Inside Magento #8: Marketing Features

Magento's Marketing FeaturesIn many popular eCommerce solutions marketing features like coupons and tier pricing are expensive or difficult to integrate. Some Store Owners choose not to bother and miss out on valuable marketing features which can improve conversion rates. Magento is different. We believe that all store owners should have these features without costly integration struggles.

Magento includes a full set of marketing features out of the box. Varien's CTO Yoav Kutner says Magento's marketing tools are "second to none," but we'll let you decide. Included in the Beta 1 release are the following:

Tier Pricing: This feature rewards customers who purchase multiples of an item at a time. Buying one item might cost $10.25, while buying two or more will cost $9.25 each, three or more $8.25 each, etc. Store Owners set the prices and the limits, giving them complete control.

Coupons: We've also included a robust coupon tool, allowing Store Owners to create simple coupons for everything from rewarding long-time customers to promoting holiday specials.

Store Owners can define the following for a simple coupon:

With these tools, Store Owners can execute promotions like special gifts for repeat customers or a weekly coupon restricted to the first 20 customers to use it.

To create more complex promotions Magento includes a Rule-Based Pricing System managed through its Catalog. There are two areas a Store Owner can apply rules to: The Shopping Cart and the Catalog.

The Shopping Cart Price Rules are applied on the shopping cart page and act as coupons. Rules can be highly specific here, unlike in the simple coupon. For example, a Store Owner can create a shopping cart rule that gives 10% off any Cook Book (a subcategory of books, in this example), and also gives 50% off one Boston Red Sox coffee mug. The Store Owner can then limit the time for this promotion to a date range of July 14th-August 27th. Now the Store Owner assigns it the code "summerbaseball," and any customer who uses this code when checking out with cook books and a Red Sox coffee mug will receive the discount.

Catalog Price Rules are the tools used for storewide or category-wide promotions. Each valid product will receive the discount with no need for coupon codes. For example, a Store Owner wants to have a month-long sale in July and create a catalog rule called "July Sale" setting the date range to July 1st - July 31st. During this time, all products by manufacturer HP get 10% off. Also, all products of the "type" computer get 15% off. Since the store contains computers manufactured by HP, this can create an overlap. So, when creating the price rule, the Store Owner can choose to give computers built by HP either 10% or 15% off (by deciding which condition has precedence). The Store Owner could even add a third condition to "July Sale" that computers built by HP are 25% off.

Both the The Shopping Cart and Catalog rules can be applied to specific customer groups, making marketing even more flexible for Store Owners.

We can't wait to see how you use Magento's marketing capabilities when August rolls around. Let us know what you think in the comments.