Commerce Catalyst FAQs

James Doughty

Through the Commerce Catalyst Programme we provide exciting young eCommerce brands with funding, consultancy and 360° digital support ranging from Digital Marketing Strategy to Website Production. The programme has already helped luxury brands Paper London & Port Tanger achieve significant growth in online revenue and international brand awareness.

With applications now open, in this short post we answer some of the most frequently asked questions around the Commerce Catalyst eCommerce funding programme.

What kinds of brand can apply to the programme?

The Commerce Catalyst Programme is intended for ambitious young eCommerce brands with less than £10M annual revenue, but who demonstrate clear growth potential and are already gaining traction in their chosen markets. 

While we specialise in luxury and premium brands, we are interested in applicants from all sectors that may fit the eligibility criteria. We love partnering with brands that have a unique and exciting position in their market, and with people that we connect well with at a personal level.

How do you decide which digital services / channels my funding will be applied to? 

We take a holistic, data-driven approach to digital, which means that the funded services mix is tailored specifically to each brand, and designed to achieve optimal results relative to their current standing. All partnerships kick off with a consultative Discovery phase, during which we define a rigorous but realistic growth strategy based on your level of funding, previous engagement metrics and customer personas. 

Many brands begin with a complete website redesign & build to make sure that there is a strong foundation through which to maximise conversions. Once launched, we aim to maximise qualified traffic to the website through a combination of Paid Media activation (PPC & Paid Social), engaging content and targeted email marketing campaigns. 

Regardless of the mix of services, our digital strategies are always 100% data-driven and reactive to changing market trends, consumer behaviours and ongoing performance metrics.

How much funding can I receive, and how does repayment work?

In partnership with some of the UK’s leading finance companies, investment starts from £10k and ranges all the way up to £2M, depending on your previous performance, revenue figures and any available third party data. Following your application, we will review your eligibility for the programme and put forward an offer that we feel best suits your funding needs. 

We don’t believe that young brands should have to give away part of their business in order to grow, which is why investment is based on a revenue share model, rather than taking equity. The initial funding is paid back over time, based on a pre-agreed fixed fee and a % share of your online revenue.

What results can I expect to see from the programme?

Ultimately, results will vary depending on the level of funding, combination of digital services and your brand’s specific goals. At the start of every partnership we set out a clear set of OKRs (Objectives & Key Results), which allow us to benchmark success in the medium to long term. 

Typically, quantitative success may be measured in % revenue increase, return on ad spend (if applicable), and overall ROI, while some brands may see success as an increased brand awareness or opening up a revenue stream in a new market. 

Paper London, a sustainable swimwear brand who joined the programme in early 2020, saw an 3.1 return on ad spend, while Port Tanger, a luxury eyewear brand, carried out a website refresh and Paid Media activation which led to a significant uplift in new customer acquisition.

How quickly can I get started?

Once funding arrangements have been put in place and team resource has been allocated, we can get started straight away! Our team strives to become an extension to your own and work on a truly consultative basis, so you can expect plenty of collaboration and throughout.

We are currently taking Q3 and Q4 programme applications. To read more about the programme or to apply, please visit the Commerce Catalyst page of our website. 

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