Knowledgebase: Marketing
How do I set up Promotions?

You may want to offer specific promotions at your store. 3dcart allows you to configure any type of promotion you can think of. This guide will show you the step-by-step process on how to setup a promotion. It will also show you how to setup specific examples of promotions, and options on how to customize your promotions to your online store.


Promotion Setup
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In this portion of the article, we'll go over the basic settings of the promotion manager and how to get started. We'll have some actual examples outlined a little bit later on in this KB.

To begin using the Promotion Manager, log into your 3dcart Online store Manager and, using the left hand navigation menu:

  1. Go to Marketing ->Promotion Manager
  2. Click the "+Add Promotion" button located along the top right of the page to begin

The page will now allow you to begin creating the promotion using the following parameters:

  • Promotion Name
    This will be the name of the promotion. It's essentially the title of the promotion and will appear to the shopper when the promotion applies to their order. Example: December Special
  • Promotion Description
    This will also appear to the user when the promotion is applied to the order and it allows you to give a better description of the offer.
    Example: All customers get 15% off any order for the month of December if the total bill is $100.00 or more.
  • Start Date & End Date
    Use these calendar selectors to specify the start date and end dates for when the promotion will be active on your store.
    By default, when creating the promotion, the store will specify a month from the date that you create the promotion. However, this can be tailored to meet your specific needs.
  • Promotion Type
    Next, you have the option of specifying how the promotion is presented to the shopper. You have two options:
    • Automatic Promo
      The promotion applies automatically to the order if the specified promotion rules are met.
    • Coupon Promo
      The promotion applies if the specified promotion rules are met and the shopper enters a specific code in the checkout pages
      • Promotion Coupon
        Here, you will specify the promotion code that the shopper will need to use for a coupon promo

Additional Information
One additional difference between Automatic Promo -vs- Coupon Promo is the fact that a coupon promotion can be added to the order and removed by the shopper (if they choose) before checking out.

On the other hand, the Automatic Promo - when it applies to the order - cannot be removed. (unless the shopper changes their cart to no longer apply for the automatic promotion, such as removing the qualifying item or )

  • Discount
    This will be the value of the discount that will applied to the order when the promotion rules are met. If used by itself, this field will consider the discount a monetary value discount. For example, entering "15" in the field will take $15 off the order.
    • % checkbox
      Marking this checkbox will take the value entered in the Discount box and treat it as a percentage. So, using the example cited above, marking the checkbox would treat the 15 as 15% off the order when the promotion applies.

After configuring the base Promotion Settings outlined above, you're ready to save the promotion and carry on with the rest of the process.

  1. Click the "+Save" to have the promotion added to your store.

After clicking +Save, the page will refresh with some basic details of the promotion. Along the top of the page, you will notice a message that reads:

Warning This promotion is not enabled, click here to enable it now

This is because we still have some fine tuning to do on the promotion before we fully activate it.

Once again, you will see the Promotion Name, Start/End Dates, and the Promotion Description sections we covered earlier. You will also see two additional settings directly beneath the Description field:

  • Total Allowed Uses
    This is the total number of times this promotion can be used on the store. After this number of uses is met, the promotion essentially expires (Regardless of the expiration date settings). The default amount is 999 uses, but you may change this to higher (or lower) as needed.
  • Uses Per Customer
    This lets you control the number of times the promotion can be used per shopper. The store uses the recorded order history for the shopper and, if they've used the promotion before, it will limit them to the number entered in this field.

Tip
If you're testing out a promotion on your own store to see if it works and set up properly, we recommend setting the uses per customer to a pretty high number. This way, if the test doesn't work the way you intended, you can tweak the settings and try again until you get it set just right.

Just be sure to set the limit back to 1 use per customer after you're done testing!!!

While on the Promotion configuration page, you'll notice that it's split up into two sides, left/right. If you look over to the right hand side of the page, you will see two sections:

  • Promotion Offers
    This is where you'll fine tune the actual offer dictated by the promotion
  • Promotion Rules
    And here's where you'll configure the rules that need to be met before the promotion is considered "Applicable" to the shopper's order.

Promotion Rules

We need to configure what needs to happen on the cart in order for the promotion to apply, so let's start with the Promotion Rules first.

  1. Click on the +Icon next to "Promotion Rules"

Again, these are the rules that need to be met on the order, before the store considers the promotion as applicable to the shopper's order. You will see the following parameters that can be configured:

Tip
A few of these settings were already configured when you created the coupon in the previous steps above. We just have them here if you want to re-adjust them.

  • Requires Coupon (no, yes)
    This is the same as the "Promotion Type" setting you designated earlier when creating the promotion. Marking Yes will make the promotion a Coupon Promo while selecting No will make it an Automatic Promo.
  • Coupon Code
    Same as when creating the promotion. If the previous setting is marked "Yes" (thereby making the Promotion a Coupon Promo), here's where you'll specify the actual coupon to be used.
  • Discount Group
    Use this drop down menu if you'd like to limit the promotion to only a specific group of users like a special pricing group
    Note: Selecting "All" will make the promotion applicable to All Shoppers (including those in special groups) and "None" will make it applicable only to customers who don't belong to a specific group. (i.e. Regular retail users)
  • Country & State
    Use these two drop down menu options if you'd like to limit the Promotion so that it is only applicable to customers from a specific country and/or state.
    For example, if you're in the U.S., you may want to limit the promotion to United States and "All" so that it only applies to your domestic shoppers.
    • Exclude List
      Directly beneath the State drop down, you'll notice a link labeled "Exclude List" which will allow you to designate states that are excluded from the list of allowed States for the promotion. For instance, using the example above of United States and "All" States; let's say you'd like to exclude Alaska and Hawaii. Click the "Exclude List" link and you'll be taken to a page where you can add locations that will be excluded from the promotion's eligibility.
  • Order Quantity (Min Quantity & Max Quantity)
    These two fields will be used if you would like to limit the promotion so that it applies to a specific number of items on the order.
    For example, a "By 5 or more and get N% off the order" promotion would have the Min Quantity set to 5
  • Order Amount (Min Amount ($) & Max Amount ($))
    Similar to the previous setting, these fields will let you limit the promotion so that it applies to a specific monetary value of the order.
    For example, a "By $5 or more and get N% off the order" promotion would have the Min Amount ($) set to 5
  • Options | Non-Stackable
    This checkbox will mark the promotion as "Non-Stackable" which basically means it cannot be used in conjunction with any other promotion.
  • Excluded Items
    These three radio buttons will allow you to exclude certain items from allowing the order to meet the promotion requirements
    • None
      No item is excluded from helping to meet the promotion requirements
    • Qty Discount
      Any item that is using bulk/quantity discounts will be excluded from meeting the promotion requirements
    • Qty Discount & On Sale
      Any items that are using bulk discount and/or are marked as "On Sale" will be excluded.

These next two sections will allow you to further fine-tune the promotion so that the order is required to have specific items in it before the promotion is applicable.

  • Applies if Products from these Categories are in the Basket
    Here, you can select specific categories of products that will meet the promotion requirements. Simply click on the +Add button and select which categories you'd like the promotion to consider as meeting requirements. Additionally, if this section left blank, this promotion will consider all categories as "fair game" to meet the requirements.
  • Applies if these Products are in the Basket
    As an alternative to the above, this section will let you further fine-tune the promotion's elegibility requirements so that specific products and specific amounts of those products have to be in the cart before the promotion is considered as applicable.

Tip
A common mistake we see from time to time is when merchants create a promotion that uses both of the functions described above. Unfortunately, having limitations set in both creates a bit of a logical conflict and cancels the promotion's effect. Therefore, we offer the following examples to help differentiate between the two:

  • Applies if Products from these Categories are in the Basket
    Useful for promotions where you'd like to have the requirement met by items in a specific category.
    For example, in a promotion for "Buy any shirt, get a pair of shoes at 50% off" you would likely select whatever category the shirt products are in so that the order meets requirement as long as the shirt the shopper selected resides in that category.
  • Applies if these Products are in the Basket
    This is useful when you want to create a promotion where the requirements are very specific. Down to the specific product and the number of products ordered. For example, in a promotion for "Buy [this specific amount] of [this specific] shirt, and get a pair of shoes at 50% off" type of promotion, you would select the shirt and exactly how many of the item the shopper would need.
  1. Once you're all set with the Promotion Rules, click "Save" at the top right.

At this point, we've configured the promotion to apply when these conditions are met in the shoper's cart. Our next step will be to set up and fine-tune the actual offers and discounts that will be awarded when the promotion is applied.

So let's go over the Promotion Offers section

  1. Click on the +Icon next to "Promotion Rules"

As mentioned, this section is where you will specify the offers that will be applied to the order, after the promotion rules have been met. You will see the following parameters that can be configured:

Tip
As before, a few of these settings were already configured when you created the coupon in the beginning steps above. We just have them here if you want to re-adjust them.

  • Discount Offered
    As set before (when creating the promotion) this field lets you enter the value of the discount being given on the order. So for a flat $5 discount, you would enter a 5.
    • Is percentage
      However, if instead of a flat monetary amount, you wanted to offer a percentage discount, you would mark this box.
    • Applies per Item
      This setting applies the discount to each product of the order. If it is unchecked, then the discount will be applie to the order as a whole.
    • Free Shipping
      Along with whatever discount you specify, this checkbox will also throw "Free Shipping" as part of the promotion

Tips:
Here are a couple of notes about the "Applies per Item" and "Free Shipping" checkboxes.

  • Applies per Item
    As stated, this checkbox is used to apply the discount to each item in the order. However, it usually works best when the discount is not a percentage discount. Honestly, it works either way, but the effect may not be noticeable if the discount being offered is a percentage.

    This is because - regardless of whether a 5% discount is being offerred on each individual product or the whole order - the discounted amount ends up being pretty much the same. On the other hand, a $5 discount applied per item will have a much different effect than a $5 discount on the order total.
  • Free Shipping
    A lot of folks use this checkbox to offer free shipping on top of the promotion discount. In other words, the shopper gets $10 bucks off the order AND free shipping. Woohoo!

    But what you may not realize is that the free shipping checkbox can also work just by itself. In other words, you can set it so that the promotion is ONLY for free shipping and no other discount involved. If this is what you're looking to do, simply mark the free shipping checkbox, and leave the discount field as a 0. This will result in a promotion that still gives free shipping, but doesn't take any monetary value off the order.
  • Exclude Products from these Manufacturers
    Use this area of the Promotion Offers section if you would like to (or need to) exclude items from specific manufacturers from being given a discount. This is for situations where MSRP or MAP may cause conflict if those items are discounted in any way. Simply click on the "+Add" button and select the manufacturers you wish to omit.
  • Include Products in these Categories
    This section can be used if you'd like to have the discount/offer applied only to products from certain categories. Leaving this area blank will treat all of your categories as "fair game" for the discount.
  • Discount Applies to this Product
    As an alternative, you can use this setting to apply the discount to a specific product so that that product alone gets the discount. Leaving this function unused will consider all products "fair game" for the discount.

Tip
As with the promotion rules section, these last two settings also lead to a common mistake when one tries to create a promotion that uses both of the offers described above. Therefore, we offer the following examples to help differentiate between the two:

  • Include Products in these Categories
    This is useful for promotions where you'd like to offer the discount or free shipping to items in specific categories.
    For example, in a promotion for "Buy any shirt, get any pair of shoes at 50% off" you would likely select whatever category the shoe products are in so that the order awards the 50% discount on the shoes.
  • Discount Applies to this Product
    On the other hand, you may want to have the discount applied to a specific item. In that case you would use this setting instead to select the item. For example, in a promotion for "Buy any shirt, and get [this specific pair of shoes] at 50% off" type of promotion, you would select the exact shoe that would get the discount..

We're almost done with the Promotion offer section. We've just got two more settings left to discuss:

  • Fixed Price Product
    This setting will be used if you'd like to add a free (or fixed price) item to the cart along with the rest of the discount/offer.
  • Bonus Reward Point
    Lastly, this feature will allow you to add a specifed number of reward points to the customer's record when the promotion is used.

Tip
These last two functions are compatible and can work alongside any of the other settings discussed so far. However, there are some things to be aware of. Therefore, we offer the following examples to help differentiate between the two:

  • Fixed Price Product
    As mentioned, this optional setting will allow you to add a free or fixed price item to the order when the coupon applies.
    For example, in a promotion for "Buy any shirt, get any pair of shoes at 50% off and get a free belt!" you would select the belt item from your store and set its price as needed. What this will do is instantly add the item to the shopper's cart automatically at the price specifed. (Zero in our example)

    One thing to be aware of however is that the shopper will not have the ability to select the item being added. Therefore, items with selectable options (size, color, etc) will not be listed for you when selecting the fixed price item.
  • Discount Applies to this Product
    This optional setting will add reward points to the customer's record when the promotion is applied.
    For example, "Buy any shirt, get any pair of shoes at 50% off and get 50 bonus reward points!" would use this function.

    The customer's record will reflect the added points as coming from this promotion when they (or you) review the customer's reward points history

That about covers all of the Promotion Manager settings. So after configuring your promo, save your changes and enable the promotion.

  1. Click Save at the top right of the page
  2. Then look to the top of the page and click on the "Click here to enable now" link we mentioned earlier.

The promo is now activated and ready to use!

Tip
You may want to run a quick test of the promotion to make sure it works correctly. This way there are no surprises when the promo is used for real. If you need to get back into the promotion to tweak some of your settings, follow these steps:

  1. Go to Marketing ->Promotion Manager
  2. Find your promotion on the list
    (Hint: There's a search function at the top of the page if you've got a bunch of 'em!)
  3. Once you've found your promotion, click on either its name or look to the far right of it and click on the "Action ->Edit" button to go back into the settings for it.

Now that you (hopefully) have a better understanding of the Promotion Manager functions and settings, let's look at some example promotions to help illustrate the process further.


Examples
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This section will show you specific examples of how to set up certain types of promotions. We'll be using generic types of products for these examples so feel free to substitute your own product oferrings in these scenarios.


Free Shipping When an Order is Over $XXX
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You may want to only give free shipping to orders that are over a certain amount of money. Let's say $200 or more as an example.

To do this under the promotion manager:

  1. Go to Marketing ->Promotion Manager
  2. Click the Add Promotion Button.
  3. Type in a name for the Promotion
    Example: Free Shipping Promotion
  4. In the Promotion description field, add the details for your free shipping promo
    Example: Free shipping for orders over $200.00!
  5. Add the start and end dates you would like this promotion to be valid for.
  6. Leave the discount field blank
  7. Click +Save.

Great, now let's look at the settings involved. Click the +Icon next to Promotion Rules and specify whether this will be a coupon or automatic promo, set the customer pricing group it applies to, the country/state limitations etc. These can be set to whatever your preferences are.

For the purpose of this example, the main setting you'll want to concentrate on is the "Order Amount ($)" setting.

  1. Go to the "Order Amount ($) section and enter "200" in the "Min Amount ($)" field.
  2. Click "Save" at the top right.

By now we've specifed that the promo will apply when the order is over $200. Now let's set the "Free Shipping" part of it.

  1. Click on the +Icon next to Promotion Offers
  2. Mark the checkbox labeled "Free Shipping" and save the page.

You can pretty much leave the rest of the offer settings untouched since all we're really doing is giving free shipping to orders over $200.

After saving your promotion, click on the "click here to enable it now" link and you're all set! Orders over $200 will enjoy free shipping.


Buy One, Get One Free
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You may want to offer a promotion where a customer purchases a specific item and receives another one free. This one is a little trickier so pay close attention.

To do this:

  1. Go to Marketing ->Promotion Manager
  2. Click the Add Promotion Button.
  3. Type in a name for the Promotion
    Example: Buy One, Get One Free
  4. In the Promotion description field, add the details for your free shipping promo
    Example: Buy one pair of sunglasses, get a second pair free!
  5. Add the start and end dates you would like this promotion to be valid for.
  6. Leave the discount field blank
  7. Click +Save.

Good job! Now let's review the settings. As before, we'll go over the Rules section first. Click the +Icon next to Promotion Rules and specify whether this will be a coupon or automatic promo, set the customer pricing group it applies to, the country/state limitations etc. These can be set to whatever your preferences are.

For the purpose of this example, the main setting you'll want to concentrate on here is the "Applies if these Products are in the Basket" setting.

  1. Go to the "Applies if these Products are in the Basket" section and use the "Action ->Change" button (at the right) to select the product.
    In this case, the main pair sunglasses.
  2. Set the Qty field for the item to 1
  3. Click "Save" at the top right

By now we've specifed that the promo will apply when the shopper adds 1 of the main pair of sunglasses to their cart. We've got the "Buy One" part covered. Now let's cover the "Get One Free" part of it.

  1. Click on the +Icon next to Promotion Offers
  2. Go down to the "Fixed Price Product" section and click on the "Change" button
  3. Select the same pair of sunglasses
  4. Set its price to 0

You can pretty much leave the rest of the offer settings untouched since all we're really doing is adding one free pair of sunglasses when the shopper orders the same pair. After saving your promotion, click on the "click here to enable it now" link and you're all set!


Bulk Discount
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For this example, we'll show how a promotion can be used when a customer orders items in bulk. For Example: If the shopper purchases 10 items, they get 50% off a separate product.

  1. Go to Marketing ->Promotion Manager
  2. Click the Add Promotion Button.
  3. Type in a name for the Promotion
    Example: Bulk Shirt Order
  4. In the Promotion description field, add the details for your free shipping promo
    Example: Buy 10 Shirts, get a knit sweater half off!
  5. Add the start and end dates you would like this promotion to be valid for.
  6. Make the discount field 50 and make it a percentage
  7. Click +Save.

So now, we have a promotion that is oferring 50% off. We still need to fine-tune it though, so click the +Icon next to Promotion Rules and specify whether this will be a coupon or automatic promo, set the customer pricing group it applies to, the country/state limitations etc. These can be set to whatever your preferences are.

For the purpose of this example, the main settings you'll want to concentrate on here are the "Order Quantity" and "Applies if Products from these Categories are in the Basket" settings.

  1. Go to the Order Quantity section and set 10 for "Min Quantity"
  2. Next, scroll down to the "Applies if Products from these Categories are in the Basket" and click on the "+Add" button there
  3. Select whatever category the shirts reside in.
  4. Click "Save" at the top right

What we've done so far is created a promotion that will offer 50% off on the order when the shopper has 10 items in their cart, and if those 10 items reside in the Shirts category. If we leave this promotion as it is, the ultimate effect will be 50% off the whole order. That's not what we want. Instead we want to have the 50% discount apply to the Knit Sweater. So let's read on:

  1. Click on the +Icon next to Promotion Offers
  2. Look for the "Discount Applies to this Product" setting and click its "Change" button
  3. Select the item that will get the 50% off
    In this case, the knit sweater.
  4. Save your promotion and enable it.

You're all set! The store will now take an order for 10 items from the shirts category and - if the shopper adds the knit sweater to their order - apply 50% off the sweater.

Of course, these are all basic examples of how to create different types of promotions on the store. We don't expect you to limit your store to just these three promotions. Our goal in writing out these examples is to illustrate how some of the various settings can be used to get to (or at least close to) the effect you're looking for.

Feel free to experiment and create your own types of promotions now that you have a better understanding of how the store "thinks" when it comes to promos.


Troubleshooting
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Regardless of how carefully they're set up, there's always a chance that a promotion will not work the way you planned. If your promotion is not functioning or acting "wonky" (actual technical term), there are a few settings you can double check to make sure your promotion has been properly configured.

  • Check the Total Uses field Promotion Manager section.
    Make sure the Total Uses for the promotion is not at 0.
  • Check the Uses per Customer field in under the Promotion Manager section.
    Make sure you have not ordered more than the allotted Uses per Customer allows for in the promotion. In fact, while testing the promotion for yourself, it may be best to raise the number of uses a bit to cover for trial and error.
  • Start/End Dates
    Make sure the order has been placed within the Start and End date for the promotion. Check the start and end date of your promotion to make sure it isn't expired or set for the future.
  • Enabled?
    Make sure your promotion is Enabled.

Of course, if all else fails, our support team can take a look and offer assistance. Log into your support portal and leave us a ticket so we can have a look!



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