The Shopify Plus Discounts API

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(Dis)Count Me In

The ability to give discounts is an important feature for many merchants, and it’s only available for Shopify Plus users. Learn more about why to discount, what you can do, and how you can do it with the Shopify Plus Discounts API.

Let’s get back to Econ 101 for a second

Discounts are, of course, never given just to be nice. They’re a tool merchants of all sorts can use to attract customers who may otherwise be unwilling to pay for your product. Rather than missing out on those customers entirely by pricing to high, or foregoing money you could be making by pricing too low, discounting is a way to optimise the amount your customers are spending.

Discounts can also make it easier for price sensitive new customers to decide to try out your products -- essentially by lowering the burden of switching to something unfamiliar. They can also be used to build brand loyalty, by rewarding certain customers who have already gone through some sort of task (buying something, subscribing to your list, visiting your store).

Another reason to use discounts is to help push your stock through. If you find a particular item isn’t selling at the speed you’d like it to, setting up sales or targeted discounts can help you get it off the shelf without needing to write it off.

What kind of discounts can I set up with Shopify Discounts API?

There are a few ways to approach discounting, and you should choose them based on what you sell, what you’re actually able to discount and what you know about your customers’ price sensitivity. With Shopify Plus, you can set up:

Percentage-based discounts:

For example: 15% your entire cart, 10% off the new collection, or 20% off a particular item

Fixed amount discounts

For example: $20 off your cart, $10 off a collection

Free shipping discounts

Pretty self explanatory. Learn more about your shipping options here.

For certain time periods

Most merchants do promotion periods, so you’re not endlessly discounting your products. Setting up an expiry for your discounts is also a good marketing technique, imposing a little bit of time pressure to convince your customers to buy.

After certain spends

It may not be worth it for you to discount your cheapest inventory if your customers don’t buy other things -- especially if you have fixed shipping costs. You can set up a discount code to only apply once a cart has reached a minimum spend.

Up to certain limit$

You might not be willing or able to afford someone who buys your entire stock at 20% off. You can set up a limit for any discount, saying something like 20% off their cart, up to $50 off.

When I set up discounts, how much flexibility do I have?

With the Shopify Plus Discounts API, you can fully control your discounts. Besides setting up different types of discounts, you can easily pull up your full list, see individual discounts, disable and enable discounts, or delete them.

How do I get my customers the hookup?

Discounting is very closely tied to marketing. Generally, in order to get a discount, a customer has to give something in return. That can mean signing up for your email list, participating in some sort of event, or buying something from you or a partner merchant.

You can use the discounts API to target your best spenders, or people who have bought particular items. For example, the Discounts API lets you find, say, anyone who has spent over $200 in the last six months and give them a 20% discount on their next order as an incentive to come back.

Usually, you offer discounts through email marketing campaigns that can be semi or fully automated, or through emailing particular customers directly. You can also post directly on your website, tweet or post on social media or even through offline marketing such as brochures, postcards, trade fairs etc.

Are there other ways I can optimise my customer spending?

Lots! Besides discounting, there are a few features Shopify Plus users have to keep those who are willing to pay more without foregoing those who aren’t.

Subscription Billing

Subsciption billing is becoming a popular alternative to a normal shopping cart. You can charge your customers a certain amount every month, and they’ll receive that amount as a store credit. It essentially encourages a minimum spend for your customers, and while they’re on your website they can add additional things to their cart. Shopify Plus lets you set up mixed carts with subscription items and add-ons.

Store Clones

With Shopify Plus you automatically receive two store clones. A store clone lets you keep all of the basics of your existing store - the items, the text, the admin etc., but it lets you customise your prices and inventory for a different region. If you sell in a couple of regions and people are generally more willing or able to pay in one of them, you can set your prices to suit the customers.

Ready to Discount?

Elkfox is a Shopify Plus Expert - meaning we’re a team of developers ready to help build you discounts that work for your business. Contact us today to learn more about using the Discounts API with Shopify Plus.