will all set the scene for the long term growth of your business. This research will help you avoid risk and grasp the right market opportunity to position your business for sustained growth.

Strategy

We’ll work with you to devise a strategy for the digital transformation of your retail business. This strategy will include how best to present your products online, what your value proposition should emphasise and how to grow and drive omnichannel business.

Implementation

This involves optimising the company’s online presence to facilitate domestic and international visibility and upgrading ‘back end’ systems, for example:

  • website enhancement
  • associated business process enhancements
  • search engine optimization
  • product presentation
  • supply chain initiatives
  • systems integration to improve business processes and customer service
  • and more.

Each project is tailored to match your unique requirements – every retail business is different and so too is every digital transformation project.

Click here to contact ChannelSight for more information about how to apply for this grant.

Internal champion

The ‘internal champion’ is the retail company employee who will liaise with the external agency on this project. Previous successful applications we’ve worked with in 2020 & 2021 have applied for costs for this internal champion of around €10,000. The maximum claim for this internal employee is €200 per day so this equated for example to around 50 days. Some projects will require a lot of this person’s time, e.g. around 50 days, while other projects will require more or less. 

About ChannelSight

An eCommerce Intelligence Platform, working with many of the world’s top brands, we partner with our customers to optimize their digital path to purchase, helping them to maximize sales using our compliance, conversion and intelligence solutions.

The ChannelSight team is committed to improving the world of eCommerce leaders through our culture of innovation and learning. We are passionate about our customers’ successes.

We specialise in helping brands and retailers sell more online and in store by leveraging the ChannelSight digital strategies and platforms which underpin them.

Live in 65 markets and powering the digital path to purchase for 120+ Brands, helping their consumers to easily find and buy their products at a network of 2000+ retailers around the globe.

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