Everybody loves to save money, and one of the most effective ways to get customers through your digital door is to offer discounts and coupons. 🏃 🏃‍ 🏃💨 

While it may seem like you’re giving up some profit potential by discounting your goods, you can actually end up with larger sales. This is especially true when the same customers who take advantage of coupons end up buying more units of a discounted product or purchasing additional items at full price. 

To spur your customers’ spending habits, simply set up coupons on your Volusion store. It’s easy.

Contents

Getting Started

Volusion lets you configure a wide variety of discounts and coupons. You can create automatic product-based discounts, offer percentages off of entire orders, distribute coupon codes and more. To get started ...

  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 Discount/Coupon Distinction

Both discounts and coupons save the customer money, but they are actually two different types of promotions.

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 to your customers through your marketing communications, such as a blog post, a social media post, an email, a direct mailer, or in a web or print ad.

For more 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

There are lots of options for how you configure your discounts and coupons. Here are the settings you’ll need to set them up. 

The Basics

ID: This is automatically assigned to each discount or coupon

Discount Name: Name your discount or coupon in this required filed, and it will appear as a line item on the shopping cart page.

Discount Type: There are a few types of discounts that you can choose from the menu for this required field:

  • 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
  • Provide free shipping for the entire order

Discount Value: Depending on the Discount Type you choose, you’ll need to enter a numerical value into this required field to deduct either a price or a percentage from the product or order.

Coupon: Enabling this option will require shoppers to enter a coupon code at checkout to receive a discount. 

Coupon Code: In this field, enter the text you'd like shoppers to use on the checkout page to redeem their coupon and receive the discount.

⚠️ Good to know:

  • Every coupon must have its own unique code; you can’t even reuse codes for coupons that are inactive or discontinued
  • Coupon codes are not case sensitive
  • Coupon codes cannot contain special characters or punctuation, such as % and !

Coupon Usage: Here, you can limit the number of times a coupon can be redeemed, i.e. 

  • Unlimited: No restrictions
  • One-Time Use Per Customer: One redemption per IP address 
  • One-Time Use: Limits the code to one redemption only, regardless of IP address (Useful when creating a unique 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. However, the coupon will still work with other discounts (applied automatically, without the need for a code).

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

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. OR, select Advanced if you'd prefer to manually enter the ID numbers of products, making sure to separate them with commas. To remove all products assigned to a discount, select Clear Products.

Advanced Settings

Set Time Limit: Select this checkbox to limit how long a discount or coupon is usable.

  • Begin Date: Choose a beginning date for the discount or coupon (It will not be valid prior to this date)
  • End Date: Choose an expiration date for this coupon or discount (It won’t be valid after this date) 

Define Quantity Requirements: Choose this check box to require shoppers to buy a minimum number of product units before the discount or coupon applies, or to limit it to a maximum number of product units.

  • Minimum Quantity: Enter the least amount of product units a shopper must purchase in a single order before the discount/coupon applies  
  • Maximum Quantity: Enter the maximum quantity of product units a shopper can purchase in a single order and still receive the discount
  • Span: This option determines how a discount or coupon applies the values you specified in the Minimum Quantity and Maximum Quantity fields. By default, the discount/coupon will only apply when the quantity of a single qualifying product falls within the range you defined. With this checkbox selected, the coupon or discount adds the unit quantities of all qualifying products together.

Define Order Price Requirements: Select this checkbox to set a minimum price the shopper must meet for the order before the coupon or discount applies, or a maximum price to which the coupon or discount can apply.

  • Min Order Price: Enter the lowest total order price a customer must reach before the discount or coupon applies to eligible products
  • Max Order Price: Enter the highest total price for all items in a customer’s shopping cart before the coupon or discount no longer applies to eligible products 

Internal Notes: Use this text box to add internal details about your coupon or discount. Customers won't see this information, so you can use the area to communicate with other admins about the intended usage.

How to Track Usage

When viewing an individual coupon or discount record, you'll see a usage counter next to the discount name: 

This number updates each time the coupon or discount is applied to an order. By clicking on the usage number, you can view a list of all the orders it was applied to.

Good to know: The list of orders associated with a coupon / discount includes canceled orders.

Example: Setting Up A Coupon

Picture this:

  • You want to create a coupon for 10% off of an entire order
  • The coupon will become valid if/when a shopper purchases two or more of any product in the same category
  • You plan to send the coupon code to all of your newsletter subscribers
  • You want each shopper to only be able to redeem the coupon once

To set up this coupon ...

  1. Go to Marketing > Coupons/Discounts
  2. Click Add
  3. In the Discount Name field, enter the discount 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 desired
  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 and distributed the coupon code to your shoppers, they can enter the coupon code in the Coupon Code field of your shopping cart page. 

The subtotal of the entire order will be reduced by 10%, 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 it can't be used with any other coupons. Any applicable automatic discounts you've configured will still apply.

Example: Setting Up A Quantity Discount

Offering a quantity discount is a great way to incentivize customer to add more items to their cart. The more they buy, the more they save.

Imagine this scenario: 

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

Here’s how to set it up:

  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

Now, 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, any time. 

Want To Exclude Special Pricing Level Customers?

No problem. Just follow these steps, and special pricing level customers won’t receive quantity-based discounts available to other customers. 

  1. Go to Settings > Config Variables.
  2. Click Search.
  3. In the Name field, type “special".
  4. Click the blue Search button.
  5. In the Enable Special Pricing Discounts row, in the Value column, be sure the checkbox is not selected.
  6. Click Save.

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Tips and Special Settings

Free Shipping Discounts

Another great way to encourage extra purchasing is to offer a free shipping discount when a customer’s order reaches a minimum price that you determine. 📦  This differs from other free shipping discounts, because it applies to an entire order, rather than to specific products.

How to Set Up a Free Shipping Discount 

To ensure all products within an order ship for free (regardless of whether they qualify for free shipping individually), just one of the products must apply for a discount configured for free shipping on an entire order.

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

⚠️ Good to know

Quickbook 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. Before you can import such orders into QuickBooks, you'll have to delete the coupon from the order and save it.

Discounts Configured with Parent/Child Products

When you assign discounts or coupons 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. 

More Useful Info

The “Cannot Be Used With Another Coupon” Setting

If you select the Cannot Be Used with Another Coupon checkbox, that coupon won’t work if another coupon has already been applied to a shopping cart.

However, the coupon will still work with other discounts (applied automatically, without the need for a code).

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 Just a Few Products from Coupons & Discounts

Have just a few products you want to exclude from a discount? The easiest way to do so is to assign the ones you want to include to a special, hidden category, and then apply that category to the discount or coupon. To manage changes to the category, you can use our Import/Export feature.

Special Considerations for Amount Off Entire Order Discounts

If you create a discount with a Discount Type of Dollar Amount Off Entire Order, and there is more than one product that qualifies, the discount will apply once for each qualifying product.

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

Creating Surcharges Using Discount Settings

Certain products may require you to add a surcharge to cover extra expenses your business incurs to get this item to a customer, such as special handling. For these instances you can use your discount settings to actually add cost to products. Sounds counterintuitive, right?!

For 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 (i.e. “$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) to which the surcharge applies
  7. Select the Define Quantity Requirements checkbox
  8. In the Minimum Quantity field, enter “1”
  9. Select the Span checkbox
  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.

⚠️ Good To Know

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)

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

Summary

Volusion gives you numerous ways to make your merchandise irresistible. Discounts and coupons, configured any way you like, will tempt customers to shop and spend more. 

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