The work you seek to have done by the external service provider(s) will entail [select all applicable].
If you are not sure about any item, you should discuss it with someone you trust. Your application must indicate Yes or No for each item.
There are 18 work items identified here, one being other, for anything not covered in the other 17 items.
IT Consultation & Project Management
The first two listed, IT Consultation and Project Management are quite generic and fairly standard for any Information Technology project. You can reasonably assume that any professional IT service provider will include IT consultation and Project Management in their services.
New eCommerce website or Upgrade existing eCommerce website
This scheme aims to get businesses trading online, so developing a new or upgrading an existing eCommerce website is likely a typical feature of most, if not all, Trading Online Voucher Scheme projects.
That's not to say that a business could not propose other project ideas that do not require the development or upgrading of an eCommerce website.
If a project idea shows innovation and potential for increased sales or employment, it will be considered.
Content Management System (CMS)
A Content Management System (CMS) is typically used to allow updating and publishing your website's content, such as blog posts and images, in a similar way as you would update a Word document or post something on Facebook.
You need to be comfortable and capable of producing content on a reasonably consistent basis if you are responsible for updating the content on your website.
A website needs to produce fresh content continually to keep and improve its search engine results ranking. There are many ways to create new content, and some can be automatic, and not all have to come from you. One of the best sources of fresh content is customers leaving reviews on a daily or weekly basis.
Online Payments & Bookings
Here are another two key work-types, Implementing an online payments system and Implementing an interactive booking system. If you currently cannot accept payments online (via Credit or Debit cards), then it's almost certain that your project would be expected to implement an online payments system on your website, thus making it an eCommerce website.
If you are in a service industry, then implementing an interactive booking system so your customers can book your services online, through your own website, especially when coupled with online payments, will be seen as a superb project proposal.
App Development typically means a mobile app for Android and Apple phones and tablets. Given that the project is aimed at trading online, it may be more difficult to propose an app when an eCommerce website will be more suitable and efficient in probably 99.999% of cases!
That being said, it is entirely possible that an app may be the most suitable and appropriate solution for some niche or innovative use-cases.
App development is typically more expensive that website development. Costs of both continue to fall as new technologies and tools makes many common uses cases easier and quicker to develop.
Digital Marketing & Online Advertising
Development of a digital marketing strategy and Implementation of a digital marketing strategy is likely to play a role in many Trading Online Voucher Scheme projects.
It cannot be understated how difficult it is to market a website. You can spend €0 and reach the top of the search results page on Google or spend infinite amounts of money and get nowhere.
Development and Implementation of a digital marketing strategy re two separate work-types, as they are two different activities. Your supplier may do both or may develop the plan for you, offer you some training, and implement the strategy yourself.
Digital Marketing is a huge topic, where much focus is on Online Advertising, which for the most part, essentially boils down to ads on screens. The advertising market, in general, is growing online:
Half of all global advertising dollars will be spent online by 2020, matching the worldwide combined “offline” ad spend, such as TV, print ads and billboard posters, according to forecasts.
Google dominates online advertising with its leading search engine, and Facebook with their near-total dominance social media.
However, purchasing digital ads is a more advanced strategy. Many free strategies should be used first.
Probably the most important digital marketing strategy there is free. Get your business listed on Google My Business. Their tagline says it all:
With a Google My Business Account, you get more than a business listing. Your free Business Profile lets you easily connect with customers across Google Search and Maps.
Professional Photography is vital for particular projects, especially where there are few or no available high-quality product photos. High-quality photos can be particularly useful for gaining new customers via social media or essential for creating product imagery for your online store.
Subscription for Online Retail Platform Solutions
Subscription to low-cost online retail platform solutions is given to mean a year's subscription to a platform such as Shopify for businesses that sell consumer goods, or LocalPro.ie for those that sell services. Here at LocalPro.ie we'll offer 5 to 10 year plans for Trading Online Voucher Scheme applicants. Contact us to learn more.
The Trading Online Project Scheme is designed to get you up-and-running online. It is expected that you will need to do some amount of work to continue maintenance and updating of your website, or that you will continue to pay someone to do it for you. Either way, it will be seen as prudent in your application to get some training, at least 3 hours, so that you understand the nature of your online business presence.
Copy [written or graphic content] for a website is a significant part of any website. The quality of the content on a website probably plays the most critical role in determining a web page's ranking on the search engine results page. It also has a knock-on effect on ads' cost if one were to start a Pay-Per-Click Google Ads campaign. Suppose your content is better than anyone else. In that case, you will get a lower cost-per-click rate, or even better, an organic listing click that costs you nothing at all.
Google is playing a balancing act between showing the best results to their users to keep using Google and trying to earn some money from users clicking Pay-Per-Click ad search results.
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is probably the most commonly used acronym in the online business world, with good reason. It's imperative, and it covers a lot of multitude of activities, processes and standards.
Essentially it is what it says it is; it is about optimising your website for search engines like Google and social media platforms like Facebook. Your website must be optimised for these search networks and social media platforms. This is how you will generate 99.999% of new online customers. Only your friends, family and existing customers might find your website without first going through a Google search or seeing a Facebook post.
Analysis of existing site analytics is collecting and assessing data collected about user behaviour and actions on your website. Users are tracked online to a considerable degree. Tracking is used to enhance a business's ability to understand customer behaviour. It helps gain insights into actions that may be taken to improve the likelihood of completing a sale or driving repeat customers.
If you have existing site analytics, it will boost your application strength if you leverage this data.
Since online technology moves so fast, and nobody knows your business better than you, there is room for you to propose additional work items that do not fit into any of the categories listed.
Just keep in mind the main criteria. Anything not related to helping you trade online will not be accepted.