Knowledgebase: Marketing

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:

  1. Go to Settings >Payment
  2. Click on the "Create Gift Certificates" button located below the "Tax Manager" section.
  3. Then click on the "Group Certificates"link found towards the right hand side.
  4. Next, look towards the top right of the page and click on the "Group Certificates" button.
  5. Finally, click on the "+Add New" button to create a campaign
  6. Name your Campaign
  7. Click "+Add"

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:

  • Certificates Amount $
    This is where you'll specify the Gift Certificate's value
  • Restrict Certificate from Tax, Shipping and Promotions
    Mark this checkbox if you want to restrict the coupon's value so that it does NOT apply towards tax and shipping charges, and is not usable with other promotions.
  • For Group Certificates, specify Quantity
    Specify the number of certificates you'd like to create.

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

  • certificate_name
    this is the actual coupon code that will activate the certificate
  • certificate_amount
    the total value amount of the certificate
  • certificate_expenses
    the amount of value used on the certificate (for first import, this should be a 0)
  • certificate_balance
    The remaining balance left on the certificate (for firt time import this should reflect the same amount as "certificate_amount")
  • certificate_date
    The date the Certificate's creation date
  • groupname
    The name of the campaign the certificate will apply to
  • certificate_restricted
    Denotes whether or not the certificates are restricted from Tax/Shipping/Promotions. (Toggle setting: 0 for off | 1 for on)
  • cert_exp
    If you are using the Gift Certificate Expiration module, this column can be used to set the expirations dates for the certificates.

If you export a CSV file of your store's existing Gift Certificates, you may see a column labeled "Expiration" instead of the "cert_exp" listed above. If you intend to import expiration date changes, please change this column's header name to the correct "cert_exp" header.

Also note, of the columns 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.

Important Note:

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.

Similar Questions

  • How do I import Group Certificates via CSV?
  • Can I export Gift Certificate codes?
  • How do I create a Gift Certificate Campaign?

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