Product promotions work very similarly to discounts with one major difference. With discounts, the sale price is given to the same items (and to all of them) that determine the discount. With promotions, you use one group of products to determine if the promotion is given, but a different item actually receives the discount. It might be an additional item of the same product, or a different product altogether. This allows you to create promotions like “Buy 1 get 1 free” or “Buy 2 of item X and receive 50% off item Y”. Between discounts and promotions you can set up a wide range of special sales for your customers!
The Promotion Manager shows all the promotions currently available in your store, with some search fields to help find specific ones.
Name – The name of the promotion as referred to in the admin area.
Coupon Code – If this promotion has a coupon associated, the code assigned to it.
Access Key – Promotions that require a specific access key to use.
Display – The description of the promotion as displayed to customers.
Active – Determines whether the promotion is being used currently or not. Choices for this are:
All – Displays all promotions
Current – Currently active promotions
Scheduled – This promotion will be active in the future
Expired – The expiration date for this promotion has passed
Click the ALL link to view all promotions in the store and the New Promotion to create a new promotion. The Edit link next to each promotion will allow you to make modifications to existing promotion. Enter the following information for each discount:
Promotion Type – This determines how the products will be grouped when calculating the promotion and whether it will apply to the same product. The options are:
Single-Item Promotion – The promotion is calculated against each individual item in the order and applies to the same product. For instance, if the promotion is Buy 5 Get 1 Free the customer must buy 5 of the same item to get the promotion.
Cross-Item Promotion – The promotion is calculated against each individual item in the order and applies to a different product. For instance, you can have a promotion like Buy 2 items and get our special item free. The customer must buy 2 of the same item to get the free item, which is a different item.
Multi-Item Promotion – All items that are assigned to the promotion are grouped together to apply it, and a separate selected item is used for the discounted amount. In this case, your Buy 5 Get a Free item would group all the products together to determine if the customer has bought 5 to qualify for the free product.
Order-based Promotion – With this type of promotion the entire order total is what determines the promotion, rather than individual products. So you can offer a promotion like “Spend $50 in our store and get a free mug!”. With this type of promotion, the product marked to discount will be excluded when calculating the qualifying amounts for the promotion.
User Level – This determines if the promotion applies to all customers, or to ones in a specific group. To apply a promotion to a specific group, you must be sure to both apply it to the products as normal, as well as to the specific user group. It’s a good idea to test your promotion first before trying to restrict it to certain user groups.
Name – The name of the promotion as it is referred to in the admin area.
Display to Users – The message to display to users in the store for this promotion.
Coupon Code – If you wish to require a code to use this promotion, enter it here. Note that the promotion will not be displayed or applied until the user enters the code in the checkout area. Be sure to also turn on coupons in the Shopping Cart Settings! Only one coupon at a time (either discount or promotion) can be used on an order.
One-Time Only – If this setting is on, the store will only allow this promotion to be used once. You will need to set a coupon code and set the store to require logins in order for this to work properly.
Access Key – This will require the user to have this access key in order to use the promotion. This allows you to create promotions that will only be available to specific groups of users or ones that purchase a membership.
Start – Starting date for this promotion. Leave blank if this is not a scheduled promotion.
Expire – Expiration date for this promotion. Leave blank if this is not a scheduled promotion.
Qualify Based On – This determines what calculation method to use when checking if a user qualifies for this promotion. You can calculate the promotion based on the amount spent, or the specific number of items ordered.
Qualifying Amount – For item-based promotions, how many items the customer must purchase to qualify. For promotions based on amount, how much the customer must spend on the qualifying products (or order) to qualify.
Number of Items to Discount – This sets the number of items you want to discount.
Discount Amount – The promotion can be either a specific amount off, or a percentage off the discounted product. Enter only one of these.
Promotion Amounts can Multiply – By toggling this setting on, the customer can earn additional promotional discounts for each additional qualifying amount they purchase. For instance with this setting on, a promotion of “Buy One Get One Free” will earn a customer two free items for two items purchased.
Add the Discounted Product – By turning this setting on, when checking the shopping cart for an item to discount for each qualifying purchase, the software will automatically add the product to the cart if it is not already in it (and not already being discounted by another promotion). Generally you would only turn this setting on when giving free items (versus a percentage off another item).
Click Add to create the new promotion.
Some Additional Tips on Promotions
The store will always try to determine the best promotion for any particular item being ordered, according to the amount that gets discounted. It will not necessarily find the top promotion for the discounted item, if many products discount the same item, so keep that in mind when creating your promotions.
Be sure after creating the promotion to add the qualifying products and discounted product as necessary, as well as any user groups for user-based promotions! Usually if a promotion is not working, you have forgotten to apply it somewhere.
Please note that promotions do carry a bit of overhead in terms of processing time. If you find your store is taking awhile to process the shopping baskets, you may need to decrease the number of promotions you are using. A few dozen promotions though should not be a problem for most sites.