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Coupons

System » Orders » Coupons

1. General information about coupons

Coupons (gift cards) are a popular way to increase sales and customers accept them gladly especially during the Christmas shopping season. plentymarkets has a comprehensive and sophisticated coupon module. Campaigns can be created with various possibilities for discounts. A coupon is a particular code (string of characters), which belongs to a campaign and which can either be redeemed once or multiple times. Coupons are redeemed during the order process. In doing so, the corresponding discount value will be displayed.

Comprehensive instructions

This page of the manual only relates to the System » Orders » Coupons menu. For comprehensive instructions on creating a coupon, refer to the Orders » Coupons page of the manual.

2. Backend settings

Go to System » Orders » Coupons and select the free text field that you want to use for coupon campaigns (image 1, red arrow). After you have saved the setting, the field Kampagne ID will be displayed in the item’s Fields tab (image 2, red arrow). Please note that the name of the field is automatically assigned and can not be changed.

EN Settings Orders Coupons 01

Image 1: selecting a free text field

Selecting a free text field:

  1. Go to System » Orders » Coupons.

  2. Select the desired campaign field from the drop-down list.

  3. Save the settings.
    → The Kampagne ID field will be displayed in the item’s Fields tab.

EN Settings Orders Coupons 02

Image 2: Kampagne ID field in the editing window of an item

Coupons and gift cards are a great way to simultaneously attract new customers, increase loyalty and generate revenue. Gift cards are a very popular item, especially during the holiday shopping season. plentymarkets has a sophisticated coupon module in the menu Orders » Coupons. Use this menu to create coupon campaigns with various types of discounts.

3. Possible uses for coupons

Coupons all have codes which belong to a campaign and which can either be redeemed once or multiple times. Coupons are redeemed during the order process. The discount value is displayed at this time. Coupons can be sent to customers as special offer codes within emails or gift cards can be sold as items in your online store. The buyer then receives the coupon code as a PDF document.

The following overview shows various possibilities for using coupons:

Coupon Usage Via email Online store PDF

Code

Redemption

yes

yes

no

Coupon

Sale and redemption

yes

yes

yes

Voucher

Sale

yes

no

yes

Table 1: possible uses

4. Preparing items for purchase with coupons

Before you begin working with coupons, decide which of your items should be purchasable with a coupon or gift card.

Allowing items to be purchased with a coupon:

  1. Go to Item » Edit item.

  2. Open the item that should be purchasable with a coupon.

  3. Click on the Global tab.

  4. Set the Coupon option to Permitted.

  5. Save the settings.
    → It will be possible for the customer to purchase this item with a coupon.

Set the Coupon option to Not permitted if you want to prevent the item from being paid with a coupon. If the customer places such an item in the shopping cart, then the coupon’s value will not be applied to this item. It makes sense to prevent some items from being paid for with a coupon, e.g. special offers or other items that should not be discounted further. If you want to make an item available for purchase with a coupon only, then select the setting Purchasable with coupon only.

5. Creating a campaign

Since every coupon belongs to a campaign, such a campaign has to be created first. You can create new campaigns by opening the menu Orders » Coupons and clicking on New campaign. First, configure the basic options for this campaign in the Settings tab and click on Save. The campaign will be created and displayed in the overview. Previously created campaigns include two additional tabs: Codes and Templates.

Creating a campaign:

  1. Go to Orders » Coupons.

  2. Click on New campaign.

  3. Pay attention to the explanations given in table 2 and carry out the settings as desired.

  4. Save the settings.
    → The new campaign will be created and will appear in the overview.

Settings are automatically displayed and hidden

Settings in this menu will automatically be displayed or hidden depending on the coupon type that is selected. Different settings are required for the coupon types "Coupon" and "Voucher". Table 2 explains all of the settings.

Setting Explanation

Campaign[#21]

Name

The title of the campaign.

Description

A description of the campaign.

Concept: Code

Select the number of codes from the first drop-down list:
One code = One coupon code will be generated per campaign which can be redeemed multiple times.
Several codes = Individual coupon codes will be generated which can only be redeemed once.

Concept: Redemptions

Select how coupons should be redeemed from the second drop-down list:
Several redemptions per customer = A customer can redeem the entire coupon amount multiple times.
Caution: If the coupon is sent to several customers, then they can all redeem the coupon as often as desired. This option can result in high costs to your business once all of the amounts are totaled!
One redemption per customer = A customer can either redeem the entire coupon amount one time or partial amounts. If the coupon is sent to several customers, then they will all be able to redeem a partial amount as often as desired. However, as soon as one customer has redeemed the entire coupon amount, it will no longer be possible for any other customers to redeem the coupon.
Note: If customers are not registered, but log in with a guest account, they will be treated as new customers in the system. If the coupon amount is not used up completely, then the coupon can be used several times because one redemption is possible per customer - i.e. new customer, new coupon.
Caution: All of your customers can simultaneously redeem partial amounts that are below the entire coupon amount. However, once a customer has redeemed the entire coupon amount the coupon will no longer be redeemable. This option can result in high costs to your business once all of the amounts are totaled!
Redemption until the value is depleted = The coupon can be used until its value has been depleted. If a customer redeems partial amounts, then all of the partial amounts put together may only be as high as the entire coupon amount itself. The coupon can not be redeemed by multiple customers.
One single redemption = Only one redemption is possible. No further redemptions will be possible, even if only a small, partial amount was used.

Use

Select single orders, subscriptions or both.

Minimum order value

The minimum order value that needs to be reached in order for the coupon to be redeemed.

Validity

Starting date

The date when the campaign should be activated.

Ending date

The date when the campaign should be deactivated.

Code validity in weeks

Decide how many weeks the coupon codes should remain valid. For example, enter 12 if you want the coupon codes to be valid for 12 weeks. There is a difference between the validity selected here and the starting / ending dates selected above. For example, the validity can be one year (entry: 52) and the campaign can be started and ended as many times as desired throughout the year.

Coupon[#22]

Coupon type

Select Coupon or Voucher.
The difference here is that coupons are redeemed in the online store and vouchers are redeemed through third parties. Vouchers are especially popular in the hotel industry where they are simultaneously used as reservations.
Note: Not all of the options will be displayed if Voucher is selected as the coupon type. You will only see the options that are relevant to vouchers.

Code assignment

Only visible if you selected Voucher as the coupon type.
Decide whether you would prefer to Generate new code(s) or Use existing code(s).

Coupon variety

Select Coupon for special offers or Gift card. This determines how coupons are redeemed and displayed in PDF documents.
Select Gift card for campaigns with coupons that are sold in the online store.
This setting also influences how the coupon is calculated in the online store. An example demonstrates how coupons influence the calculation of the invoice total.

Code length

Select the number of characters for the coupon code. Coupon codes can be 6, 16 or 24 characters long.

Discount type

Select the type of discount.
Fixed amount = Enter a fixed discount value.
Percentage = Enter a percentage that should be deducted from the invoice amount. For example, enter 10 if a 10 percent discount should be given on the invoice.
Piece = Enter a number of items, e.g. 3 items for the price of 2.
Shipping = Free shipping is applied to the order.

Discount value

Enter the discount value for the coupon. If you enter a fixed discount value, then select whether the shipping costs should be included as well.

Filter

Items coming from price comparison portals

Permit = Coupons are also valid for items coming from price comparison portals, i.e. items that are offered simultaneously on other markets.
Do not permit = Coupons can not be used for items coming from price comparison portals (default).

Categories

Select the categories that the coupon should be redeemable for. If a category is selected, then all of its sub-categories are selected as well.
By clicking on Delete next to the category ID and the category name, the category will be deleted from the campaign. Only the link is deleted, not the category itself.

Items

Add up to 20 items. This allows you to create coupon campaigns that can only be redeemed for specific items. Enter the item ID in the text field and click on the green plus icon. This creates a new entry in the item list. The list displays the item ID and a delete icon. Repeat these steps as many times as necessary until all of the items have been added.
Link = Click on the item ID to open the item data record.
Delete icon = Deletes the item from the list.

Clients (stores)

Select Clients (stores). The coupon will be valid for the selected stores. You need to select at least one client.

Customer classes

Select customer classes. The coupon will be valid for the selected classes. You need to select at least one customer class.

Customer types

Select customer types. The coupon will be valid for the selected types. You need to select at least one customer type.

Email template

Variable

Select a variable for email templates (see below). The option No variable is selected by default. Once a variable has been selected, it can no longer be used for other campaigns.

Table 2: settings for a new coupon campaign

5.1. Example for calculating coupons for special offers and gift cards

The Coupon variety is selected in the Coupon area within the Settings tab. The coupon value will be calculated differently depending on which coupon variety is selected. For example, coupons for special offers are calculated similarly to discounts.

Example

A customer receives a coupon for €15 and then purchases items in the online store totaling €25 excluding VAT. The customer purchases 2 items. One of the items costs €17.95 and is taxed at a rate of 19% VAT. The other item costs €7.05 and is taxed at a rate of 7% VAT. If the customer uses a gift card, then the coupon value will be subtracted from the total including taxes. If the customer uses a coupon for special offers, then the coupon value will be subtracted first and then the remaining amount will be taxed.

Gift card Coupon for special offers

Amount before subtracting the coupon value

€28.91 including VAT

€25 excluding VAT

Amount after subtracting the coupon value

€13.91 including VAT

€10 excluding VAT

€11.56 including VAT

Remaining amount to be paid by the customer

€13.91

€11.56

Table 3: comparison of coupons for special offers and gift cards

6. Searching for campaigns

The Campaigns tab provides you with an overview of the most important information about existing campaigns.

Option Explanation

End

Shows the date when the campaign will be deactivated. This is not the same thing as the code validity, which is described in table 2 under Code validity in weeks.

Coupon variety

Refer to the explanations in table 2 and to the example underneath table 2 for further information about the coupon varieties Coupon for special offers and Gift card.

Concept

The concept specifies whether a coupon can only be redeemed once or multiple times. Pay attention to the information given in table 2.

Redemptions

The red number stands for the number of redeemed coupons. The green number stands for the number of coupons that have not yet been redeemed.

Export

Click on the green arrow on the right side of a line to export campaign data in a CSV file.

Table 4: important values in the campaign overview

Search for campaigns by selecting the desired search parameters in the Filter tab and clicking on Search. If you do not change the default filter settings, then all of the campaigns will be searched for and displayed. Use the search filters ID and Coupon code if you want to search for campaigns that have a specific ID or that contain specific coupon codes.

The menu Orders » Edit orders also includes a search filter for coupon codes.

7. Generating coupon codes

The coupon generator is found in the Codes tab. There are two ways to generate coupon codes with the coupon generator. They are described below.

Valid characters for coupon codes

Coupon codes may contain any combination of lower and upper case letters, numbers and the special characters _ and -.

7.1. Manually generating coupon codes

Use this function to generate several coupon codes at the same time. The codes are automatically generated and added to the code list.

Manually generating coupon codes:

  1. Go to Orders » Coupons.

  2. Click on the campaign for which you want to generate coupon codes.

  3. Click on the Codes tab.

  4. Use the left box to enter the quantity of coupon codes that you want to generate.

  5. Save the settings.
    → The coupon codes will be generated and added to the list of coupon codes further below.

More codes than redemptions

The number of open coupons can exceed the maximum number of redemptions. As such, there may still be open coupon codes left over once the maximum number of redemptions has been reached. These codes can no longer be redeemed.

7.2. Manually entering external coupon codes or coming up with your own codes

Here, you can add your own codes to the list of coupon codes. On the one hand, these can be codes that you received and that were not generated here. On the other hand, these can be individual codes that you came up with on your own.

Manually entering coupon codes:

  1. Go to Orders » Coupons.

  2. Click on the campaign for which you want to enter a coupon code.

  3. Click on the Codes tab.

  4. Use the right box to enter a Code between 6 and 24 characters.

  5. Save the settings.
    → The coupon codes will be generated and added to the list of coupon codes further below.

7.3. Editing coupon codes with the data exchange

Use the data format CampaignCoupon to quickly export, edit and import coupon codes. The data exchange allows you to import large quantities of coupon codes at once rather than to enter them manually one after the other.

8. Inserting coupon codes directly into emails

Coupon codes can automatically be embedded in emails. When sending an email, a new coupon code will always be generated and sent. As such, every customer can be sent an automatically generated coupon code with the newsletter as well.
The particular campaign first has to be assigned a template variable for this purpose, e.g. CouponCode1.

Then, the template variable $CouponCode1 can be entered into an email template. A new coupon will automatically be created for the selected campaign every time the email is sent.

One variable per campaign

Each template variable can only be assigned to one campaign.

Assigning a template variable emplate fo a campaign.

  1. Go to Orders » Coupons.

  2. Click on the campaign that you want to add a variable to.
    → The settings tab of a campaign der Kampagne includes a small Email template section.

  3. Select a variable from the drop-down list.

  4. Save the settings.

9. Selling coupons

Before you can sell coupons, for example as gift cards in your online store, you first need to create a coupon campaign and set the coupon variety to Gift card (table 2). Additional prerequisites are that you configure a free text field and a coupon template for the campaign. Pay attention to the explanations given in this chapter and carry out the settings as desired.

9.1. Creating items for coupons

Now create an item for the coupon and give it the name Coupon1, for example. Enter a price and a short description. Link the coupon item to a category. If needed, create an individual category for coupons.
These parameters will be displayed in the online store just like for any other item.

9.2. Linking the coupon item to a campaign

Free text fields are used to link campaigns to coupon items. Proceed as described below to link the coupon item to the free text field Kampagne ID.

First, define a free text field.

Defining the free text fields:

  1. Go to System » Item » Free text fields.

  2. Enter Kampagne ID as field name.

  3. Select the data type number.

  4. Enter the character length.

  5. Save the settings.

Only Kampagne ID may be entered as name.

Pay attention to the exact writing of the name, including capital and small letters. The space between Kampagne and ID is also required. No other names or spellings are allowed.

Next define the free text field as campaign field.

Define campaign field:

  1. Go to System » Orders » Coupons.

  2. Select Kampagne ID as campaing field.

  3. Save the settings.

Link your campaign to a coupon item.

Linking the coupon item to a campaign:

  1. Go to Item » Edit item.

  2. Open the coupon item.

  3. Click on the Fields tab.

  4. Find the free text field that was created for coupon campaigns in the menu System » Orders » Coupons. In this field, enter the ID of the campaign that you want to link to this item.

  5. Save the settings.

9.3. Configuring coupon templates

You can create a coupon template for a campaign within its Templates tab. In other words, you can save a different template for each campaign. The template is the background that is displayed on coupons that you create and save as PDF files. Use the Coupon layout submenu to specify which elements should be displayed on the coupon and where they should be positioned. To do so, proceed as follows.

PDF version

plentymarkets currently supports PDF versions 1.4 and lower.

Saving a coupon template:

  1. Go to Orders » Coupons.

  2. Click on the campaign for which you want to edit the template.

  3. Click on the Templates tab.

  4. Open the Coupon template submenu.

  5. Click on Browse…​ next to the words Document template Upload.

  6. Select the desired document.

  7. Save the settings.
    Tip: You will see a message confirming that the upload was successful. Please contact our support if you do not see a confirmation message and you receive an error message when clicking on Display template. In some cases, the module for selling coupons may not have been activated in your system.

  8. Open the Coupon layout submenu.

  9. Enter values for the X and Y coordinates.

  10. Save the settings.
    Tip: You will see a message confirming that the information was saved. Click on Display preview to get an idea of what the coupon will look like. Correct the values as needed until you are satisfied with the result.

Setting

Explanation

Character set

Choose between the character sets ISO-8859-1 and Unicode.

Coordinates and font sizes

Enter the coordinates and select the font sizes for the coupon texts.

Table 5: options for configuring coupon templates

Coordinates

The x coordinate defines the left page margin. The y coordinate defines the top margin.

9.4. Generating coupons

Customers can buy coupons the same way that they buy normal items. As soon as your customer has purchased the coupon, they can enter the text for the coupon template.

Tip: Note

In order for a customer to save a personalized text for a coupon, they will have to click on the Change button within the My account area of the online store. Inform your customers of this procedure by saving instructions in the item description.

Once your customer has purchased the coupon, they can edit the coupon text as follows.

Editing the coupon text in the My account area:

  1. Log into the online store.

  2. Open the My account area and then navigate to the Order history area.

  3. Open the order containing the coupon.

  4. Click on Change for the particular item.

  5. Enter a Recipient, Sender and Text here.
    → The information that is entered will be displayed on the coupon template.

Once the customer has paid for the coupon, the PDF template will be made available to download. This can be recognized by the PDF symbol.

After the PDF document was created by clicking on the Create a PDF button, the customer can directly print or save the coupon.

9.5. Automatically sending coupons as PDF attachments

It is useful to send coupons in the form of PDF attachments, e.g. if you offer gift cards or travel vouchers in your online store.

If you sell coupons (gift cards) that you do not want to provide as PDF attachments in the My account area, but would rather send via email, then use an event procedure to generate and send the coupons. You need to have an email template that you use for sending the email. Open the template and select the type Voucher from the PDF attachment drop-down list. The coupon will automatically be attached to the email template as a PDF attachment.

Tip: Requirements for sending a coupon with an event procedure

You need a coupon campaign for this purpose. You have to save the campaign for the item in question using a free text field.

Setting up an email template:

  1. Go to System » Client » Select client » Email » Templates.

  2. Click on New email template.

  3. Enter a name for the template in the New email template window, e.g. Travel voucher.

  4. Select an owner or select the setting All from the drop-down list.
    → The email template will be created, sorted in the list and opened.

  5. Select Voucher as the PDF attachment.

  6. Click on the email message tab.

  7. Enter the Subject and Content.

  8. Use template variables to add information like the name of the customer. However, do not insert the coupon template variable CouponCode, as you wish to send the coupon as an attachment.

  9. Save the settings.

Sending coupons with an event procedure:

  1. Go to Settings » Orders » Event procedures.

  2. Click on the green plus icon in the lower left corner to create a new event procedure.

  3. Enter a name, e.g. Generate & send coupon.

  4. Select the option Payment > Complete as the event.

  5. Save the settings.
    → The event procedure will be created.

  6. Click on the green plus icon to create a filter of the filter type Order > Order type.
    → The filter will be created.

  7. Mark Order in the order type filter.

  8. Click on the green plus icon to create a filter of the filter type Item > Item is included.
    → The filter will be created.

  9. Within the filter, click on Add and enter the ID of the item which the event procedure should take effect for.

  10. Click on the green plus icon to add a procedure of the procedure type Documents > Generate gift card.
    → This procedure will only be carried out for paid orders.

  11. Click on the green plus icon to add a procedure of the procedure type Order > Change status.

  12. Select the desired status in the procedure.

  13. Click on the green plus icon to add a procedure of the procedure type Customer > Send email.

  14. Within the procedure select your desired email template and select Customer as the recipient.

  15. Place a check mark next to the option Active.

  16. Save the settings.

9.6. Displaying the coupon total on invoices

Each coupon that is sold will be displayed as an individual stock unit on the invoice. In order for the total value of redeemed coupons to be displayed on the invoices, you need to take a look at the invoice’s layout and make sure that you entered text into the field name next to the words Coupon value (net).

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