Promotions

Promotions provide you the ability to offer customers incentives to purchase. HCL Commerce supports numerous types of promotions. For example, price promotions that include offering simple discounts; merchandise specials such as gifts with purchase and buy-one-get-one. More service promotions are available that include offering reduced shipping costs.

Business users create and manage promotions with the Promotions tool in the Management Center.

Promotion groups

Promotions are grouped according to their type. There are three promotion groups by default:

  • Catalog-entry-level promotions
  • Order-level promotions
  • Shipping promotions
This table lists the promotion groups, and the promotion types that make up each group. Click the link in the second column to get a description of the promotion type. The link includes detailed steps on how to create the promotion type with the Promotions tool.
Promotion group Promotion type
Catalog-entry-level promotions Percentage off the subtotal of catalog entries
Amount off the subtotal of catalog entries
Percentage off individual catalog entries
Amount off individual catalog entries
Buy catalog entry X, get catalog entry Y free
Buy catalog entry X, get additional X at a percentage off
Buy catalog entry X, get a percentage off catalog entry Y
Percentage off the subtotal of catalog entries from a category
Amount off the subtotal of catalog entries from a category
Fixed price on the subtotal of catalog entries from a category
Fixed price on individual catalog entries from a category
Fixed price on the subtotal of catalog entries
Fixed price on individual catalog entries
Percentage off individual catalog entries from a category
Amount off individual catalog entries from a category
Buy catalog entries from category X, get catalog entry Y free
Buy catalog entries from category X, get additional catalog entries from category X at a percentage off
Buy catalog entries from category X, get a percentage off catalog entry Y
Buy A ( and B and C), get a percentage off Y
Buy A ( and B and C), get an amount off Y
Buy A and B, get a percentage off both
Order-level promotions Percentage off an order
Amount off an order
Free gift with an order
Shipping promotions Fixed price for shipping an order
Amount off shipping on an order
Buy catalog entry X, get shipping at a fixed price
Buy catalog entries from category X, get shipping at a fixed price
Promotion groups serve the following two purposes:
  1. All of the promotions within a group share a common group of promotion policies, that control how promotions are applied to items and orders.
  2. Promotion groups are one factor that determines the order in which the promotion engine evaluates promotions during the shopping flow. Promotions are evaluated according to their promotion group in the following order (by default) :
    1. Catalog-entry-level group
    2. Order-level group
    3. Shipping group

Redemption methods

You can select the redemption method that is associated with any promotion. The choices include the following methods:
Qualifying purchase
Customers who meet the purchase conditions automatically qualify for the promotion; no promotion code or coupon is required.
Requires promotion codes
Customers must enter a promotion code to apply the promotion to their order.
For the Promotion code specification, specify either public or unique promotion codes:
  • Public promotion codes can be reused by any customer, provided they know the promotion code. To create public promotion codes:
    1. Select Create public promotion codes.
    2. In the Promotion codes table, type a reusable public promotion code, for example, HOLIDAYPROMO.
  • Unique promotion codes provide you the ability to prevent customers from sharing promotion codes. Unique promotion codes help ensure that only targeted customers are given discounts. To create unique promotion codes:
    • Select Simple system-generated unique promotion codes. Then, enter a prefix, code length, suffix, and the number of unique promotion codes to generate. For more information about this type of unique promotion codes, see Simple system-generated unique promotion codes.
    • Select Advanced system-generated unique promotion codes. Then, specify an advanced pattern of characters to generate promotion codes. For more information about this type of unique promotion codes, see Advanced system-generated unique promotion codes.
    • Select Using imported promotion codes. Then, find and add an existing list of imported promotion codes. For more information about using imported promotion codes, see Importing promotion codes.
Coupon promotion
Customers must possess a virtual coupon to qualify for the promotion. You can make coupons available to customers by using an e-Marketing Spot to display content that has the following predefined click action for a promotion: Add coupon to customer's coupon wallet. Another option is to create a Dialog activity that uses the Issue Coupon action to specify this coupon promotion. If the customer applies the coupon when checking out, the promotion is applied to the order. If you select the Coupon promotion redemption method, you must also enter a number in the Number of days until coupon expires field. This expiration date means that customers have a limited time in which to redeem the coupon, starting from when they receive the coupon.
Combination with other promotions
Select the degree to which multiple promotions can be combined. You can choose from the following options:
Combine with other promotions
This promotion can be combined with all other promotions in an order; however, the following promotion policies apply:
  • For catalog-entry promotions: If this promotion is applied to an item, no other catalog-entry promotions can be applied to the item.
  • For shipping promotions: If this promotion is applied to an item, no other shipping promotions can be applied to the item.
  • For order promotions: If this promotion is applied to the order, no other order promotions can be applied to the order.
Combine with other promotions stackable
This promotion can be combined with all other promotions in an order. In addition, this promotion can be stacked on top of other promotions in the same group, which overrides certain promotion policies. Specifically:
  • For catalog entry promotions: If a catalog-entry promotion is already applied to an item, then this type of promotion is applied on top of the existing promotion.
  • For shipping promotions: If a shipping promotion is already applied to an item, then this type of promotion is applied on top of the existing promotion.
  • For order promotions: If an order promotion is already applied to the order, then this type of promotion is applied on the top of the existing promotion.

The priority of promotions determines whether a stackable promotion applies to an order. If an order qualifies for multiple promotions in the same group, the promotion with the highest priority is applied first. If subsequent promotions are stackable, then those promotions are applied in order of priority.

Exclusive within the same group
If a promotion with this setting is applied, no other promotions from the same promotion group can be applied to the order. For example, if this promotion is a catalog-entry promotion, no other catalog-entry promotions can be applied to the order. This setting still follows priority rules.
Exclusive within an order
If a promotion with this setting is applied, no other promotions can be combined in the order. This setting still follows priority rules.
For more information about the degree to which promotions can be combined, see Combine active promotions

Combination with other promotions

Each promotion has an exclusivity setting, called Combination with other promotions. This setting governs how the promotion can be evaluated compared to other promotions. For instance, you can configure a promotion so that it has one of the following settings:
Combine with other promotions
This promotion can be combined with all other promotions in an order; however, the following promotion policies apply:
  • For catalog-entry promotions: If this promotion is applied to an item, no other catalog-entry promotions can be applied to the item.
  • For shipping promotions: If this promotion is applied to an item, no other shipping promotions can be applied to the item.
  • For order promotions: If this promotion is applied to the order, no other order promotions can be applied to the order.
Combine with other promotions stackable
This promotion can be combined with all other promotions in an order. In addition, this promotion can be stacked on top of other promotions in the same group, which overrides certain promotion policies. Specifically:
  • For catalog entry promotions: If a catalog-entry promotion is already applied to an item, then this type of promotion is applied on top of the existing promotion.
  • For shipping promotions: If a shipping promotion is already applied to an item, then this type of promotion is applied on top of the existing promotion.
  • For order promotions: If an order promotion is already applied to the order, then this type of promotion is applied on the top of the existing promotion.

The priority of promotions determines whether a stackable promotion applies to an order. If an order qualifies for multiple promotions in the same group, the promotion with the highest priority is applied first. If subsequent promotions are stackable, then those promotions are applied in order of priority.

Exclusive within the same group
If a promotion with this setting is applied, no other promotions from the same promotion group can be applied to the order. For example, if this promotion is a catalog-entry promotion, no other catalog-entry promotions can be applied to the order. This setting still follows priority rules.
Exclusive within an order
If a promotion with this setting is applied, no other promotions can be combined in the order. This setting still follows priority rules.

Promotion priority

You can assign a priority to a promotion. When a single order qualifies for multiple promotions from the same promotion group, the promotion with the highest priority is applied first. To understand promotion groups, see the section Promotion groups. In cases where multiple promotions are permitted, the promotions are applied in order from highest to lowest priority. For example, consider a store that offers two order-level promotions:
  • A 10% off your order promotion with a priority of 1.
  • A $15 off your order promotion that has a priority of 10.
If a customer's order qualifies for both, the second promotion is applied first, since it has the higher priority of 10. To assign a priority value, choose a number from 0 (lowest priority) to 1000 (highest priority).

Promotion states

There are several promotion states:
Inactive
New promotions are inactive by default when created. Inactive promotions are not available on the storefront.
Active

Active promotions are available on the storefront.

Any submitted orders are evaluated against promotions that are active at the time the order was submitted. If a promotion is deactivated after the customer adds qualifying SKUs to a cart, but before the order is submitted, the promotion does not apply.
Activating
When you activate a promotion that imports codes from a CSV file or generates codes, the promotion is set to the Activating state while the codes populate. The promotion refreshes every 5 seconds, providing updated information about the status of the promotion and its code population. After promotion codes are successfully populated, you cannot repopulate promotion codes for the same promotion. Reactivating a promotion does not generate new codes.
Suspended
When the total maximum resumptions are reached for a promotion, the promotion state changes to be suspended. For example, if you create a promotion with a redemption limit of 1000, the next customer who qualifies for this promotion does not receive it. The promotion state changes to Suspended. Promotions in Suspended state can be deactivated. The Suspended state displays on the Promotions - List when one or more promotions are in this state.
Archive
When you archive an inactive promotion, the promotion is automatically removed from the main Promotions - List view and from any promotion folder that the promotion was included within. To find an archived promotion, business users can use the new advanced search for promotions. By archiving promotions, you can control which inactive promotions display in the main promotions list or in folders. For more information, see Archiving promotions.

When you change or recalculate an order, HCL Commerce reevaluates the order against promotions that are currently active. As a result, a promotion that applies to the order might be removed from the revised order if, for example, that promotion expires or deactivates. If you want the customer to receive the original promotion, you must manually adjust the order.

Storefront availability

To determine whether a promotion is available, the system checks the status of the promotion. If the promotion is in the Active state, then the evaluation continues. If the promotion is Inactive, it is considered unavailable, and is not evaluated. The next consideration is the schedule for a promotion. When you create a promotion, you can define start and end dates. Furthermore, when you create a promotion, you might optionally specify that the promotion is only available on one or more specific days of the week. In the same manner, you can define a promotion so that it is only available within a certain time period, such as between noon and 5:00 PM. If the current timestamp (according to the server) falls between the two availability dates, and meets the other optional scheduling criteria, the promotion is considered available. Otherwise, the promotion is considered unavailable, and the promotion is not evaluated further.

The storefront must support the features of any promotions that you create. For example:
  • If you select the Customer can choose free gifts from a list option, the storefront must display the list to customers. This feature is supported and enabled by default for the Aurora starter store.
  • If you select the Target payment type option, the storefront must apply the promotion to qualifying customer orders. To do so, enable the Payment type promotions store function. For more information, see Selecting store functions.

Promotion description display

The description of a promotion displays on the product display page for a particular product. The storefront JSP file that handles the display action uses a data bean to determine whether a product is entitled to a particular promotion. The data bean, however, is limited for filtering product attribute values. For instance, if a promotion applies to SKUs that contain specific attribute values, such as a medium size or red color, the promotion description can still display on the product display page regardless of which SKUs are selected for the product.

Given the limitation of this CalculationCodeListDataBean data bean, the promotion description can show up on product SKUs that do not qualify for the promotion. When a shopper views the promotion description on a product display page, the shopper can assume that the product SKU they selected is entitled to the promotion. To avoid this confusion, ensure that the promotion descriptions are descriptive enough to include any targeted attribute value conditions or customer segments. For example, instead of having a description that read: 50% off Luigi Valenti Empire Waist Slip Dress, the promotion can instead read: 50% off on Red Luigi Valenti Empire Waist Slip Dress. By including attribute value conditions in promotion description shoppers are correctly informed of the potential promotions that they are entitled to.

Applicability to customers and shopping carts

When a promotion is determined to be available, it is evaluated to determine whether it is applicable to the current shopping cart. You can target specific customers by selecting one or more customer segments to either target or exclude. If the current customer is not in the target segment, or is in an excluded customer segment, then the promotion is not applicable. If you include multiple customer segments in a promotion, the promotion applies to customers that belong in any of the segments. The customer does not need to belong in all of the segments.

You must define purchase conditions during promotion creation. These conditions might be at either the catalog-entry level, or the order level. For example, in a 10% price reduction on a catalog entry promotion, the purchase condition requires that the catalog entry is in the customer's shopping cart. If you wanted to offer free shipping on orders that total over $100, the purchase condition requires that the shopping cart total exceeds $100.

Redemption limits

You can impose limits on the applicability of your promotions, called redemption limits, in three different ways:
Maximum redemptions for this promotion

This option limits the number of times that a promotion can be used in total, by all customers. This option can be used to define a loss-leader style of promotion that limits redemption of the promotion to the first 100 qualifying orders. When the maximum redemption limit is reached, the promotion status changes to Suspended the next time the promotion is evaluated.

Maximum redemptions on a single order
This option limits the number of times that a promotion can be used in a single order. This option can be used to define a promotion that limits the redemption of the promotion to the first 5 qualifying catalog entries in an order.
Note:
  • This option applies only to catalog entry level promotions. It has no effect on order level or shipping promotions.
  • This option applies to the following promotions:
    • Percentage off an order and Amount off an order order level promotions.
    • All catalog entry level promotions.
    It has no effect on Gift with an order order level promotions or shipping promotions.
  • If the maximum number of redemptions is left as unlimited, the behavior is the same as when the maximum number is set to 1.
Maximum redemptions by a single customer

This option limits the number of times that a promotion can be used by a single customer. This option can be used to define a promotion that limits redemption of the promotion to a single use per customer.

For example, if you have a gift-with-purchase promotion that offers a free tie when a customer buys two dress shirts, you might want to allow a customer to apply this promotion only once on an order. Otherwise, a customer that buys 10 shirts might qualify for 5 ties.

For order- and shipping-level promotions with a maximum redemption of one by a single customer, the promotion applies to the first order placed by the customer. Subsequent orders by the same customer do not qualify for the promotion.

A promotion is considered redeemed when a customer actually submits their order, not when their shopping cart is evaluated. If the customer later cancels their order, the promotion is still considered redeemed by that customer.

Redemption limits are often communicated to customers so that there are no surprises. For example, some promotions are communicated as being in effect, "while supplies last," while other limits are communicated directly, such as "Limit is two per customer." If you impose redemption limits on a promotion, consider including this information in the Customer viewable long description field and any advertising messages to ensure accurate customer expectations.

Multiple discount ranges

For certain promotion types, you can define multiple discount ranges for a single promotion. Defining multiple discount ranges increases the amount, or percentage of a discount as the volume of the order grows. For example, when you are creating a percentage discount on a total order, you might create a promotion that offers a 5% discount on an order that totals less than $100, but offers a 10% discount on orders that total $100 or more. You can define as many ranges as necessary for the promotion.

Advertising your promotions

You can advertise promotions by creating a web activity that uses either the Recommend Content or the Recommend Promotion action in the Management Center Marketing tool. To do so, create content that advertises a promotion and assign it to a particular e-Marketing Spot with a web activity. You can create content that ranges from simple, flat text that describes the promotion, to images with actions defined for how to respond when a customer clicks the image.