How do I use Group Certificates?
Merchants can bulk import and export gift certificates for various 3rd-party group certificate marketing uses. The following instructions are intended to illustrate how to do this on Shift4Shop.
Adding a Campaign
The first step in this process is to create a coupon campaign which will contain your bulk coupons. To add a campaign, log into your Shift4Shop Online Store Manager and, using the left hand navigation menu:
Adding Certificates to the Campaign
There are two basic methods for adding coupons to your campaigns.
Some 3rd-party coupon marketing services will require that you provide them the coupon codes for use on your store. For these, you will use Shift4Shop's automatic coupon generator to create the coupons and export them via CSV file.
On the other hand, some group coupon marketing services will provide the coupons for you, in which case you will construct a CSV file of those coupons and import them to your store.
We'll cover both in this article.
Scenario 1: Auto-Generate - Export
To Auto Generate your own coupons, look to the far right of the campaign you just created and click on the "Action >View Certificates" button listed with it. On the subsequent page, click "+Add New" at the top right.
An Auto-Generate form will display with variables for you to specify. These are:
Once ready, click the "Generate" button to create your certificates. The Shift4Shop software will create randomized certificates for you. Once generated, you will be able to see your certificates. After generating the certificates, you will also see a link at the top left of the certificates page where the newly created coupons can be exported.
Scenario 2: Coupons Provided - Import
In cases where the coupon codes are provided for you, you will need to import them to your store. To do this, follow steps 1 through 6 to create your campaign as described above, then click on the "Export/Import" button located at the top right.
Click on the +Icon next to "Import" on the right hand side of the page and download the "Sample File" provided so you can see how the CSV file should be structured. The CSV file will have the following columns
Also note, of the coluns listed in the sample file, the only mandatory ones are "certificate_name," "certificate_amount," and "certificate_restricted" which should be marked with a "1" or a "0" to denote whether the certificate is restricted from tax and shipping (1) or if it is not restricted (0). The rest of the columns may be left blank if desired for the import. They are only present in the CSV to offer you control over the certificates when they are imported. However, for ease of use, you may also want to include "groupname" (if you already have a gift certificate group created) in order to make the import much easier.
The extra columns also exist within the CSV for future reference when reviewing exported certificates.
Construct your CSV file to include these columns as well as the coupon codes provided to you by your Group Certificate marketing service, and import the data when ready.
Use Caution when Deleting Campaigns!
While campaigns can be deleted from the Group Certificates page, please be aware that certificates contained in the campaigns do not delete automatically. Instead, they remain present on the database for future reference as needed. To remove generated or imported certificates, you must remove them manually, by viewing the certificates within a campaign and clicking their respective "Delete" buttons.