LiteCommerce:Promotion

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Warning.png This article refers to LiteCommerce 2.x only. For user manual to LiteCommerce 3.x, please visit this website.


LC version2.xonly

Introduction

LiteCommerce Promotion Tools add-on module helps you to promote your business, feature your store, its sections and individual products. The module adds three major mechanisms to your online store, namely:

  • special offers;
  • bonus points;
  • discount coupons.
Note: the module has previously been known as 'Promotional package' and 'Promotion module'.

This manual will guide you through the process of Promotion Tools add-on module installation and use.

Installing the Module

In order to successfully install Promotion Tools add-on module version 2.29, your shopping system requires LiteCommerce shopping cart software version 2.1 Service Pack 1 or later to be installed at your online store.

Before starting installation of a new commercial module, you should upgrade your cart license to the new version which includes this new module.

The new 'License Certificate' is in 'My Licenses' section of your personal Helpdesk area:

  • Click the 'Certificate' link opposite the corresponding license. The 'License certificate' window will appear.
  • Copy the whole license text and paste into the 'License' window under the 'License' section in the cart admin area. The license text has two parts (customer information and license key). You should copy the full text of the licence (both parts).

Select the 'Modules' section in the 'Settings' menu of the Administrator Zone. The list of currently installed modules will appear. To install a module (Promotion Tools in our case) click on the 'Browse…' button, select the module's '.tar' file and click on the' Install' button to add the module to your setup (Figure 1).

 Figure 1: New module installation

'Promotion Tools' module will appear in the list (Figure 2); it will be activated automatically.

Note: some of the add-on modules, which possess double functionality, appear in the list twice - in the 'Commercial modules' section as well as in the 'Payment modules' section.
 Figure 2: PromotionTools module installed

To deactivate the module, unselect the 'Active' check box against the module's title and click on the 'Update' button. To completely uninstall the module, click on the 'Uninstall' button next to it.

Configuring the Module

After you have successfully installed the Promotion Tools module, click on the 'Promotion' module link to enter the module's settings page (Figure 3).

 Figure 3: Configuring PromotionTools module settings

Review and configure the following settings:

  • Bonus point purchasing capacity: this setting defines the bonus/$ rate that must apply when a customer uses bonus points to pay in full or in part for a purchase he is making through your store (E.g.: '0.05' value means that 1 bonus point is equivalent to 5 cents).
  • Bonus points awarded on each $ of purchase subtotal: this setting specifies how many bonus points are to be awarded to a customer for each dollar of his purchase. Setting this option to '0' disables bonus point accumulation.
  • Show applicable special offers during checkout: select this option if you want your customers to see applicable special offers during the checkout process.
  • Allow discount coupons in customer zone: select this option to enable discount coupons, clear the check box to disable discount coupons.
  • The discounted price cannot be less than zero: select this option to make sure that no special offers contain discounted prices which are less than zero. For example it will be impossible for the admin to apply a $10 discount to a $5 product.
  • Offer application scheme to be used: select this check box to combine special offers if multiple offers apply to an order. Leave the check box empty to apply only the most favorable special offer.
  • Number of discount coupons to be displayed per page in the admin zone: enter a number of coupons you want to be displayed on a page, if there are too many coupons to be displayed on one page.
  • Expand the list of orders, associated with discount coupons: select this check box to display orders, which are associated with discount coupons, on the 'Discount coupons' page.

Click 'Submit' to save the changes.

Creating a special offer

To create a new special offer, in the Administrator Zone select the 'Special Offers' option from the 'Management' menu (Figure 4), and then click on 'Add new special offer'.

 Figure 4: Special offers section

Setting up a new special offer consists of two steps:

 Figure 5: Defining special offer type
  1. Specify the special offer condition (e.g.: minimum order total), the type of a bonus (e.g.: discount) the customer gets when his order meets the condition and the name of this special offer (Figure 5), and click on the 'Next' link;
  2. Set up the special offer options peculiar to the condition and bonus type selected, and specify the offer validity period.

Condition types

Promotion Tools module allows you to define the following condition types:

1. Customer buys a certain quantity of a product. Offer bonus applies when a customer adds a certain quantity of a specified product or products from a specified category into his cart. The offer can be applied to all products. You can specify the product, quantity and the category in the condition options (Figure 6).

 Figure 6: Customer buys a certain quantity of a product: options


2. Order total exceeds a certain amount. The shopping cart subtotal is calculated at non-discounted prices and compared to the specified amount. If the subtotal is greater than or equal to the amount declared in the special offer a bonus is granted to the customer. This condition has only one option – minimum order total amount required to meet the condition (Figure 7).

Note: minimum order total must be greater than zero.
 Figure 7: Order total exceeds a certain amount: options


3. Customer buys a specified set of products. To qualify for a bonus a customer must place a specified set of items into his shopping cart. If a customer adds more than one set of products to his shopping cart, the bonus still applies only once. To configure this condition, click on the 'Select product…' button, choose a product that should belong to the set, and click on the 'Update' button at the bottom of the options page, then you will be able to add more products to the set or delete products from the set (Figure 8). Every time you modify the set, click on 'Update' to save the changes.

 Figure 8: Customer buys a specified set of products: options


4. Customer earns a certain number of bonus points. Customers can earn bonus points when they purchase products or receive the points some other way. Store admin can view and change customers' bonus points manually by accessing their profiles. Customers can review the number of bonus points they have in their profile ('Modify profile' menu). A customer must earn a certain number of bonus points to become eligible to a bonus. When a customer uses his bonus points to purchase items from the store, the number of points specified in condition options is subtracted from his account.

 Figure 9: Customer earns a certain number of bonus points: options

5. Every Nth product purchased. The difference with condition 1 here is that this condition can be applied to one order more than once, depending on how many products the customer buys. The only bonus type that can be used with this condition is a 'specially-priced/free product' (see below: bonus type 2).

 Figure 10: Every Nth product purchased: options

6. Customer has a certain membership. Bonus is only available to customers with a certain membership. In the condition options specify a membership group or a list of membership groups that are eligible for the bonus (Figure 11).

 Figure 11: Customer has a certain membership: options

Bonus types

The following bonus types can be used to define a special offer:

1. Discount on a category and/or products. With this bonus type once the customer's shopping cart meets the condition, any amount of selected products can be added to the cart at a discounted price. In bonus options enter the discount amount either as a percentage of a regular price (%) or as a fixed value ($). You can choose to give a discount on all products available at the store, a certain category of products or a number of individual products. To add products click on the 'Select product…' button, choose a product, and click on the 'Update' button at the bottom of the options page, then you will be able to add more products to the list or delete products from the list (Figure 12). Every time you modify the product list, click on 'Update' to save the changes.

 Figure 12: Discount on a category and/or products: options


2. Specially-priced/free product. With this bonus type once the customer's shopping cart meets the condition, the customer becomes eligible to purchase one of the specified items at a special price. More than one product can be specially priced; each product can be assigned its own special price. If you choose a category to be specially priced, the same special price rate will be assigned to all products in the category, but the customer will only get a special price on one product from the category. In bonus options select a product or a category, enter its bonus price either as a percentage of a regular price (%) or as a fixed value ($), and click on the 'Update' button at the bottom of the options page (Figure 13). Every time you modify the product/category list click on 'Update' to save the changes.

Note: you can add multiple products, but only one category.
 Figure 13: Specially-priced/free product: options


3. Free shipping. This bonus type grants free shipping of all items in the shopping cart if the condition is met. You can specify a list of countries for which free shipping applies; the default is 'all countries' (Figure 14).

 Figure 14: Free shipping: options


4. Get bonus points. When the condition is met, the customer gets the specified number of bonus points. He can then use existing bonus points to pay for his next orders or get a discount for bonus points if corresponding special offers exist. In bonus options enter the number of points to be granted to the customer (Figure 15).

 Figure 15: Bonus points: options

Promotion period

In the special offer options you also specify the 'Promotion period' during which the offer is valid (Figure 16). When you finish the offer setup, click on the 'Update' button at the bottom of the options page to save the changes.

 Figure 16: Specifying promotion period

Managing special offers

After you have created a special offer, you can edit its options and settings. You can also specify additional offers and delete unnecessary ones (Figure 17).

 Figure 17: Managing special offers

To edit an existing offer, click on the 'Edit' link next to the offer.

To activate/deactivate an offer, select or deselect the corresponding check box in the 'Active' column and click on the 'Update' button.

To delete an offer, select the corresponding check box on the left and click on the 'Delete' button.

When creating several special offers, sometimes it is more convenient to make a copy of an existing offer and modify it rather than define the offer from scratch. To do so, select the check box on the left from the offer you want to duplicate and click on the 'Clone' button.

Bonus Points

When the Promotion Tools module is installed on your LiteCommerce-powered online store, a new payment method 'Pay by bonus points' appears under 'Payment methods' tab in the 'Settings' section of Administrator zone (Figure 18). This option allows store customers to use their bonus points to pay in full or in part for orders they place. If you do not want your customers to be able to pay with bonus points unselect the corresponding 'Active' check box and click on the 'Update' button to disable this payment method. You can also type in custom values for 'Method' and 'Special instructions' fields and click on the 'Update' button to save these settings.


 Figure 18: Bonus points added to the list of payment methods

Discount Coupons

Issuing discount coupons is a widely accepted marketing tool used to attract new customers. Merchants make discount coupon codes available to potential customers through specialized websites, e-mail subscriptions to promotions and by other means. Customers use the coupons by entering a special discount code in the appropriate box when finalizing an order; the coupon is then applied to the total order cost.

Creating a discount coupon

In order to create a coupon, in the Administrator zone select the 'Discount Coupons' option from the 'Management' menu (Figure 19). A hard-to-guess 'Coupon #' code is being generated automatically, but you can also type in your own code. Coupon settings include the following options:

  • Times to use: specifies how many times a coupon can be used;
  • Status: specifies whether the coupon is 'Active' or 'Disabled';
  • Coupon type: specifies a kind of an offer associated with the coupon;
  • Discount: if a coupon type is '$ off' or '% off', enter discount amount in this field;
  • Expires: limits the period of coupon validity;
  • Apply to: defines the condition under which the special offer applies, the following conditions can be selected:
  • order total, $: the coupon applies to orders with subtotal over a specified amount (if amount is set to 0, the discount applies to any order);
  • one product: the coupon offers a discount on an individual product;
  • one category: the coupon offers a discount on a product from a certain category.

When you are done with the settings, click on the 'Add coupon' button to create a coupon.


 Figure 19: Creating a discount coupon

Managing discount coupons

When you have created a coupon, you can review its details under the 'Discount Coupons' section of the 'Management' menu (Figure 20). Coupon details presented there include:

  • status ('Active', 'Disabled', or 'Used');
  • the bonus it offers;
  • bonus condition;
  • number of times the coupon has been used by customers;
  • coupon expiration date;
  • a list of orders where the coupon has been used.

You can use search filters to display active, used or disabled coupons. Select a status or a combination of statuses and click 'Show'. Only the coupons with relevant statuses will be displayed.

 Figure 20-1: Using search filters for discount coupons

The presentation of a coupon depends on its status: 'used' coupons are displayed in red, while 'disabled' and expired coupons are crossed out.

To change the status of a coupon, in the 'Status' column select the new status from the drop-down list and then click on the' Update' button.

To see the details of an order associated with a coupon, click on the 'details>>' link next to the order information.

 Figure 20-2: Managing discount coupons


To delete a coupon, you must first delete all the orders associated with it and then click on the 'Delete' button next to the coupon details. Coupons, which have orders associated with them, cannot be deleted.

Note: If the status of an order is different from 'Completed' and 'Processed', then deleting the order automatically increases by one the amount of times the coupon can be used.

Processing Orders

Special offers in orders

When a customer takes the benefit of some special offer, the offer is reflected in his order details. Click on an arrow icon next to offer name to see full details of the offer. Multiple special offers can be applied to the same order (Figure 21).

 Figure 21: Order details with multiple special offers applied

Bonus points in orders

If a customer uses bonus points to pay for the order in full, this is reflected in the order details as shown in Figure 22.

 Figure 22: Details of an order with bonus points used as a payment method

If only part of an order is paid using bonus points, the payment method used to pay the remaining amount is considered the primary payment method and bonus points are marked as 'Bonus points discount' (Figure 23).

 Figure 23: Part of an order paid using bonus points
Note: If bonus points are used to pay for an order, the part of the order, which is paid using bonus points, is subtracted from the order total. If the order is paid in full with bonus points only, order total is displayed as '0.00'.

Discount coupons in orders

When a customer uses a discount coupon, discount amount is reflected in order details under 'Discount coupon' section (Figure 24).

 Figure 24: Order details with discount coupon information

Calculating Taxes

When a discount applies to the whole order, tax calculation becomes more complex. Different items offered can have different tax rates, and the tax must be calculated on the discounted price of each item. The solution is to proportionally distribute the discount among the items ordered.

Example: if you sell an item A at $100, and a tax-free item B at $50 and give a discount of $15 on the whole order, then it is considered that the first item gets $10 off, and the second one gets $5. The total tax on the order would be the same as the tax on the discounted price of item A (which equals to $90 = $100 - $10), since item B is tax-free.

If the option 'Taxes included in product prices:' is enabled in the 'Taxes' section of the Admin menu, and you enter the special price as a fixed value, the discounted price is calculated including tax.

Customer Zone

Special Offers

When a shopping cart of a customer meets the condition of a special offer, he is eligible to add one item into his shopping cart at a bonus price (Figure 25).


 Figure 25: Special offer eligibility notification (see Figures 7 and 13 for special offer conditions)


If a customer decides to take advantage of a special offer, a 'Special Offer' icon appears in his shopping cart next to the specially priced product (Figure 26).

Note: Of all the items eligible for a bonus price, only the last item added to the shopping cart is assigned a bonus price.


 Figure 26: Shopping cart with a specially priced product added


Using Bonus Points

Your store customers can earn bonus points by purchasing products at your store. Every time an order is processed, a certain amount of bonus points is added to the customer's account. If the store is configured to accept bonus points as a payment method, a customer is given an option of paying with bonus points at the time of checkout (Figure 27).


 Figure 27: Choosing bonus points as a payment method


If you choose to use this option and click on the 'Continue…' button to proceed with the checkout process, you will see the amount of bonus points required to pay the order in full and the amount of bonus points that you have earned (Figure 28). You can choose to use your bonus points to pay for your order in part or in full. Specify the amount of bonus points in the 'Pay by bonus points' field and click on the 'Submit order' button. If you do not have enough bonus points to pay for the order in full, or you have decided to pay only for a part of your order using bonus points, you will be redirected to a page where you can specify another payment method to pay the remainder.


 Figure 28: Using bonus points as a payment method


Using Discount Coupons

If the store is configured to accept discount coupons, a customer can type in a discount coupon code on his shopping cart page and click on the 'Add' button to use the coupon (Figure 29).


 Figure 29: Using a discount coupon


If the coupon condition is met, the coupon will be displayed in the shopping cart page (Figure 30) and during the checkout process. If you decide not to use the coupon, you can click on the 'Delete' button in the 'Discount coupon' box. Discount coupon used is also reflected in the purchase invoice.


 Figure 30: Discount coupon accepted