Knowledgebase: Specific Products > ShopCart
Coupons and Discounts
Posted by Doug Sherman (Import), Last modified by Doug Sherman on 13 Nov 13 04:06 PM

Coupons allow you to offer your customers discounts on either item prices or shipping rates by entering a coupon code in the cart. You define and configure your coupon codes using this form. Only if you have current valid coupon codes will the text box for entering the coupon code appear in your cart. For each coupon, you will establish a threshold cart value that must be met for the discount to be applied. This threshold can be based on either the dollar subtotal or on the quantity of the items in the cart that meet your criteria.

We have a lot of versatility and functionality in our coupons to meet a broad diversity of needs; the trade-off is some complexity to the coupon definitions. This overview will help you understand how to set up a coupon to meet your own needs.

Item Groups

You can link each coupon to any of the Item Groups that you have configured. When your defined Item Group is also linked to one or more items (via a flag in your Item "Add to Cart" HTML on your product pages), this allows you to define your coupon so that only items in your specified Item Groups are actually discounted ("Include" Item Groups) or items in specified Item Groups are excluded from your discount. (Using Item Group "Mode" you can also control which items are counted towards your threshold.) By setting up multiple definitions for a particular coupon, (see below) you can link your coupon to as many Item Groups as you wish.


Item Price Discounts

You may configure a coupon that discounts the Item Price in your Item Add to Cart html. If you use Item Groups with your Item Price coupon, you may decide whether all the items in the cart should count toward your configured cart subtotal threshold value, or only the items that are related to your selected Item Group/s. In both cases, only the appropriate items are actually discounted.


Shipping Discounts

You may configure a coupon which discounts all available shipping methods (except "Pickup" and "Delivery") rated in the cart. If you use Item Groups with your Shipping coupons, only the items related to your Item Group/s will be counted when determining whether the item subtotal meets your configured threshold value.

If you also have non-coupon "Promotional Shipping Discounts" configured, the use of a Shipping coupon which results in a discount will override your non-coupon Promotional Shipping Discount. (Promotional Shipping Discounts differ from Coupon Discounts in a number of ways, including: a) no coupon is used; b> there is no concept of Item Groups; c) you can discount by shipping service "class"; and d) you can apply them differentially to domestic and international destinations.)


Multiple Coupon Definitions

For each coupon code you configure, you can set up multiple definitions for that coupon, each with a different cart subtotal threshold, discount amount, and Item Group. For example, you might set your code "holidaysale" to discount 10% at the subtotal threshold of $50, and then define it again so that it also discounts 20% at the subtotal threshold of $100. Or, you may use multiple definitions of your coupon to link it to multiple Item Groups. If you have set multiple thresholds for your coupon, text on the cart will indicate to your customer how much more they need to spend to get to the next threshold and what that next percentage discount will be.

In order to configure a coupon with multiple definitions, first establish the coupon with your first threshold (and potentially Item Group), and then use the "Add Coupon" button additional times, each time selecting your existing coupon code from the drop-down and then setting a new discount Amount, Threshold, and/or Item Group. When adding additional definitions for the same coupon, each definition must have at least one unique value for Threshold or Item Group.

This ability to layer your coupon with multiple definitions, along with the use of Item Groups to include or exclude certain categories of items, provides you with a tremendous amount of flexibility in setting up your promotions. Here are some examples:

  • Restrict your discount to one or more types of items at your selected cart threshold (by setting up multiple definitions at the same threshold for different Item Groups with type "Included");


  • Offer your discount to all but one or more types of items at your selected cart threshold (by setting up multiple definitions at the same threshold for different Item Groups, type "Excluded");


  • Restrict your discount to selected Item Groups at a lower threshold, and then open it up to all items at a higher threshold;


  • Offer your discount to all but one or more types of items at a lower cart threshold, and then open it up to all items at a higher threshold;


  • Offer your discount for the same item group/s with higher discounts at successive thresholds.

Obviously, you dont want to get too complex with discounts or you wont be able to explain them to your customers! But we hope that the versatility we offer will allow you to meet your own needs.


The Logic of Multiple Definitions

If you set up multiple definitions of a coupon code with different thresholds, it is important to understand how our system applies the definitions. As the subtotal of the items in the cart meets a particular configured threshold level (and subtracting the value of items in any item groups you are excluding), the the definition/s at that threshold are applied, superceding any definitions you may also have at lower thresholds.

For example, lets say you define a coupon for a 10% discount at a threshold of $50 for the item group "books-1" and add a second definition that provides discounts the item group "books-2" at a $100 threshold. When the cart subtotal is between $50 and $100, items classified as "books-1" will be discounted. As soon as the cart subtotal hits $100, items classified as "books-2" will be discounted. The discount for "books-1" will now disappear. If you intended to discount both item groups at $100, you would need to set up a definition for both item codes at the $100 threshold.

While this might sound complicated, just keep this rule of thumb in mind: your definitions at a particular theshold always override any definitions at lower thresholds. Only the definitions at the highest qualified threshold are utilized.


Order Information

For your item coupons (but not shipping coupons), the coupon applied and the original item price is noted in the PayPal order item detail.


The "Add Discounts" Form Fields:


    Select "coupon" or "general" Coupons require your customer to enter a promotion or coupon code; general discounts do not. (Only coupons are available at this time.)

Coupon Code

      Enter a coupon code. Any combination of letters and numbers is valid.

Please note that your codes are case sensitive. If you want your customers to use case varients of your code, you will need to create multiple codes.

Cart Threshold

      This figure establishes the necessary threshold value that your customer must put into the cart before the coupon will apply its discount. You can base this value on either the total of the item prices in the cart ("Dollar Total") or the total item quantity in the cart ("Item Quantity Total"). (If you do not wish to set a threshold, set the dollar threshold to zero.) Multiple definitons of a coupon must all use either dollar thresholds or quantity thresholds.

    If you link your coupon to one or more Item Groups, the items in the cart that are "counted" towards your threshold will depend on your Item Group Mode. For coupons discounting item price, if your Item Group Mode is "all items" then all items are counted towards your configured threshold, regardless of their Item Group-- but the discount is only applied according to your Item Group logic. But if your Item Group Mode is set to "Item Group Items" then only the items allowed by your Item Group definitions will count towards the threshold. For coupons discounting shipping, if Item Groups are used they all have an Item Group Mode of "Item Groups."


    Set the amount of the discount. Please select an integer figure between 1 and 100 for percentages.


    Select Percentage or Dollar Amount.

Apply To

    Set what cart total your discount will apply to (Item Price or Shipping/Handling).

Item Group

      Assign the promotion to a specified Item Group that you have pre-configured and linked with one or more items in your Add to Cart buttons.

      Each Item Group can be used to either "include" items assigned this code or "exclude" them. If you select "include", only items with this item group will qualify for this promotion. If you select "exclude", items assigned this Item Group will be excluded from this promotion.

Item Group Mode

      For Item Price coupons using Item Groups, when determining whether your configured coupon threshold value has been met, you may choose between ALL items in the cart counted towards your cart threshold, OR only the items related to your designated Item Group.

      If you select "All Items", all the items in the cart will count towards your coupon threshold -- but only those items in your Item Group (for "include" settings) or those items not in your Item Group (for "exclude" settings) will actually be discounted.

      If you select "Item Group Items", then only Item Group items (for "includes") or non-Item Group Items (for "excludes") will be counted towards your coupon threshold.

    (Shipping coupons always have an "Item Group Items" Mode.)



Start and End Dates

    Set the starting and ending dates for which this particular discount will be valid.


    Set to "Yes" to enable this discount and "No" to disable it.



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