Video + Transcript: Get the Most out of Promotions Webinar
On Oct. 14th, over 500 companies joined us for our second webinar in a series on Maximizing Magento, Get the Most out of Promotions. The 45 minute recording introduces some of the best tips and tricks on maximizing Magento’s powerful promotions modules. Learn the best techniques for using shopping cart and catalog prices rules to convert site visitors to customers, and much more ... To conclude the webinar, a number of selected questions are answered by Varien’s CTO, Yoav Kutner.
Udi Shamay: Hello everyone and welcome to the second webinar in the Maximizing Magento Webinar series, the series that aims to maximize your understanding of Magento and help you get the most out of your Magento tools. Today the webinar will focus on Magento’s promotion tools. My name is Udi Shamay, account director here at Varien, the Magento Company.
I’d like to begin by thanking you all for being here. There’s over 900 companies registered to this webinar. Some of you are just starting out, and some of you are organizations running hundreds of millions of dollars a year. If you’re a Magento support customer, we’d like to remind you that you can open a ticket at any time, and a Varien support staff member will be happy to assist you.
And if you haven’t done so already, we invite you to join the conversation about Magento. You can follow us on our Magento blog, on Twitter, or join one of our groups on Facebook or LinkedIn. And on to our topics for today.
So there are two types of promotion tools in Magento: product level and rule-based. We’ll cover those. Under rule based, we’ll cover catalog price rules and shopping cart price rules. Then we’ll actually set up some promotions using some promotions that I’ve found that are currently running on some of the biggest eCommerce sites out there. So that’s exciting.
Then we’ll offer you some tips and tricks on how to maximize your Magento promotion tools and help you grow your business. And to conclude, we have a question and answer segment with Varien CTO, Yoav Kutner. So let’s get started.
So there are two types of promotion tools in Magento: product level promotion tools and rule based promotion tools. Product level promotion tools allow you to manage the promotional pricing of a product directly on the product page in the admin. The two product level promotion tools in Magento are tier pricing and special pricing.
Rule based promotion tools, on the other hand, determine the promotional pricing or the discount, through price rules. So you can set conditions, and if those conditions are met, then an action in the form of a monetary discount or free shipping in some places will take in effect.
Under the rule based promotion tools in Magento, there are two types. There’s catalog price rules and shopping cart price rules. Catalog price rules allow you to set special pricing based on rules.
So instead of having to go into each product individually and set the special price there, you can set conditions for setting up special prices for multiple products at a time or entire categories. This is very useful for clearance or the type of promotion where you give a percent off an entire category.
Shopping cart price rules, on the other hand, require that qualifying items will be added to the cart before the discount is applied. Or in the case of free shipping, instead of a discount, a free shipping option will be available during checkout.
All right, so let’s get to work and set up our product level promotions. We’re going to switch over to the Magento admin. And under the catalog, under manage products, we’re actually going to find a product. Cameras, let’s submit the search. OK. This is the product I want. All right, so I click on the product to view it in its edit mode.
OK. I have the information here. We are actually looking for the pricing tab, the prices tab. So this area controls the entire pricing of the product. We’ll start by setting up the first product level promotion tool, which is the special price. Our regular price is $37.49. We’ll just create a special price of $30.
If I wanted to restrict this promotion by date, then I could enter a start from and end date here. Let’s save. And I’m going to click save and continue edit so that I can return easily to this edit mode for this product. And then I’m going to view the product in the front end. Refresh the page. And here we go. We have a special price. OK. So that was the first product level promotion tool, special price.
Next, we’re going to get back to the same product, and we’re going to set up the tier pricing. So as you can see, both are applied directly to the product. I’m going to click on the add tier button, and it gives us a row of options.
The first option is website. Now website relates to if I wanted to restrict per website. For instance, if our installation had more than one website, which this one doesn’t, then I would be able to select from this drop down which website I wanted to restrict this special price to. In this case there’s only one option, so we’ll leave it at that.
For customer group, I can once again restrict which customer group will be able to see the special price. All groups is, for our purposes, good enough. And then quantity. What’s the quantity at which the unit price, that we’ll enter here, becomes available. So let’s set quantity of five, and then a tier price of $25, and then another one without any restrictions. Again, 10 and 20. And then save and continue edit.
Let’s view this product. I’ll refresh. And we do have another block here that is added that has the price tiers information. And also, Magento automatically calculates the savings in percentage per price tier.
That is the easy product level promotion tools. Now we’re going to move into some more advanced promotion tools, the rule based promotions tools. Like I earlier said, we have four promotions that are currently running on some of the biggest eCommerce sites. And we’re going to take a look at each one of them and then recreate them using the rule based promotions tools.
We’re going to start with the catalog price rule. So let’s take a look at this promotion. This is a clearance. Save 50 percent on all fashions. Since we don’t have a fashions category in our installation, we’re going to use the apparel category. But using catalog price rule, what we’re basically going to achieve here is to create a special price that is 50 percent off for all apparel products.
So let’s get back to our admin, and see how we can set up that. So back to the admin. And this time I’m going to go under the promotions tab and select catalog price rules. OK. I’m going to click add new rule. And I’m going to type in 50 percent off all apparel. I’m going to use that as a description. The rule name and description are internal fields in Magento and invisible to your customers.
Status. Obviously if I wanted to make the promotion active or inactive. So active. Website is the same thing as we saw in tier pricing, where I could limit this promotion per website. Once again, in our installation there’s only one website.
Customer groups. I’m going to select all customer groups, and let’s go ahead and select main website. And then we also, if we wanted to restrict this promotion by date, we also have a from and to date. And then priority is pretty interesting, because if you have several active catalog price rules in Magento. Setting the priority tells Magento in what order to process the catalog price rules.
Then we’re going to move into the conditions. And here is where we set what conditions have to be in place and met in order for the special price to be applied to the products and what products exactly.
OK. So let’s take a look at the statement. If all of these conditions are true, meaning that any conditions that we have here will have to be true for the actions, which we’ll set later, to take place. In our example here, we don’t need anything but the category.
So let’s click on the add condition button, and we get a little dropdown that gives us several options. Most of them are product attribute options. And also the conditions combination, which allows you to create nested conditions. And we’ll get to use this later in the shopping cart price rules. But for us, for our purposes, we’re going to choose a product attribute category.
And then, my category is… Under “is” I could choose some other values. For our purpose here, “is” is the applicable one, because the category has to be apparel. Now, where you see the three dots is where I can actually define what is the category. So if I know the category ID, I can type it in here.
Since I don’t know the category ID, I can click on this selector, which then shows me my category tree in Magento. As you can see, I have my apparel category right here. I’m going to expand it and just show you that apparel 66 actually includes all the products in all the nested subcategories. Shirts, shoes, hoodies. So we’ll just select apparel, category ID is populated automatically, and we’re just going to click here to commit.
So our condition is set. The product has to belong to the category of apparel. And our action is to give 50 percent off. So let’s type in 50 here, and let’s take a look at this dropdown here. Apply, which relate to how would you like the discount applied.
So we’ve got two types of options. We’ve got by and to. The by relates to the first option, by percentage off the original price. So how much off the original, what percentage off the original price, or how much, a fixed amount off the original price. Or we can set the special price to be a percentage of the original price or an actual fixed amount.
In our case, for our promotion, we’re going to choose by percentage of the original price. 50 percent. Stop for the rules processing relates to the priority. So basically we’re telling Magento, after applying this action and this discount, do not apply any other discounts after this one. So we’re going to set it to no.
Now we’ve got two options. I can either save the rule or I can save and apply the rule. Save and apply immediately applies the special pricing to all the products that meet the conditions. Whereas save the rule just saves this catalog price rule in Magento but does not really activate the special pricing. And we’ll talk a little bit more about that. We’ve got some tips on how you can automate this process. So I’m going to click save and apply.
And I’m going to go to my apparel category and refresh the page. And as you can see, we get a special price that is 50 percent on all products. So we’ve got the shirts, we’ve got the shoes, we’ve got the t-shirts, the hoodies. So that was the catalog price rule. Remember that catalog price rule applies special pricing that are based on rules.
All right. Let’s get back to the presentation. And let’s go on to our next one, which is setting up the shopping cart. Instead of using shopping cart price rules, we’re going to set up the next three promotions. This one is about spending $50 and getting free shipping. So if a customer spends $50, they get free shipping. We’re actually going to make it a little more restrictive and add another condition, which is tie this promotion to specific items.
Let’s get back to the Magento admin. All right. Once again. Under the promotions title, this time I’m going to click on shopping cart price rules. And I’m going to create a new rule. And once again, just like in catalog price rules, this is very similar, we’ll go over the fields that are unique to shopping cart price rules. Let’s name it spend $50, get free ground shipping on selected items. And copy that to our description.
Make it active on the main website. All customer groups. A coupon code is whether or not you want an actual coupon code to activate the promotion. Or if you don’t enter anything here, if we leave it blank, then once those items that are part of the conditions are found in cart, then they meet the conditions, then the shopping cart price rule will be activated automatically.
Uses per coupon and uses per customer relates to how many times can this rule be activated or ran. Per coupon is how many times total, and per customer is how many times per customer. Then once again, we can set a from and to date.
The priority just determined the order in which Magento process the rules, shopping cart price rules in this case. Public in our RSS feed is whether or not you want updates about this price rule available to RSS subscribers.
Let’s go to the conditions now. So we’re here once again. We have that default statement if all of these conditions are true. And this time we’re actually going to add some nested conditions. So as you can see, we have some different cart attributes or a limited selection of cart attributes, but here we also have nested conditions. So I can create now nested conditions using these three options.
Let’s first try the product sub selection.
All right. So once I select product sub selection, it allows me… The reason I actually chose it is because it allows me to restrict by the total quantity, or the total amount in the cart matching to certain items. So I’m going to change quantity to the total amount, because remember, they have to spend $50. Let’s actually take a look back at our promotion to refresh our memory.
Spend $50, get free shipping. And we said on selected items. So if total amount is… We’ll change is to say equals or greater than, because we want to encourage them to actually buy more than $50 of these selected items. And then in the three dots, I can just type in $50. For a sub selection of items in cart matching all of these conditions.
Now in our case, we are basically saying that if all of these SKUs which we are going to restrict this promotion are in the cart, then the conditions are met. But, in our case, if any of these SKUs are in the cart, give the free shipping action.
All right? So, now it reads that if total amount equals or is greater than 50 for a sub-selection of items in cart and matching any of these conditions…
Now, here, I can choose a product attribute, which is based on SKU. I am going to scroll down here, and I want to define that the SKU is one of the three SKUs that we will actually enter.
Once again, I click on the selector here, and I could use the search to find my products. The products that I am going to give this promotion on are the camera accessories.
As I select here, they are populated automatically into this field. All right?
So, our conditions are set. The total amount equals or is greater than 50 dollars for a sub-selection of any of these items. Then apply the action.
Now let’s take a look at the action. Under the “apply” drop-down, we once again have a percent off or a fixed amount off. We also have a fixed amount discount for the whole cart, or we have the fourth option, which is used for creating a special promotion. This is buy “x” of item one, and get “y” quantity of item one for free.
In our case, we don’t need any of these. Remember our action is actually free shipping. So, we will leave the discount amount at zero, the maximum quantity discount is applied as it relates to how many items do you actually give a discount on. For instance, you could set it so that only the first item gets the discount, but then after one item you don’t want to discount these products anymore.
In our case, for this promotion, we need to set the free shipping. Under the free shipping menu, we have the four matching items only and we have for shipment the matching items. Since we want to restrict the free shipping to only those items in the cart… Sorry, only those camera accessories, we are actually going to set the free shipping… to give free shipping only to those items. So, free shipping for matching items only.
Now, down here, we are going to say which items get free shipping. I can actually go back here and copy these SKUs, because I want to give free shipping only on these SKUs.
So, I am going to… select SKU. Once again, it is one of… And I am going to paste it in, and commit.
Now I can save my rule.... Great.
Our rule is here. It is saved; it is active.
Now, the next step for us is to set up which free shipping method should be given as the free shipping method, if the conditions the cart are met.
We are going to go into the system menu, and we are going to look for the configuration option.
We are going to scroll down to the shipping methods. All right?
In the shipping methods, this is where you control and manage all of your shipping methods. We are going to set UPS Ground as the free shipping method. It has to be enabled, of course.
Then, UPS Ground has to be one of the allowed methods, which it is. Then, for free method, we choose the ground method.
Free shipping with minimum order amount and minimum amount for free shipping relates to the entire cart. Since we are restricting by price rule, we will just disable it. All right?
Then we are going to save the configuration.
Now, we are going to look at a scenario where we have in our shopping cart a camera accessory with a sub-total that is over 50 dollars. It should fulfill the condition. Therefore we should be able to get--and we are--free ground shipping. This is how you would go about setting something like that.
Our next shopping cart price rule is the buy one, get one at 50 percent off. There are actually two ways of looking at this promotion. Magenta gives you the flexibility to define it in our marketing in a couple of ways.
You can have it as buy one, get one at 50 percent off. Or, for instance, you can have it at buy two and get 25 percent off, which is essentially saying the same thing. For defining this type of promotion, Magenta actually uses the latter option, the buy two, get 25 percent off.
Let’s go back to the admin and set this shopping cart price rule. All right.
This time, we are going to call it “buy one t-shirt get a second one at 50 percent off.” Let’s make that our description as well. Make it active on main website. All customer groups.
And let’s actually define a coupon code. We will call it 50 percent off new. Use it for coupon? It is all right. Actually, let’s limit the customer per one. The from and to dates… None of that is important for our purposes. Then back to the conditions…
When we set up these conditions, we want to restrict it once again to a SKU. Because, we are saying that if you buy a specific item, then you get another quantity--another one--of that specific item at 50 percent off.
Let’s add a condition. This time we are going to use the product attribute combination. We can actually select a SKU. If an item is found in the cart with all of these conditions true… In our case, we just need one SKU.
Once again, I am going to select to add a condition. Now I have more product attribute options. Actually, I have all of my product attribute options. I am going to click on SKU because it has to be this SKU.
This time I am going to enter this SKU. I could also use the chooser to get to it. But, since I know what it is, I will type it in.
Now I have to set up how many total of this product do I need to buy. The answer to that is two. If I buy two, what is the total discount that I am giving on two? That is the 25 percent off.
Once again, the quantity, the total quantity, of the item at the regular price and the total quantity of the item at the discounted price is two. Buy one and get one at 50 percent off. If you buy two, the Magento looks at it, if you buy two, you get 25 percent off. But it’s essentially the same exact promotion. All right. I think this is all we need for now.
We’re just going to save it. And we’re going to go take a look at a scenario where we have this item, this shirt, in the cart at quantity two with an active and valid discount code, and it’s a 25 percent off discount on this quantity.
All right, let’s go on and set up our last shopping cart price rule. And this promotion restricts to certain criteria. For instance, it has to be a brand. We have to be able to define a brand, it has to be 20 percent off, and we’re going to also limit by a certain type of product. For instance, what we’re going to do, we’re going to duplicate this, but we’re going to duplicate this for a camera.
So we’ll set a price rule that will restrict the promotion. It has to be a camera. The manufacturer, or the brand, it has to be a Canon. And only for Canon cameras over $300 will we give 20 percent off. So let’s get back to our admin and go to our shopping cart price rules. Add new rule. And we’ll say, go buy any Canon camera over $300 and get 20 percent off.
And we’ll give 20 percent off the entire order, because we already restricted by SKU. This time it’s only going to be for the entire order. The status, active. Main website again. Customer groups. We’ll leave all that blank. All right, for conditions, all of these conditions must be true. And once again, we will use the product attribute combination.
So if an item is found in the cart with all of these conditions true… We want all, because it has to be a Canon, it has to be a camera, and the price in the cart of such an item has to be over $300. So let’s begin by selecting the manufacturer. Once I click on that, Magento loads all my manufacturers from the database. In this case, my manufacturer is Canon.
Another product attribute is that the price in cart… Sorry. Price in cart is 300. And we’ll change this here to is equals or greater than 300. And finally, we’re going to use another product attribute, which is very handy, and that’s an attribute set. So when you create attributes in Magento for your products, depending on the product type, you can save all these attributes as sets.
So we have, in this installation, set up the products with different attribute sets. And we can now use a condition that restricts this promotion only to products within the cameras attribute set. So there we go.
I think our conditions are all set. For actions, it’s actually simple. All we want to do is give 20 percent off. And since we’re not entering any information here, we’re basically saying that all items in the cart are going to receive the 20 percent off provided that an item in the cart answers these conditions.
Let’s save this rule. And let’s take a look at another scenario in the shopping cart. So I have an item here that is a Canon, and it’s a camera. The price is over $300, so my 20 percent should already be activated. This product here is not one of the qualifying items. Yet on the total of these two products, we get a 20 percent discount. So once again, this is how you go about doing that.
So that concludes actually our tutorial, and now we’re going to offer you some very exciting tips and tricks on how to maximize your promotions tools in Magento.
So we’ll start with tip number one, and that is automatic updates of catalog price rules. So as I showed you using catalog price rule, if you don’t apply the rules, then those rules are not applied automatically. Which means that on a daily basis you’d have to go in and click on “apply rules.”
Or you could use what this tip is about and actually set up your cron.php file that is located in the Magento root folder, to run periodically. That will enable Magento to update the special prices automatically. And there’s actually a step by step tutorial on setting up your cron.php. It’s posted on the wiki, and the link for it is below.
Tip number two. Magento automatically removes and restores tier prices that are higher than the special price for that product. So it’s another handy feature of Magento.
You can have special prices and tier prices configured at the same time for a product, and Magento will know not to show any tier price that is higher than the actual special price, and show only those that are lower than the special price. Once the special price expires or you remove it, then all tier prices will be restored.
Tip number three. When creating a rule based promotion which contains nested conditions, use the conditions combination option to specify the relationship between each nested condition. This actually sounds a little more sophisticated than it really is.
So we looked at the statement that is the default statement if all of these conditions are true, which could also be changed to if any of these conditions are true. In this example, if any of these conditions are true, it’s basically saying that if nested condition number one, which is the first shaded area, or the second shaded area, which is nested condition number two, are met in the cart, then apply the action.
If this were to say, if all of these conditions are true, then what we’re saying is that nested condition one and nested condition two will have to be met in order for the rule to apply. So any time you use the condition combination, you’re able to create a relationship, because it adds this statement if any of these conditions are true.
Tip number four. Limit special prices in tier pricing by customer group. So using the catalog price rule in Magento allows you to show different special prices to different customer groups. We’ve seen that when we use the catalog price rule.
Also, on the product level promotion tool, on the tier price level, you can actually limit each tier price level to a different customer group. So for instance, on the same quantity you can give a different price for your wholesale customers versus your retail customers.
Tip number five. Save time by setting up special prices with one price for multiple products. For example, if you wanted to put all your t-shirts at a special price of $10. I’ll show you how to do that.
Let’s get back to the admin. This time, I am going to go to the admin, and I am going to go into the catalog. I am going to look at the managed products section.
OK. In the managed products section, I can now select what product I am looking for. In my case I am looking for “computers.” I can search. Let’s say I want to apply one special price for all notebook computers. I am going to select all four of these, actually all five of these. That is fine; this is a bundle.
I am going to now go into my actions drop-down, and I am going to select the update attributes.
There are other attributes that you can apply to this… That you can change with multiple products at the same time. Click “submit.”
I am going to scroll down until I get to special price. I am going to type in “1,500” and click “save.”
Now, let’s look at what this does. Here are my notebooks, and all of these products. It does not matter what their regular price was before, right now they are at $1,500, including this one which is a product that still has to be configured. That is why you see it posted “as low as.”
All right. That was our last tip! Next, Yoav Kutner is going to join us for questions and answers. Thank you for your time.
Yoav Kutner: Hello, everyone. My name is Yoav Kutner. I am Varien’s vice president and CTO. I would like to thank Udi for his presentation. I will jump into some questions and answers here.
We have collected some questions which we feel will serve the most people who are attending this webinar. And you can always use our forms for more questions.
Let’s jump in and see what Chuck is asking. Chuck asks, “If start and end dates are set on promos, do you need to set to inactive after the promo ends?”
The answer to this is that if you have either cron.php set up to run nightly or if you manually process rules, then you do not need to set the promotion to an inactive state. That will be taken care of once the end date of the promotion is reached.
Let’s go to the next question, asking, “With one of the SKU rules, it seems that you have to apply the restriction under the conditions and the action. You seem to actually copy and paste it. Why is this necessary?”
The answer to this is that the promotions are set in a way that allows the flexibility of actually setting conditions to specific products and actions on other products. It is not necessarily that conditions and actions are applied to the same products. Again, this allows you to set up this kind of flexibility.
We are looking into adding some kind of quick way of referencing the same products that were used in conditions and then applying the actions to the same products. This might be coming down the road.
Let’s go to the next question. Mike is asking, “Is there a rule that would auto-add a product to the cart when a condition is met?”
Right now, we do not have functionality of automatically adding items to the shopping cart. That is something that we might reconsider adding in the future. Right now, you can set a rule--a shopping cart price rule--that will give a 100 percent discount on an item if it is present in the cart. Again, this is possible if you relay somehow to the customer in the wording of the promotion that they need to manually add the product to the cart in order to get it for free.
Let’s go to the next question. Bill is asking, “How do I build a promotion where you buy product “x” and product “y” can be obtained for free? Essentially, I want the customer for free if they buy any other product.
This is very similar to Mike’s question. The idea is that you can build a rule that will actually test for whether product “x” is in your shopping cart and then give a 100 percent discount on product “y” if it is in the shopping cart.
Let’s go to the next one. Sue is asking, “What do you enter into the “per user” field if you want to limit the discount code to a one-time use per customer?”
The answer is that you just enter “1” there, and that will limit the usage of a specific coupon to only be used once with the customer.
The next question. Benjamin is asking, “What is the difference between “for shipment with matching items” and “for matching items only”?
This question refers to the free shipping. The answer is that “for shipment with matching items” means that it will give free shipping to the whole cart contents if the items that were in the conditions were found. “For matching items only” means that free shipping will be given only to the items that are involved in the promotion. The other items in the cart will include some shipping costs to them.
Next question. Charles is asking, “How do you enable free shipping for $50 or more and under 20 pounds in weight?”
Again, you can use what Udi was showing earlier. You can use a combination of conditions where one of the conditions is that the cart subtotal will be greater than or equal to 50. Another rule will be on the attribute of the product and will test the weight of the actual item that is in the cart. By using the combination of the rules, you can pretty much set this promotion.
Let’s move to the next one. David is asking, “When you apply the catalog rule, does the layer of navigation on the left reflect the changes?”
The answer to this is that if you, again, have the cron running, or you click “apply rules,” we rebuild the indices before the layered navigation. Therefore, they will reflect the special prices that are valid right now.
Next question. Fiona is asking, “What is the difference between by and to in the action?”
This is referring to what we saw earlier, by setting the action to “by” or an action with a discount to set a price “to.” The idea is, again, more of a convenience feature to allow you to match your wording in your promotion. If you are offering items at 80 percent, you probably will use the setting of “prices” to 80 percent of the original price. If you are actually saying that you will give 20 percent off the original price, you probably will use the “by” and give a discount of 20 percent.
Next, Elaine is asking, “We just saw tier pricing. There were already two size small t-shirts in the cart when the user added five medium t-shirts. The tier pricing only applied to the medium t-shirt. Is this because the prices in the cart are not reflected when you add new items? Or is it because the small and medium t-shirts aren’t treated as the same product?”
In this example, what we saw was a configurable product where two simple items were added to the cart. Since the tier pricing will set, as it should, on the simple product, the tier pricing was applied to the actual simple product which is the medium t-shirt.
This can be done, alternatively, via the shopping cart price rule where you can actually have some kind of SKU scheme that will allow you to create a condition and apply some kind of tier pricing for any simple product for the same configurable product.
Next, Jason is asking, “Can a percentage be entered in the discount?”
The answer to this is that if you are using the special price on the product level, then you can enter the new price. But, if you use the catalog price rules, you can either set to fixed price or give a discount in percentage on the original price. So, to use percentage, you should use the catalog price rules.
Last question for today. Jack is asking, “How would one handle MAP pricing where we want to sell below MAP prices?
I put in this question because this is something that comes up a lot on our forms. Right now, we do not have full support for MAP, which is manufacturer’s advertised price. And we are showing old prices.
There are a few threads about how to customize this, and I saw a few successful implementations of this on Magento. This is definitely something that we will look at down the road to have support built into Magento.
Thank you very much for joining us today. We hope to see you soon in our next webinar. Thank you.