Coupon promotions

Coupon promotions are a special type of promotion. Coupons are designed to mimic the experience of when a customer clips a coupon from a newspaper, or something similar, and redeems the coupon at a store. A coupon can apply to specific catalog entries or to the total purchase, depending on how the promotion is defined. Only the owner of the coupon can redeem the coupon.

For example, if you have numerous patio furniture in stock, you can offer customers a coupon for 25 percent off the patio furniture.

Create coupon promotions by using the Promotions tool in the Management Center. When you are creating the promotion, you must specify Coupon promotion as the redemption method. This redemption method is available for all promotion types in the Promotions tool.

Distributing coupons to customers

After you create a coupon promotion in the Promotions tool, you must decide how to distribute the coupon to customers. Ensure that you distribute the coupon so that the coupon shows up in the customer's coupon wallet on the storefront. To distribute a coupon, you create either a web activity or a dialog activity in the Marketing tool. You can use the following options to distribute coupons:

  • Create a Web activity that uses the Recommend Promotion action to advertise the coupon promotion in an e-Marketing Spot on a store page. When the customer clicks the advertisement, the coupon is placed automatically in the customer's coupon wallet. For this process to work, you must assign the advertising content the following click action: Add coupon to customer's coupon wallet. See Advertising your promotions on the storefront.
  • Create a dialog activity that uses the Issue Coupon action to issue the coupon when the customer does something specific, such as registering with the store. The coupon is placed automatically in the customer's coupon wallet when the customer triggers the dialog activity and meets any target requirements. See Action: Issue Coupon.

WebSphere Commerce ProfessionalWebSphere Commerce EnterpriseDialog activities are available only in the Professional and Enterprise editions of WebSphere Commerce.

Coupon wallets

A coupon wallet is a container for coupons that a customer received. Customers can use coupon wallets to manage their coupons. When customers check out, they can choose to apply coupons in their coupon wallet. If the order qualifies for the coupon promotion, then the server applies the adjustment to the order.

The following image shows a customer's coupon wallet in the My Account page. This customer has two coupons:

Coupon Wallet

When the customer checks out, the Shopping Cart page also shows the available coupons. The customer can choose the coupons to apply:

Shopping Cart page listing coupons

Before a customer checks out, the customer can remove a coupon after they apply it, if they decide to save the coupon for later.

Coupons and guest users

A guest user is a user who that is not registered with the store, but who completes an operation that requires a unique identity, such as adding a product to the shopping cart. A guest user can receive a coupon, view it on the Shopping Cart page, and apply it to an order. The guest user must use the coupon within the same session unless both the persistent session function and the Migrate Guest Orders listener are enabled for the store.

Coupon expiration

When you create a coupon promotion in the Promotions tool, you must specify an expiration period as a number of days. A coupon expires the number of specified days after it is issued. For example, if the coupon promotion has a 14–day expiration period, a customer has 14 days in which to redeem the coupon before it is deleted from the customer's coupon wallet. A customer can acquire another instance of the coupon later, if the promotion is still active. Be aware of how a coupon expires before you create and distribute coupons to customers:

  • The day on which the coupon is issued is counted as the first day toward the expiration date. Therefore, if a customer is issued a coupon that expires in 14 days, the customer has 14 full days, or 336 hours, from the moment that the coupon is issued before the coupon expires.
  • A coupon expires immediately if the end date for the promotion occurs.
  • To receive the promotion, the customer must complete the checkout process before the coupon expires. If the coupon expires after the customer applies the coupon, but before the customer checks out, then the coupon is not applied to the order.

Coupon redemption limits

When you create a coupon promotion in the Promotions tool, you can set a redemption limit for a coupon in the Redemption Limits section. When the redemption limit is passed, customers can no longer get the coupon.