Inventorium and IIA create e-commerce accelerator to get Irish SMEs trading online

14 Mar 2013

NDRC’s Inventorium and the Irish Internet Association (IIA) are teaming up on a new accelerator programme to get 20 Irish SMEs into online trading.

The free programme aims to turn these SMEs into fully fledged online retailers with new export and jobs potential over the course of an intensive five weeks, at the end of which they will be able to launch their online store and begin accepting orders.

Participating businesses will devise and execute an online strategy, supported on a one-to-one basis by professional stylists and photographers, online advertising and marketing experts, software engineers, online payments and logistics providers, and ‘e-tail’ mentors. They will become acquainted with key concepts in e-commerce, such as online customer lifecycle, cost of customer acquisition, social retailing, and technology configuration and support.

“The intensive nature of this programme has been designed specifically to achieve an immediate impact online,” explained IIA CEO Joan Mulvihill. “The potential for Irish export growth through the internet is crystal clear but we must move quickly to exploit this opportunity.”

Irish businesses missing out on e-tail opportunities

It is estimated that 2.6m online shoppers in Ireland will spend €5.7bn in 2016, accounting for 7pc of all consumer spending. However, the current reality is more than half of all revenue from Irish people’s online shopping goes abroad, mainly to the UK. About 140,000 Irish businesses don’t engage in any form of e-commerce and 50,000 don’t even have a website.

“As online spending continues to grow, Irish businesses must react and carve out their share of this market if they are to secure their businesses into the future,” said Mark Kearns, director of Inventorium. “It is completely unacceptable that over half of all online sales are going abroad because consumers cannot buy their products online from Irish businesses. Through our partnership with the IIA we are now piloting the ClickTailing e-Tail Accelerator to focus our expertise and networks in tech sector commercialisation into the non-tech retail sector.”

Applications for the accelerator programmer are being accepted now.

Elaine Burke is the host of For Tech’s Sake, a co-production from Silicon Republic and The HeadStuff Podcast Network. She was previously the editor of Silicon Republic.