How to Sell Online / Product News

Competitive Pricing Product Updates Part 1: Enhanced Discount Rules

Jordan Sim / 2 min read

The holiday shopping season is fast approaching and scaling SMBs are beginning to source, stock and promote their holiday products. In doing so, many commerce businesses are looking to outsell their competition via early promotions that win customer loyalty as well as offering competitive pricing and strategic discounts.

These strategic discounts are of particular concern for Bigcommerce merchants, from whom we’ve heard loud and clear that Bigcommerce’s marketing discount rules need to be enhanced and that new discount rules need to be added. So, in July, our product team set off to improve our marketing discounts with one goal in mind: Equip our clients with new and enhanced discount rules in time for the 2015 holiday shopping season.

We collected feedback from more than 100 clients and worked cross-departmentally with our our sales and support teams to make sure that all updates and added features are in sync with what clients need and desire. What resulted was a diverse set of requirements, ranging from frequently requested items that would bring immediate benefit to the majority of our clients to more niche discounting capabilities.

This blog post is the first entry of a three-part series which will detail the journey we’ve taken to improve our marketing discount rules specifically — currently excluding coupon codes — for our clients.

Simplify the User Experience

As we were adding more discount rules, we first needed to ensure that the User Interface (UI) would be simple to use, while still operating in a scalable fashion as new discount options were added.

We reviewed the old UI and deemed it unsuitable for our needs. We then prototyped designs and beta-tested it with clients. Our research for this concentrated around four key user tasks: name the discount rule, select the rule type, set a “lifespan” (expiry) and make the rule active/inactive.

We therefore oriented the new UI around these key user tasks:

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Image 1: A before and after comparison of the Marketing Discounts Interface

Enhance Existing Discount Rules

Our clients identified an opportunity to extend two existing discount rules, which would enable more flexible discounting.

Previously we only enabled dollar ($) discounts on orders of a minimum spend. Now, we offer both dollar ($) and percentage (%) discounts on orders of a minimum spend. For example, now our clients can run discounts such as:

  • Order (at least) $200, get 10% off
  • Order (at least) $300, get $25 off

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Previously, we also only enabled percentage (%) discounts off each item in a category. Now we offer both dollar ($) and percentage (%) discounts off each item in one or more categories. For example, now our clients can run discounts such as:
  • $10 off Women’s Accessories
  • 15% off Men’s Running Shoes and Men’s Running Socks

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These are two examples of simple discount rules that weren’t previously present in the original product, but have now been added to equip our merchants. As you read on in the following blog posts, you’ll see how we have helped additional clients by meeting their discounting needs — for example, enabling shipping zones to be targeted for free shipping discount rules.

Add a New Discount Rule

In addition to enhancing two discount rules, we also wanted to add one additional rule which was frequently requested. We added a rule that allows a minimum spend to be set in order to receive one specific product at a discounted (dollar or percentage) price. For example, now our clients can run discounts such as:

  • Order (at least) $150, get a pair of socks as a free gift (100% off)
  • Order (at least) $200, get a tie for $50 off

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In the following posts, we’ll continue to explain our thought process behind how we’ve enhanced and added to our discount rules offering, including how merchants can now schedule discounts and run flash sales as well as how these rules work with free shipping and bulk discounting needs.

Stay tuned for further updates to come, and let us know in the comments if you have any questions or concerns.

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