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Gift coupons - disappointingly unusable?

Discussion in 'Boss Cart - JV Series' started by widgetuk, Jul 4, 2008.

  1. widgetuk

    widgetuk New Member Webmaster

    I was quite pleased when I realised Boss Cart JV had the ability to manage coupons / gift vouchers.

    However, when I actually thought about how they could be used, it dawned upon me that they can actually be used properly the way they've been implemented in Boss Cart JV :( Why that?

    Imagine the following;

    > I sell a Gift Voucher to a customer, who wants to give it to their friend for her birthday. I create a unique coupon code for this, and set it as a Gift type and 'total' amount of £10 in BS JV. This means it can only be used once.

    > The friend decides she'll spend the voucher on my website. So she adds an item to the cart worth £7. And proceeds to checkout.

    > She checks out, and adds her unique gift coupon code. The voucher can only be redeemed once, so that's great. All going well so far.

    Here's where the problems start.

    1. Because she only had £7 of products in her cart, when she added the £10 coupon, the cart value was calculated as £0.00! So, effectively she just lost £3 (well she didnt lose it, but her friend who paid for the coupon lost it!).

    2. Now she adds the postage, and that's £1.50. Well if I owned a £10 gift coupon, I would expect that it wouldn't cost me anything to actually use / claim it... so imagine how cheated she feels. She's already lost £3, and now, if she wants the item, she's going to be charged an extra £1.50!! Despite the fact that she's actually only paying for total order value of £7+£1.50=£8.50, which is well within her £10 coupon amount, she's being charged £1.50 for delivery!!

    3. Assume she's not already put a brick through the computer screen at the cheating website, she then finally goes to "confirm order". Oops, another problem. Paypal won't allow cart's of £0.00. So it asks her to amend the value to a positive amount, such as £0.01. So, now she's actually had to pay £1.50(delivery) plus £0.01.

    Break this down, the store owner has received £11.51 (£10.00 from the coupon sale, £1.50 postage, £0.01 Paypal payment to be permitted). Total real value of items actually received by the customer was £8.50 (£7 shopping cart plus £1.50 delivery). The store owner has therefore cashed in on a whopping £3.01 profit by selling a coupon to the customer. In the mean time, he's really upset the customer as she had to pay delivery for an item that she still had £3 worth of coupon left on, and the original friend who bought the voucher in the first place.

    As a shop owner myself, and soon to be online store owner, this kind of activity and confusion is enough to loose customers for good!!

    So, what about this? Put a clear label on the website and voucher, that says you must not redeem the gift coupon until you have added enough items to the cart to equal the amount on the coupon, and part coupons cannot be spent or given refunds/change. That gets rid of the problem of people losing money I guess?! BUT, it doesnt stop the fact that the delivery is still added on.

    Why can't the delivery be calculated first, then gift coupon money taken off? There's an option in the administation panel of BS JV, which asks you if you want to calculate discounts before or after postage, but, this doesnt appear to work for Gift coupons!

    And, what if the customer is wise, and spends exactly the amount that they've received in gift coupons, so that the total value of their basket ends up at £0.00. They need a way of checking out and by-passing the payment method. The only thing I can think of is set up a payment option in the "cash on delivery" module, for items which have a £0.00 value and call it something like "no payment required". And ensure all other payment modules are set to require a minimum cart value of £0.01 or more. That might work I guess? But, only if the delivery charges could be included into the total coupon value - and not added on at the end! Otherwise you'll always have to pass the customer through a payment gateway to collect the postage costs.

    These problems mean I may not be able to use the Gift Coupon feature sadly :( Gutted. Really wanted to add this feature.

    I'd be interested to hear from anyone who's got round these problems.

    Cheers, Widget.
  2. Gorkfu

    Gorkfu New Member Webmaster

    Forgive me if I'm wrong but I don't think coupons were meant to be used like gift certificates. Coupons are suppose to be used as discounts given by the seller. Gift certificates would be something you would pay for. I mean it just gets confusing if you're calling a gift voucher or gift certificate a gift coupon.
  3. Bagi Zoltán

    Bagi Zoltán Boss Cart consultant Webmaster

    I really like your logic John, but i don't think that because of this you won't be able to use this feature. I don't know the operation of every shopping carts, but i doupt that any of them would fulfill this need. Of course it is possible, but i think only if you were involved into the software designing process. :blush:
    I believe that coupons are mostly use while promoting your store and the word discount is almost equal to the word FREE, so it will attract visitors to your site. Don't get me wrong i see your point, but transferring the script to manage this kind of logic would be a great issue. Currently we spend most of our time on testing the new script which will help us to step further. Soon the Premium Boss Cart will be ready to go to public and when the supporting issues will let me to go back to JV i will compile your ideas, because all of them is fantastic, and will try to do my very best, i promise!
  4. widgetuk

    widgetuk New Member Webmaster

    Cheers for the replies chaps. I take your point. Perhaps I read "Gift" and thought that someone purchases the Gift from the store to give to someone else. Actually the term "gift" with these coupons on Boss JV is actually as you say, just a promotional tool for the store owner to 'give away' gifts of discounts/money off. If I view them this way, then I can see why they don't work as 'gift certificates/vouchers' in this instance.

    Bagi, I'm pleased you like the idea. I really wanted to use something like that, because I sell Greetings Cards online too. So I thought it would enable me to cross-sell really well by getting people to send a card plus a gift voucher/certificate direct to their family/friends. You can see the potential!!

    I understand with Boss Cart Premium now so close, all efforts need to go into getting that off the ground. Of which I'm happy to assist with of course. And who knows, perhaps the Gift Certificate feature could end up in the Premium version one day?!

    Cheers, Jon

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