Coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions have created the opportunity to embrace digital retail and online shopping in the short, medium and longer term. Now, more than ever, this needs to be seriously considered as part of the strategy for any Limerick business no matter what size or domain of activity.
Online eCommerce digital channels have proven to be the most viable alternative during the COVID19 restrictions.
Current restrictions have created an opportunity for local retailers, restaurants and all businesses owners to embrace digital channels for ecommerce, to create new or to enhance their existing online trading platforms.
Limerick City and County Council wants to assist companies that don’t already have e-commerce and digital capabilities or companies that want to enhance their online offering.
Please note that the information published on this page is provided as is. The disclaimer below applies.
- What do I need to consider?
- What options do I have?
- How can the Council support me?
- Who are some suppliers that I could work with?
There are mainly fours elements to consider when choosing how to sell online.
- Online shop management. This will include options for stock loading with suitable photos and product description.
- Payments management (PayPal, Realex, Stripe, WorldPay, etc.)
- Delivery management
- Returns and refunds management.
This list is not comprehensive. We strongly advise companies to carry out own research or consult experienced eCommerce service providers.
A number of simple options are described below for companies that require assistance enhance to embrace digital channels and online shopping.
- Option 1 – Sell online using social media or own “brochure” website
- Option 2 – Sell on eCommerce Market Platforms
- Option 3 – Sell on custom eCommerce digital platform
Each option is described below in simple language
Option 1 – Sell online using social media or own “brochure” website
This is a quick and easy to implement solution but it requires manual work-arounds. Business owners will promote products and offerings on their existing websites or social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.), etc.
Companies will need to implement a manual order taking and fulfilment process, arrange for in shop collection or arrange for delivery to the customer if allowed under the COVID19 restrictions.
Additional delivery charges will need to be factored in the cost of the products sold.
- Easy to setup
- Very easy first step for businesses to sell online
- Ready-made marketplace with digital marketing options to promote products and services
- Customers already available and potentially looking for goods and services
- Companies can compare products and prices (vs competitors) and manage stock availability and develop the delivery logistics
- Dependency on the 3rd party platforms with support options, terms and conditions that cannot easily be negotiated.
- Can be difficulties communicating directly with customers
- Small costs and additional fees needed to boost visibility
- Dependent on these platforms solely for their online business
- Limits on products they can add and manage
Option 2 - Sell on eCommerce Market Platforms
Online shops can opened in a matter of hours using a number of existing eCommerce platforms.
*This list is not comprehensive. We welcome new eCommerce platform suppliers to register online.
- Fast delivery of online shopping channel
- Relatively easy to setup
- Tried and tested ecommerce service with integrated website design, stock loading and variants, stock management and payments
- Delivery integrations are available at extra cost
- More control over design and product choices
- More control over developing the business
- New learning curve
- Starting from scratch, needs marketing to develop traffic
- Limitations on customisation options
- Ongoing monthly fees
- May be difficult to upgrade or move to another platform in the future
Option 3 – Sell on custom eCommerce digital platform
While this option takes a longer time (days) to implement it provides the highest level of control and customisation for a great online customer experience.
A number of ecommerce solutions can be customised and configured by suppliers listed below to deliver an enhanced trading online platform based on customer requirements.
- Full control over design, layout and functionality
- Development of their online business in their own hands
- Not dependent on one channel for traffic
- Better options to retain and market to customers once up and running
- Can link in with epos/Stock systems
- Steeper learning curve
- Marketing budget needed to develop traffic/customers
- Additional costs for hosting, plugins and design (themes)
- Needs to be maintained and supported
- Free Business listing on Limerick.ie/Shop
- Online supports already in place with LEO Trading Online Voucher (up to €2,500),
- Courses on trading online, setting up a website, online marketing etc.
- Register their interest online at www.Limerick.ie/Business, email email@example.com or telephone (061) 556000.
The following companies have offered to provide advice, solutions, products and services to businesses interested in going online. See our list of companies that have registered as e-commerce providers here.
|ECommerce Supplier||Previous Webinars *||Upcoming Webinars **|
(1) Fri May 29th 11:00am - 12:00pm "The 8 Key Elements of a Successful Website"
(2) Fri May 29th 1:30pm - 2:30pm "Your Social Brand Assessment"
|Chloe Markham Stylist|
(1) Tues May 19th at 11:00am - 11:40am
(2) Thurs May 21st at 11.00am -11:40am
(3) Tues May 26th at 11:00am - 11:40am
Watch again: Video link
|HopOnDigital Ltd||(1) Tues May 19th at 4:00pm - 4:30pm "Importance of online presence"|
|Kincora Design Studio|
|Limerick Website Design|
|Little Blue Studio|
|ParkMagic Mobile Solutions|
|Rise Personal Branding||
(1) Wed 20th May at 1:30pm-2:00pm "Top 5 tips to ace social media and DigtialPR for retailers"
Watch again: Video link (Dropbox)
(2) Thurs May 28th at 1:30pm - 2:00pm "How to use Social Media to create Sales in your business."
|Spaceship Digital Ltd|
|The Limerick Girl|
(1) Wed 13th May at 1:30pm - 2:00pm
(2) Thur 14th May at 1:30pm - 2:00pm.
|VMotion IT Solutions Ltd.||
(1) Wed May 27th at 11:30am "Customer experience is built on convenience."
|We Have Liftoff|
|We Know Digital|
* Recordings of webinars will appear here shortly after the webinars have taken place.
** Webinar access details will be sent to businesses who have signed up for Digital Retail Support here
This list is not comprehensive. It is based on companies that registered as part of this campaign. We welcome new eCommerce platform suppliers to register online.
The information is provided "as is" with no assurance or guarantee of completeness, accuracy or timeliness of the information, and without warranty of any kind, express or implied, including but not limited to warranties of performance, merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose.
For the avoidance of doubt it is understood and accepted that it is the business owner who makes business decisions, who may select and enter into a contract with third parties. The State and its agents (including Limerick City and County Council, the Local Enterprise Office, Enterprise Ireland or any Government Department) does not accept any liability whatsoever in respect of any deficit in or consequences arising from products or services procured by or provided to companies under this information. In using the information provided on this page you are confirming that you understand and accept this disclaimer.
Please note: Limerick City and County Council, the Local Enterprise Office is not responsible for any disputes between the business owner and 3rd party suppliers. Therefore we recommend that you adhere to best business practice and get three quotes as well as carry out due diligence before engaging a supplier.