Coupons and Product Discounts

Last modified October 27, 2017

From time to time, you may want to offer promotional discounts on your products—like having special sale prices for a seasonal or themed promotional event. FastSpring offers two great ways to accomplish this:  using built-in product discounts, and / or using coupon codes.

Which method of creating promotional discounts is right for you? Here is a comparison of the key features of the two types of promotional discounts:


Product Discounts

Coupons

Reduce the price of one or more products (tick) (tick)
Allow you to schedule automatic beginning and ending / expiry dates (tick) (tick)
Include an optional, customer-facing discount reason / explanation (tick) (tick)
Can be applied to one or more recurring charges in a subscription (tick) (tick)
Require the customer to enter a special discount code
(tick)
Allow tracking the effectiveness of marketing campaigns via reporting
(tick)
Are available only to certain, select customers (i.e., those who know the coupon codes)
(tick)
Are available to ALL customers (tick)
Can be limited to a certain number of total uses (e.g. to the first 100 customers)
(tick)
Can provide varying discounts based on the quantity being purchased (i.e. volume discounts) (tick)



Product Discount Example

With a built-in product discount, you can optionally hide the Coupon field, if desired. All customers who visit your Storefront during the promotion period will receive the discount.

Coupon Example

With a coupon discount, customers who know your special coupon code can enter it in a field on the Storefront and click Apply to receive the discount.

Tip

You are not necessarily required to choose between using coupons and using built-in product discounts. You can use both methods; in fact, if you select the  Combine Discounts check box when editing a coupon, you can even apply  both discounts to the same product.

Tip

When either discount method is used, detailed information about the applied discount is available in certain optional webhook events, such as order.completed, as well as in response to calls to certain FastSpring API endpoints, such as /orders.


For more information, please select from the following bookmarks:

Using Built-In Product Discounts

Product discounts are separate from the standard product pricing, but are configured via the Pricing field of each product, bundle, or subscription. With product discounts, any customer who buys the product gets the discount, and customers do not have to enter a coupon code, which may improve your conversion rate compared to a coupon-based promotional campaign. As with coupons, you can specify a begin date and an end date for product discounts, and like coupons, product discounts can be applied to a certain, specific number of future subscription charges automatically. Unlike coupons, product discounts can optionally be triggered—and the amount or percentage of the discount can even change—based on the quantity of the product in the customer's cart.


To Set Up a Product Discount

Step 1.  Access the product's Pricing dialog.

  Click here for detailed instructions
  1. From the Dashboard, select the Products menu.
  2. Select the Products, Bundles or Subscriptions tab, according to the type of product for which you want to set up discounts.
  3. Click the tile of the product, bundle or subscription for which you want to set up up discounts. The detail page will open for the selected item.
  4. Click anywhere in the item's Pricing field. The Pricing dialog will open.




Step 2.  Select the discount type and enter the discount amount or percentage.

  Click here for detailed instructions
  1. Scroll down (if necessary) to the Discounted Price section. If you want to enter discount amounts (or percentages) based on the quantity being purchased, select the Use Volume Discount check box. The field configuration will automatically change to allow you to configure the quantities that must be included in a single order to receive the discount. Or, if you want to enter a discount amount or percentage that will apply regardless of the quantity in the order, do not select this check box.
  2. The Percent Off drop-down selector lets you specify whether the discounts will be percent-based or will be specific amounts. With Percent Off selected, you can enter a discount percentage up to 100% (if you enter more than 100%, it will automatically be reduced to 100% upon saving your changes). If you want to provide specific discount amounts, click the drop-down selector and choose Amount Off. The field configuration will change again, to allow you to enter the discount amount in each currency supported by your Store.
  3. If you selected Use Volume Discounts:
    1. In the quantity field beneath the Percent Off / Amount Off selector, enter the minimum quantity that the purchaser must purchase in order to receive the discount. Orders with a lower quantity for this product will not receive the discount.
    2. Optionally, click + Add Quantity to specify one or more additional quantity thresholds at which the discount per quantity will increase. For example, you might offer a discount of  $5.00 off each quantity for purchasers who purchase 2 or more, and a discount of $7.50 off each when purchasers buy 5 or more.



Step 3.  Optionally, enter a date range for the discount and / or a discount reason for your customers to see. Be sure to click SAVE to save your changes.

  Click here for detailed instructions
  1. If you want to specify a limited date range for a temporary discount, select the check box labeled Limit Discount Availability Dates. The field configuration will change to allow you to specify the beginning and end dates.
  2. Optionally click the Start DateStart TimeEnd Date and/or End Time fields and specify dates and times from the built-in date and time selectors. You are not required to specify all four values. The discount percentage or amount entered above will not be available before the Start Time on the Start Date, nor after the End Time on the End Date. Outside of the specified date range, the discount will be ignored and the normal pricing for the product or bundle will be used.

    Tip

    Enter dates and times in UTC. For example, if you are located in the U.S. Pacific time zone, UTC is seven hours ahead of you. Therefore, if you want the discount begin at midnight Pacific time, enter 17:00 (i.e. 5:00 pm) with a  Start Date of the previous day.
  3. In the Reason field, you can optionally enter a purchaser-facing explanation for the discount. For example, if you are configuring a temporary discount for a holiday promotion, you might enter something like Halloween Special! in this field. If your Store supports multiple languages, you can click the language drop-down and enter the explanation in each supported language.
  4. When you are done with all fields in the Pricing popup window, click SAVE at the bottom right-hand corner to save your changes.





Using Coupons

By creating a coupon, you can set up a discount that can be limited to only customers who have the correct coupon codes. The codes themselves can be good for a limited number of uses each (e.g., 1 use per code), or you can create a code you can advertise that anyone can use; with a single code, you can allow unlimited uses, or the coupon can be good for the first X customers to enter the code. Coupons can also be used to help track the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns by running sales reports and selecting to break down the results by coupon, or using data exports, webhooks, or the FastSpring API. Unlike with built-in product discounts, a single coupon can be applied to multiple items in an order. By contrast, built-in product discounts must be configured separately for each product.

Here are some helpful resources to help you get started with coupons:

Other Methods of Implementing Discounts

In addition to using built-in product discounts and / or coupons, advanced users can also implement discounts by overriding a product's default pricing using a secure payload with the Store Builder Library, or by overriding the pricing using a pre-generated session via the /sessions endpoint of the FastSpring API. Built-in product discounts can also be configured when creating or updating a product via the /products endpoint.