Digital Sales Essential Grant from InterTrade Ireland

Intertrade Ireland has announced a new funding scheme called the ‘Digital Sales Essential (DSE)’ to replace the E-Merge Covid-19 grant.

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Digital Sales Essential Grant

Applications will close for the Digital Sales Essentials at 5pm on Friday 16th September 2022. The deadline will not be extended and any late applications will not be accepted.

InterTrade Ireland has announced a new funding scheme called the ‘Digital Sales Essential (DSE)’ programme. The new £2,500/€2,800 business support scheme is officially replacing the E-Merge Covid-19 grant.

The grant will offer five days worth of fully-funded consultancy support over 12 weeks to enable improved online presence, digital marketing and e-commerce capability to eligible companies that trade cross-border.

Grofuse digital director, Denis Finnegan, said: “This fully-funded digital sales and marketing programme will help employers to develop e-commerce solutions to grow online sales.

“This funding programme gives applicants much more choice in terms of the scope of services they can benefit from and facilitates longer project timelines than were available under the E-Merge scheme. As there was significant demand for the E-Merge grant, eligible businesses are advised to apply early to ensure inclusion.

The second support to be offered in this pilot programme will be Digital Sales Advanced. This is currently under development with an envisaged launch date in November 2022.

What You Need To Know:

  • The DSE is replacing the E-Merge grant.
  • The programme is fully funded for all businesses.
  • Instead of six weeks, project timelines will be extended to 12 weeks.
  • Businesses that availed of the previous E-Merge support will not be eligible at the initial launch.

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Must be an SME with less than 250 staff and less than £40 million/€50 million turnover.
  • Must be an indigenous business registered in Ireland or Northern Ireland (companies from Ireland must hold a valid Tax Clearance Certificate).
  • Offer services in either the manufacturing or tradeable services sectors.
  • Minimum of 12 months trading history and a minimum turnover of £100,000/€120,000.
  • Must have an established trading record in cross border trade (i.e. selling products/services in the cross border market) or have identified a potential opportunity for future cross border trade.
  • Must be able to complete the project within 12 weeks of approval.
  • Have not previously received support under the InterTradeIreland e-Merge programme.

Ineligible Sectors: Businesses involved in: Wholesale, retail, personal services, distribution, tourism, hospitality, primary agriculture and professional business services are not eligible for assistance under this scheme. However, applications from these sectors will be considered if the business has developed a unique product, system or process that provides additional value to the core business activity.

Intertrade Ireland Digital Sales Essential Support Categories:

1. Websites and e-commerce platforms

This covers a variety of services, including website audits, website design and development, updates, upgrades and professional advice. Companies must have a live functioning website to select this option.

Your website is a digital representation of your brand – maintaining a high standard is critical to online success. In addition to this, Google has increasingly strict regulations that will penalise your website’s visibility to customers if it is not of an acceptable standard.

2. Digital strategy and consulting

Developing a comprehensive digital strategy could cover brand identity, market positioning, content planning and the development of a bespoke marketing strategy.

Planning campaigns in advance with consistency is key to winning results. Grofuse provides in-depth digital strategy reviews and expert consulting with regular communication and progress reports.

3. Digital marketing

Digital marketing services available cover anything from search engine optimisation (SEO) audits and the initial implementation of key social media channels or influencer marketing, to blogging, advertisements and video content. Implementing digital marketing analytics such as Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager is also covered in the scope of the scheme.

4. Sales via paid digital advertising

This can range from defining sales goals and establishing target audiences, to creating website sign-up forms, measuring sales conversions, paid advertising on social media, and pay per click (PPC) set up and management– all of which are covered by the grant under paid digital advertising.

When executed correctly, digital advertising will be a significant revenue stream for you and your business. In contrast to traditional marketing methods, all returns on investment and data can be easily tracked. Grofuse recently optimised a current client’s digital advertising strategy, which increased online revenue by 890%.

5. Online customer services

Online customer services cover planning for implementing digital customers’ engagement and support networks. These may include online channels, email accounts, chatbot services and messaging apps.

Improved support services increase your customer touchpoints and can significantly aid client retention.

6. E-commerce shipping and fulfilment

This category encompasses mapping a defined shipping and returns strategy for your product portfolio. Practical advice on product packaging, labelling, using carriers and shipping costs is also acceptable under this element of the scheme.

Ensuring your operations are efficient and optimised can reduce shipping costs, improve your customer experience, lessen administrative duties and more.

7. E-commerce legal considerations and data management

Services under this category include GDPR consulting, protecting customers’ privacy and financial data online, as well as insurance and security.

Legal considerations and data management provide an overview of standard e-commerce terms and conditions, and online advertising compliance. With strict data protection laws now in place, you must ensure you adhere to these regulations.

You can apply direct here via Intertrade Ireland and put ‘Grofuse Ltd’ as potential supplier

Approved InterTrade Ireland Consultants

If you need help with your application?

Grofuse is an approved consultant for InterTrade Ireland programmes. Contact our InterTrade Ireland consultant for expert advice and assistance with your application: denis.finnegan@grofuse.com. Alternatively, call NI/GB +44 2871228820 or ROI +353 1 247 5294.