Trading today is definitely not so simple like it was centuries ago - when merchants sold what they have in stock and customers bought what they need only in that limited range of options. You see, things in commerce rather get much more complicated now than ever: more stakeholders involve in, more actions to perform, more conditions in contracts, more channels to concern, more options that making a choice can easily get confusing, etc. And just like that, promotion concept in commerce also reaches its dynamic era. No matter how long ago it was invented and how popular it may has become before, “promotion” now is still very youthful and needs much attention when it comes to e-commerce websites built on Magento platform. And to this point, we must talking about one of those very powerful and of course extremely important tools in Magento: Shopping Cart Price Rules.
What is Shopping Cart Price Rules in Magento sites?
Shortly speaking, “Shopping Cart Price Rules” is one of the two you-better-not-ignore default tools of promotion for your Magento site (along with Catalog Price Rules). It enables website admin to set up and run customized discount campaigns so as to boost up sales and captivate more targeted customers’ interests.
With Shopping Cart Price Rules, Magento offers quite a bit convenient choices of discount methods based on their potential needs. For example:
- 15% off for the first order and using coupon code
- Get 1 item free when buying three
- Free shipping for order to some certain countries/ or for order from $100
Those are just very basic applications of this promotion tool for your first time approach at ease. In fact, when store owners explore it thoroughly and effectively exploit its highly customizable functionalities, the results will be astonishing in terms of sales boost targeted customer attraction.
Shopping cart price rules in Magento: A closer look
To access this function, in Admin Panel of Magento site, you navigate to the section Promotion → Shopping Cart Price Rules. You can either choose to use the rules that are already available in the list or create new ones that suit your needs best (if so, just click Add New Rule)
Basically, Shopping Cart Price Rule configuration breaks down into three parts that you need to go through before getting it ready to be launched on a live site: Rule Information, Conditions, Actions.
Now we will take a sequential look more closely to each part to see what’s needed to set up a rule.
This is the section where you need to fill in general information about your rule (at least five required fields)
Rule name: This name will be shown in the back-end, so you should name it short and clear to control easily. (e.g. Buy three, one free)
Discription: You may describe the content of the rule hare
Status: Just active or inactive, it’s your choice wether to lauch your rule or not at a certain time
Website: These are the websites that you have created in the system. You can choose more than one websites where the rule will take effect
Customer Groups: This is where you decide which groups of customers the rule with be applied with. More than one groups also could be chosen at a time.
Coupon: Just simply select wether your promotion campaign use coupon or not. If it does, you select “Specific coupon” then a new box “Coupon Code” appears for you to type in manually. Otherwise, you will be able to generate multiple coupon code automatically by checking “Use auto generation”. This thing will be done following your set up in “Manage coupon code” section. But only after you save the rule configuration, this section will be accessible (we will talk about it later in this article)
Uses per coupon/Use per customer: This is how many times you want a coupon or customer can be applied by this promotion. If these fields are left blank, that means there is no limit for them at all
From Date/To Date: It’s the period that you set for this rule to take effect. Therefore, you can prepare your rule carefully even long before when you mean to start discount time
Priority: When multiple discount campaigns are lauched at the same time on your site, you need to set their priority order to be applied
Public in RSS Feed: This is set “yes” by default
This part is where you can use your logic ability to set the rule as detailed as you can, starting with optional conditional statement: If All/Any of these conditions are True/False. After that, from given options and customizable values, Magento let you build relations among different conditions and how they are applied in combination.
After giving all information and building up conditions, the rule will be basically formed when you tell the system what to do if conditions are met.
Apply: What kind of discount will be used
- Percentage of product price discount: With this option, the discount amount will be calculated as a a percentage (that you set) of the original price then be deducted from it to get the subtotals
- Fixed amount discount: Here you set the discount as a fixed amount and subtract it from original price of every item will get the actual price that customer have to pay for each of them
- Fixed amount discount for whole cart: This is also a fixed amount of discount but it is applied for the total price of all items in the cart instead of single price of each one. For example: when a customer buy 2 items matching all conditions of the rule - $100 for each, if “Fixed amount discount” action is set and discount amount is $15, then he has to pay $170. On the other hand, with “Fixed amount discount for whole cart” option and discount amount is still $15, then actually he must pay $185
- Buy X get Y free: (e.g. Buy 3 get 1 free) Simply, given all conditions all the rule are met, when customer buy 3 items then he will get one more item free
Discount Amount: Fill in the number you want, but its unit will be percentage or dollar depending on discount form you select above
Maximum Qty Discount is Applied To: Set the limit to the number of items on which discount will take effect
Discount Qty Step (Buy X): Set value for X if you choose “Buy X get Y free” discount
Apply to Shipping Amount: Just Yes or No
- If you choose “For matching items only”, then shipping charges will not be calculated for items that match conditions of the rule
- If you go for “For shipment with matching items”, that means as long as there items satisfying with conditions in the shopping cart then no shipping fee will be charged
Stop further rules processing: When this rule is applied and you don’t want others to keep processing, set it Yes
It’s optional for store owners to have the discount name shown in the front-end. If you don’t give it a label and leave this section empty, in cart page it will only appear as “Discount”. And with a label, it will be like Discount (Free shipping for whole cart).
It’s also your option to have the labels be the same or different in store views by fill in default label (same) or Store View Specific Labels (different).
Manage Coupon Code
As mentioned before, this section is only accessible when you save the rule configuration with coupon option enabled. You can decide the number of coupon valid (Coupon Qty), Code Length (Excluding prefix, suffix and seperators), Code Format, CodePrefix, Suffix and dash.
After setting all options, click Save or Save and Continue Edit and codes generated will be listed in the table below. To delete any code, you just need to tick in its checkbox and use Actions box at the top right corner of the table
A limit of default Shopping Cart Price Rule in Magento
Despite all the wide range of options and rule settings mentioned above, there is still a limit to the default Shopping Cart Price Rule of Magento that online merchants can not optimize their promotions as best as he wants. No matter what rule it is, it will always take effects all the same way on different store views, which makes it impossible for store owners to localize their campaigns and target customers precisely. For instance, if today is the National Day of France and sellers only want to run discount for store view in French, he can not do it with default function of Magento. Then two solutions may arise here: he can ask for a programmatically interference of professional developers, or he can use a suitable extension.
Now, an extension suggestion for you is Shopping Cart Price Rule per Store View by BSS Commerce. Simply adding Store View as a condition to set up rules, this module helps Magento site admin easily set up different shopping cart price rules for different store view, which brings the better chance for promotion optimization. Take a look at this helpful module and please don’t hesitate to contact us for any further support.