Don't you love getting a big price break on an item you really want? As a Volusion store owner, you can give your customers that same feeling by offering coupons and discounts.

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Getting Started

Volusion lets you configure a wide variety of limited-time or permanent discounts. You can create automatic product-based discounts, offer percentages off of entire orders, distribute coupon codes, and more.

  1. Log in to your Admin Area and go to Marketing > Coupons/Discounts.
  2. Click Add to create a new discount, or click the ID number of an existing coupon or discount to edit its settings.

The Difference Between a Discount and a Coupon

A discount is a price reduction that applies automatically based on shopping cart conditions you've defined in your Admin Area. A coupon is a discount that requires an extra step: the shopper must manually enter a coupon code on the shopping cart page before the price reduction applies. You can provide the code however you like: through a blog post, in a newsletter email, over the phone, in a web or print ad, etc.

For further information on how discounts and coupons (and combinations of both) apply, go to the "Tips and Special Settings" section below and locate the "How Coupons and Discounts Combine" subsection.

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Coupons / Discounts Settings

You have a variety of configuration options when creating coupons and discounts. The following table describes each one:

BASIC DISCOUNT INFO

ID
Each coupon or discount has an automatically-assigned ID number.

Discount Name
In this field, enter a name for the coupon or discount. It appears as a line item on the shopping cart page. This field is required.

Discount Type
Select a discount type from the menu: deduct a dollar amount from a product; deduct a dollar amount from the entire order; deduct a percentage from a product; deduct a percentage from the entire order; or provide free shipping for the entire order. This field is required.

Discount Value
Enter a numerical value to deduct either a price or a percentage from the product or order, depending on the Discount Type you selected. This field is required.

Coupon
When you select this check box, shoppers must enter a coupon code to receive the discount.
Coupon Code:
In this field, enter the text you'd like shoppers to type in the storefront Coupon Code field to redeem the coupon.
Coupon Usage:
Allows you to restrict the number of times a coupon can be redeemed:
Unlimited – the code can be redeemed an unlimited number of times
One-Time Use Per Customer – limits the code to one redemption per IP address
One-Time Use – limits the code to one redemption only, regardless of IP address. This can be useful when creating a unique coupon code for a single purchase for a specific customer
Cannot Be Used With Another Coupon:
restricts shoppers from redeeming any other coupons when using this code

Categories
You can apply discounts or coupons to an entire category or number of categories and all of the products contained within them. In the Categories field, use the Select Categories or Update Categories link to search for and select categories for the coupon or discount. Select Advanced if you'd prefer to manually enter the ID numbers of categories, making sure to separate them with commas. Select Clear Categories to remove all categories assigned to the discount. 

Products
You can apply discounts or coupons to one or more specific products. In the Products field, use the Select Products or Update Products link to search for and select products for the coupon or discount. Select Advanced if you'd prefer to manually enter the ID numbers of products, making sure to separate them with commas. Select Clear Products to remove all products assigned to the discount.

ADVANCED INFO

Set Time Limit
Select this check box to limit the duration that a coupon or discount is valid.
Begin Date: Select a beginning date for this coupon or discount. Customers won't be able to use this coupon or discount prior to this date.
End Date: Select an expiration date for this coupon or discount. Customers won't be able to use this coupon or discount after this date. 

Define Quantity Requirements
Select this check box to require shoppers to buy a minimum number of product units before the coupon or discount applies, or to limit the coupon or discount to a maximum number of product units.
Minimum Quantity:
Enter the minimum quantity of qualifying products the shopper must purchase in a single order before this discount applies. You can use this setting for any discount type.
Maximum Quantity:
Enter the maximum quantity of qualifying products the shopper can purchase in a single order before this discount no longer applies.
Span:
This option determines how a coupon or discount applies the values you specified in the Minimum Quantity and Maximum Quantity fields. By default, the coupon or discount only applies when the unit quantity of a single qualifying product falls within the defined range. With this check box selected, the coupon or discount adds the unit quantities of all qualifying products together.

Define Order Price Requirements
Select this check box to set a minimum order cost the shopper must meet before the coupon or discount applies, or a maximum cost to which the coupon or discount can apply.
Min Order Price:
Enter a minimum total price of all items the shopper enters in the cart before the coupon or discount applies to eligible products.
Max Order Price:
Enter a maximum total price of all items the shopper can enter in the cart before the coupon or discount no longer applies to eligible products.

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How to Set Up a Coupon: Example

Suppose you want to create a coupon for 10% off of an entire order when a shopper purchases two or more of any product in the same category, and you plan to send the coupon code to all of your newsletter subscribers. Additionally, you want each shopper to only be able to redeem the coupon code once. To set up this coupon:

  1. Go to Marketing > Coupons/Discounts.
  2. Click Add.
  3. In the Discount Name field, enter the discount's name (for example: "10% Off Promo").
  4. In the Discount Type menu, select Percent Off Entire Order.
  5. In the Discount Value field, enter "10".
  6. Select the Coupon check box.
  7. Enter the Coupon Code that shoppers must enter to redeem the coupon during checkout (for example: "10off").
  8. In the Coupon Usage field, select One-Time Use Per Customer*.
  9. If you don't want customers to be able to apply other coupons at the same as this one, select the Cannot Be Used With Another Coupon check box.
  10. Click Select Categories.
  11. Search for and choose the category you want the coupon to apply to.
  12. If you'd like to define a validity period for the coupon, locate the Advanced Info section and select the Set Time Limit check box.
  13. Assign a Begin Date and / or an End Date as necessary.
  14. Select the Define Quantity Requirements check box.
  15. In the Minimum Quantity field, enter "2".
  16. Select the Span check box.
  17. Click Save.

Once you've configured these settings, shoppers can enter the coupon code in the Coupon Code field of your shopping cart page to apply the discount to their orders. The subtotal of the entire order will be reduced by ten percent, provided that customers have added at least two products from the specified category to their carts.

Each customer can only redeem this coupon once, and the Cannot be Used with Another Coupon option prevents the coupon from being used with other coupons. Any applicable automatic discounts you've configured will still apply.

*Note that the One-Time Use Per Customer field differentiates defines a "customer" as a visitor from a specific IP address.

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How to Set Up a Quantity Discount: Example

Suppose you want to create an automatic quantity discount that applies to a specific group of products. Shoppers receive a 10% discount on any order they place that includes at least three of these products. The discount will always be available.

  1. Go to Marketing > Coupons/Discounts.
  2. Click Add.
  3. In the Discount Name field, enter a name for the discount (for example: "10% Off 3 or More").
  4. From the Discount Type menu, select Percent off a Product.
  5. In the Discount Value field, enter "10".
  6. Click Select Products.
  7. Choose applicable products.
  8. Select the Define Quantity Requirements check box.
  9. In the Minimum Quantity field, enter "3".
  10. Select the Span check box.
  11. Click Save.

Once you've taken these steps, the cost of each applicable product will be reduced by 10%, provided that the shopper adds at least three of them to the cart. The discount applies automatically, and shoppers can take advantage of it any time they order three or more qualifying products. This type of discount can be a great incentive to get shoppers to purchase more; the more they order, the more items they'll save on.

If you do not want special pricing level customers to receive quantity-based discounts available to all customers, follow these steps:

  1. Go to Settings > Config Variables > Search.
  2. In the Name field, enter "Special."
  3. Click the blue Search button.
  4. In the Value column, be sure the check box is cleared (not selected).
  5. Click Save.

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Tips and Special Settings

Free Shipping Coupons

Another great way to encourage extra purchasing is to offer a free shipping discount. It differs from other free shipping settings in that it applies to an entire order, rather than to specific products.

HOW TO SET UP A FREE SHIPPING DISCOUNT 

Let's say that a shopper orders both Product A and Product B, but only Product A qualifies for free shipping. In this case, the shopper won't receive free shipping because at least one product in the cart doesn't qualify for free shipping.

However, if neither product is configured to qualify for free shipping, but Product A is applied to a discount configured for free shipping on an entire order, the entire order's shipping will be free even though Product B isn't applied to the same discount.

You can also set up a free shipping coupon by requiring and defining a coupon code. Keep in mind that free shipping coupons and discounts will always apply to the entire order. Furthermore, free shipping coupons and discounts override all Free Shipping Method settings configured at Settings > Shipping.

IMPORTANT NOTE FOR QUICKBOOKS USERS 

A free shipping coupon creates a line item with a price of 0.00. Orders with such line items cannot be imported into QuickBooks because QuickBooks requires that all line items have a non-zero price. To import such orders into QuickBooks, therefore, you'll first have to delete the coupon from the order and save it.

Discounts Configured with Parent / Child Products

When you assign coupons or discounts to products or categories, you must take extra care with child products created by the Inventory Control Grid and Smart Match features. By default, child products created using these features don't have categories assigned to them. If you create a coupon or discount for an entire category, make sure any child products you want to include in the category are applied directly to it.

One-Time-Use Coupons

As the name implies, One-Time-Use Per Customer coupons can only be used once by each customer. The feature keeps track of customers by remembering the IP address used when redeeming the coupon. Note that if multiple customers try to redeem the coupon while using the same computer or network IP address, only the first submission will apply successfully.

One-Time Use coupons can be redeemed one time only, regardless of unique visitors. This setting is useful when you need to create a coupon that can only be used on a single purchase by a specific customer.

The Cannot Be Used With Another Coupon Setting

If you select the Cannot Be Used with Another Coupon check box, a coupon won't work on a shopping cart to which one or more other coupons have already been applied. The coupon will, however, work with other discounts. Discounts apply to orders automatically, even when a coupon specified as Cannot Be Used With Another Coupon has been applied to the cart.

If a coupon and a discount both have the Cannot Be Used with Another Coupon setting selected, both will apply to a customer's cart because this setting only serves as a restriction against use of other coupons, not other discounts.

How to Assign Coupon Codes

You must assign a unique code to each coupon you create. Applying the same code to multiple coupons — even the codes of coupons that are discontinued or inactive — can cause errors when customers attempt to redeem them. 

Note that coupon codes are not case-sensitive; your customers will be able to redeem a specific coupon code whether they type in all caps or lowercase letters. However, coupon codes cannot contain special characters or punctuation (such as % and $).

How to Exclude Products from Coupons and Discounts

In some cases you may want to create a coupon or discount with more eligible products than ineligible products. The easiest way to manage coupons and discounts of this nature is to assign all products you want to include to a special hidden category, and apply the entire category to the coupon or discount. You can then use our Import / Export feature to manage changes to the category efficiently.

Special Considerations for Amount Off Entire Order Discounts

If you create a discount with a Discount Type of Dollar amount off ENTIRE ORDER, the discount will only apply once per cart regardless of the number of units of a qualifying product a shopper adds. If more than one different product qualifies, however, the discount will apply once for each qualifying product, regardless of how many units of those products are added.

If you want this type of discount to only apply once per cart in these cases, select the Define Quantity Requirements check box, select the Span check box, and save. You must take this step whether or not you choose to define minimum and / or maximum quantities.

How to Use Discount Settings to Create Surcharges

In certain circumstances, you can configure a discount to add cost to products.

EXAMPLE

You sell a particular product and need to charge customers a flat $5.00 fee regardless of whether a customer orders one unit or 100 units. To accomplish this:

  1. Go to Marketing > Coupons/Discounts.
  2. Click Add.
  3. In the Discount Name field, enter an appropriate name (example: "$5 Surcharge").
  4. From the Discount Type menu, select Dollar Amount Off Entire Order.
  5. In the Discount Value field, type "-5".
  6. Click Select Products and choose the product(s) the surcharge applies to.
  7. Select the Define Quantity Requirements check box.
  8. In the Minimum Quantity field, enter "1".
  9. Select the Span check box.
  10. Click Save.

Now, when shoppers order this product in any quantity, a negative $5 amount will be discounted from their orders, effectively adding a $5 surcharge.

Note that this discount will only create a surcharge when you select Dollar Amount Off Entire Order or Dollar Amount Off A Product from the Discount Type menu. You can't configured a negative discount using a percentage-based selection.

Important Note for QuickBooks Users

If you're using QuickBooks, you should not use discounts to create surcharges. Doing so will create a negative discount that causes the QuickBooks export to malfunction.

How Discounts and Coupons Combine

There may be occasions when a discount and a coupon, multiple discounts, multiple coupons, or even combinations of discounts and coupons apply to a single order. Discounts and coupons apply in a strict hierarchy:

  1. Dollar Amount Off discounts (by discount ID number, from lowest to highest)
  2. Percentage Off discounts (by discount ID number, from lowest to highest)
  3. Dollar Amount Off coupons (by coupon code, alphanumerically)
  4. Percentage Off coupons (by coupon code, alphanumerically)

Please note that combined discounts apply in this manner:

  • Dollar Amount Off a Product + Dollar Amount Off a Product: discounts accumulate
  • Dollar Amount Off a Product + Dollar Amount Off Entire Order: discounts accumulate
  • Dollar Amount Off a Product + Percent Off a Product: percentage applies first, and then dollar amount
  • Dollar Amount Off a Product + Percent Off Entire Order: dollar amount applies first, and then percentage
  • Dollar Amount Off Entire Order + Dollar Amount Off Entire Order: discounts accumulate
  • Dollar Amount Off Entire Order + Percent Off a Product: percentage applies first, and then dollar amount
  • Dollar Amount Off Entire Order + Percent Off Entire Order: dollar amount applies first, and then percentage
  • Percent Off a Product + Percent Off a Product: discounts accumulate
  • Percent Off a Product + Percent Off Entire Order: percentage off product applies first, then percentage off order
  • Percent Off Entire Order + Percent Off Entire Order: only the higher discount applies

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Summary

Coupons and discounts provide customers with a great incentive to spend more money on your store, giving you numerous ways to make your merchandise irresistible.

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