Promotions and discounts in Perch Shop

One important tool in encouraging customers to buy from your store is the ability to create an array of promotions and special offers. While there are almost infinite ways to combine various discounts and offers, Perch Shop provides a flexible set of options to cover most requirements and to help tempt those customers in.

In Perch Shop, any special offer, discount code or other incentive is managed as a Promotion.

Dates and times

It’s always good to put a time limit on promotions, both in terms of encouraging a sense of urgency in the customer, and to make sure a promotion can end when you want it to. To assist with this, every promotion can be restricted by date and time.

When configuring a promotion, setting the valid from and valid to dates set the times when the promotion is active. Outside of those times, it simply isn’t applied.

Types of promotion

At present, Perch Shop offers three main types of promotion. The first is free shipping. With this type of promotion, the shipping cost is simply set to zero. You can configure it further by selecting which specific shipping methods the promotion applies to. This enables you to offer the promotion against only a specific selection of shipping methods.

The next two types are both discount promotions. Discount by fixed will add a discount to the cart at a fixed amount, e.g. $10 off. Discounts are added before tax, and if your site has multiple currencies enabled, you can configure the amount of the fixed discount in each of your currencies.

The Discount by percent option will add a discount at a relative value, e.g. save 50%, where currencies obviously don’t matter.

Triggering a promotion

Once we’ve established what type of promotion we’re going to run, we then need to decide what conditions should trigger it. The most basic promotion has no trigger and applies automatically. This is useful for a “fire sale” where you want to apply a general discount across the entire cart, perhaps combined with the date restrictions.

Most of the rest of the time, you want to apply some conditions that trigger the promotion.

One popular type of promotion is a discount or coupon code. Even the presence of coupon code field on a checkout form will often send customers off to Google in search of a possible saving. With Perch Shop you don’t need to leave them disappointed. When a code is added to the promotion, the promotion is then only applied when the customer adds that code to their cart.

Promotions can also have trigger values. This is a currency value (again, set for each currency you have enabled) at which promotion starts to apply. This is useful for offers such as spend $100 and save 20%.

Keeping the reins on use

You want to attract customers with your promotions, but you also need to make sure your business is still making a profit. To help, there are some options you can set to limit use.

The first is maximum total uses and uses per customer. These log and count up the number of times a promotion is used either over all, or by specific customers. Once the value has been hit, the promotion is no longer valid.

The section option you can use is the maximum discount currency value. This is great for setting rules such as save 50% up to $200.

Combining promotions

It’s entirely possible that more than one promotion could apply to a given cart. To help you control how this works, each promotion as a priority setting, enabling promotions to apply in a designated order.

After that, each promotion can specify that it should terminate the process of matching, i.e. if it applies, Shop should stop trying to match further promotions.

The final option is to set a promotion to be persistent. Persistent promotions apply even if a prior promotion has terminated. This is useful for making sure your free shipping over $100 promotion applies even if a coupon code has been used.

The road ahead

As you can appreciate, promotions are a deceptively complex component of any successful online store. For version 1.0 of Perch Shop, we’ve done our best to include a wide range of options, but we appreciate there’s still more to do.

At the moment, our promotions apply to the entire cart, and aren’t triggered on the presence of specific products. That means offers like one x get y for 50% aren’t possible… yet. These sorts of additions are currently on our roadmap, so if that’s a feature you need you’d be wise to log in and give it your vote.