OPTIMISE Programme

Enabling e-commerce for SMEs


We launched the OPTIMISE Programme in 2011. It is an initiative that empowers small businesses to improve their online presence, hone their digital capabilities and grow their e-commerce sales.

Our Digital Health Index research reveals that SMEs and micro businesses with e-commerce capability remain in the minority, despite consumers’ appetite for online shopping growing.

Over the last seven years, we have worked shoulder-to-shoulder with 130 small and micro businesses to plan, develop and implement significant web enhancements and e-commerce capabilities to their existing websites.

Sector based approach

In 2017 we revamped OPTIMISE to take a sectoral approach, helping selected enterprises from a particular sector on their digital journeys.

Our current partners are the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland, the Hardware Association of Ireland and Retail Excellence.

Each participant of the programme undergoes a focussed digital healthcheck. It measures the performance of a participant’s business under the headings of Branding; Design; UX Usability; Content; E-commerce; Coding; Mobile; SEO/adwords; Social Media; Email marketing. A detailed report with recommendations is provided so that participants have a roadmap for improving their online presence and e-commerce capability.

Participants are given fast-track access to the LEO Trading Online voucher scheme, which offers financial assistance of up to €2,500 and training and advice to help small business trade online.

From a sector organisation perspective, OPTIMISE helps:

  • assist members to grow their businesses and protect their futures by ensuring they are digitally capable and confident
  • promote digital excellence within a sector and facilitate digital transformation
  • ensure that members can compete online in the global marketplace.

Our partnership with the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland has proved very successful so far in assisting Irish design and craft businesses to improve their online presence and e-commerce capabilities.

Case studies

See how the individual small businesses also reaped the benefits of participating in the programme in our case studies below:

For further information on the companies we have worked with, please browse our case studies from previous years.

Expression of interest

If you are a sectoral organisation and are interested in participating in the programme, please get in touch. Email marketing@iedr.ie