There are many free price promotion options with WooCommerce, the plugin that is used in combination with WordPress for e-commerce.
With WordPress and the WooCommerce plugin you are able to run an e-commerce website at a very low cost. WordPress and WooCommerce are both free. Without adding paid plugins to WooCommerce, you can run the following types of sales.
WooCommerce allows the store manager to create coupon codes with many options. To set up coupon codes navigate to the Dashboard by select Marketing->Coupons from the left menu.
- You can choose the characters used for the coupon code; for example, NEWCUSTOMER or HOLIDAYSALE
- The coupons can be a percentage discount or flat dollar amount
- You can require a minimum purchase amount for the sale; for example, $100 off with purchase of $500 or more.
- You can limit the coupon to one time use per customer; for example, for first time customers only.
- You can offer a free-shipping coupon code.
- You can set up a date range that the Coupon Code can be used.
Here are some promotion ideas using Coupon Codes:
HOLIDAYSALE20 – 20% off for a designated time period
SIGNUP20 – Receive 20% off after you sign up to receive ongoing email communications. You would give this coupon to the customer via your broadcast email service.
FRIENDS40 – Identify previous customers, and let them know about your Friends and Family Sale via broadcast email.
NEWCUSTOMER20 – One time use per customer code for 20% off your first purchase
THANKYOU20 -20% off for a second purchase. Set it up the coupon for one time use. Then you can let the customers know about the sale in the existing customer emails. You can edit the WooCommerce email that goes out when there is an order to place the coupon code into the text. To edit the emails, go to WooCommerce->Settings->Emails and choose the Processing or the Completed email. The Processing email goes out immediately after the sale, and the Completed email goes out when the product is shipped. Here is a tutorial on how to edit the emails: https://woocommerce.com/posts/how-to-customize-emails-in-woocommerce/
Sale Prices, timelined for the sale period
You can set sale prices by going to Edit Product->Product Data->General Tab.
You can put items on sale and specify the dates of the sales. Here is a screenshot of where you enter the sale prices and the sale dates.
Buy One Get One Free
You can set up a Buy One Get One Free (BOGO) sale on specific products. To do this, simply change the title and text of the product to the BOGO details during the sale, and change it back after the sale. There isn’t a way to timeline the changes, so you need to put them in by hand before and after the sale. Another way to set up a BOGO sale is to duplicate the product for the BOGO, change the text, and only make the product public during the sale. When the sale is over, take the product out of any menus and change it to “private” instead of “published” status.
If the purchaser can choose a different variation, like a different color, for the free item, then set up the choice as a product variation.
You can add free gifts by simply changing the text of the product to mention the free gift. If you would like customers to be able to choose from a selection of free gifts, then you can set up the free gift options as a product variation.
Limitations and Paid Solutions
You may run into limitations on the types of sale you would like to offer. In that case, you can consider adding paid plugins to support your sales. Here is a short list of what you can’t do with the free version of WooCommerce:
- Custom WooCommerce Customer Emails: By default, the same email text goes out to all customers. So without some conditional logic, you can’t send a different email out based on the product purchased. There is a Github project that has a custom email per product. I used this on one website several years ago. https://github.com/alexmustin/woocustomemails. Another option is to use the WooCommerce paid plugins: Followups + AutomateWoo. You need the FollowUps plugin to create the emails, and the AutomateWoo to trigger them. (I applied this installation one time, and it was challenging to put together.)
- Automated Unique Coupon Codes: WooCommerce has a plugin called Smart Coupons that offers many additional features for generating unique coupon codes.
- Custom Thank You Page: After the customer completes the checkout, they are brought to the Thank You page. This page can be customized with the Custom Thank You Pages plugin by WooCommerce. With this plugin you can have unique messages based on the product that was purchased. For example, if you would like the customer to be able to purchase a second product for 50% off, you can direct the customer to the appropriate page.