Glendale Designs performs site customization and maintenance work on an ongoing basis for our clients. One of the most requested areas that clients ask for assistance with is the Price Groups feature in Miva.
Miva introduced Price Groups several years ago, but really expanded them in Version 9. With those expansions came some serious confusion about the functionality.
With such a broad scope of options in Price Groups, it’s unsurprising that they grew exponentially more complex. You now have quite specific control over the types of discounts you offer, who is eligible to receive them, and how they are applied.
This article is going to go over some of the most common uses for price groups. This is an overview of how the tool functions in a way that makes it easier to understand and navigate the feature.
Price Group Uses
There are a few common uses for price groups and a few that are more creative. These uses are primarily dictated by selecting the Eligibility and Type while creating the price group.
Probably the most common use of price groups is in conjunction with the Coupon feature of Miva. In order for a coupon to function, you need to pair it with a price group set to ‘Coupon Only’ eligibility. The price group sets the discount amount and restrictions of the coupon.
Promotional sales are another common application for price groups. You can place individual items on sale on their product pages, and we’ll talk about that later. But the Price Group feature allows significantly more options than individual sale prices. You can apply specific sale rules and restrictions, and it allows you to place large quantities of items on sale easily.
By selecting different Types for your price group, you can offer unique sales to your shoppers beyond simple percentage-based basket discounts. Try encouraging larger purchases by using a Buy X Get Y style discount, for example. In that case, the shopper must purchase multiple products in order to receive the discount.
Customer-specific discounts are not as frequently used, however, they can be very successful and allow you to get creative. If you wholesale your items to other businesses or vendors, you can have them create a login and add that account to a price group with the eligibility of Specific Customers.
Beyond that, you can grant special discounts to people who live in specific areas or even use the price group as a sort of DIY loyalty program. Assign user accounts to the price group when they’ve completed an action like signing up for your newsletter, following a social page, or spent a certain dollar amount. Be careful, though, as you’ll need to add the customer accounts manually. Depending on the amount of traffic your store gets, this could be a very tedious process without some sort of automation involved. Feel free to reach out to us for options to automate certain actions.
The customer-specific discount lets you offer volume pricing discounts, flat rate basket discounts, and special pricing on specific items.
Explaining The Price Group Eligibilities
When setting the Eligibility to Coupon Only, you’re ensuring the price group will only function when an associated coupon is used. The shopper must have the coupon code in order to receive the discount.
After the price group is created according to your preferences, you must create a coupon and attach it to your new price group.
You can see in the example below, that the 10% off coupon is being applied to the price group that provides a 10% discount.
Using the Specific Customers setting works the way it sounds. It allows your settings to be applied to specific customers that you assign once the price group is created.
Select the type of discount you want to provide. Two common examples are a flat percentage discount on their entire purchase, as a basket discount, or a special tier pricing for ordering in bulk, as volume pricing. After you’ve created your price group, you need to select the accounts to which the price group applies.
When those customers shop while logged in, they will have the discounts/pricing applied to their purchases automatically.
All Logged-In Customers
Another eligibility that works the way it sounds is All Logged-In Customers. It will only show the special pricing/discounts to customers that have created an account and are logged in while shopping.
This is a great way to allow special rewards for customers and to entice them to create an account. It provides you with an opportunity to segment your shoppers based on their actions, and tailor your marketing plan. You can also use this feature for B2B wholesale sites, where you may not want the general public to have access to pricing.
Used when hosting site-wide sales and offers, and if you regularly offer volume-based pricing, the All Shoppers eligibility will provide the pricing/discount to every customer that visits your store.
Exploring Price Group Types
You may see the term Legacy pop up here and there in your Miva admin. It generally means that you’ll be able to use the function without breaking older aspects of your site, left over from previous versions. If possible, we recommend updating to use the new built-in features of the latest Miva version instead of trying to work around the old ones.
If you aren’t familiar with Volume Pricing, it sets the pricing of a product up in tiers, allowing you to offer discounts for products purchased in bulk or multiples. Here’s an example of a volume pricing structure:
If a customer purchases 5 of this item, they receive a 5% discount on all the items. If they purchase 20 pieces of the item, they will receive a 20% discount on all the pieces.
- In order to ensure the discounts only apply when 20 of the SAME item are added to the basket, make sure your Grouping is set to Same Product.
- Setting the Pricing Method to the Total Quantity option means that if a customer purchases 20 pieces, the 20% discount will apply to all 20 pieces.
- Selecting the Progressive method means the customer will get a 5% discount on pieces 5-9, a 10% discount on pieces 10-19, and a 20% discount on all pieces 20 and over.
- The Total Quantity option is typically used.
If you want to have volume pricing enabled for your store, you need to begin by creating the price group and leave the pricing table blank. Specific volume discounts are controlled item-by-item, on the product pages.
Volume pricing won’t apply to every retailer in every market. For example, if you retail large or expensive items like sofas, you wouldn’t necessarily offer volume pricing. The average buyer isn’t going to be purchasing 5 sofas. However if you wholesale sofas, then it may be more reasonable to offer volume pricing.
If you want to include products to a cart automatically when a qualifying product is selected, you can use the Add-On Product price group. For example, if you want to give every person who purchases an acoustic guitar an extra set of strings for free, you can enter the product code for the strings in the Add-On-Product field, and set the Price/Each field to $0.00.
After your price group is created, you must select the Qualifying Product. In this example, that would be all your acoustic guitars.
If you want to automatically add a product to the basket with a cost associated, for example a guitar stand, you can enter a cost in the Price/Each field. The customer would have to remove the product from their basket before checking out if they don’t want the item.
If you want to create a discount that applies to the entire cart, as with a coupon for example, you would create a Basket Discount. As the name implies, the discount to dictate will be applied to the entire basket (as opposed to a specific product).
You can choose whether you’d like to give a discount as a percentage or a fixed dollar amount. You also get to dictate who receives it via Eligibility.
In this example, the discount will provide 10% off of the entire basket for shoppers who use a coupon code.
Buy X Get Y
Everyone’s familiar with a BOGO (Buy One Get One) deal. If you want to offer a discount on a product dependent on the purchase of an item, Buy X Get Y is the type of price group you need.
This type has extensive customization depending on how you’d like to use it. You can dictate who gets access to the discount (i.e. All shoppers vs. Coupon Only), the amount of discount received, and which products are eligible.
Once you fill in the specifics of the discount, you select the products you’d like to apply it to. Here are some examples of different ways you can set up the discount:
- All shoppers who purchase one non-fiction book get 50% off a romance book.
- Customers with the coupon code who purchase one mystery novel get a second mystery novel free.
- Customers that are logged in who purchase one pink polka-dot notebook get a second pink polka-dot notebook for $5 off.
Remember to set the Qualifying products (products purchased at full price) and the Discounted Products/Categories once your price group is set up.
Just like it sounds, this price group allows you to put specific products on sale. This one is fairly straightforward and can function similarly to other price groups. In this case, you set your discount amount and eligibility, then assign the qualifying products.
You have the option to select Qualifying products that the customer must purchase in order to receive the discount. This would have the price group function similarly to the Buy X Get Y group. For example, if the customer purchases one bottle of perfume, they can get a 50% discount on the six colors of nail polish that you select.
Specific Sale Price
When you want to put individual and specific items on sale, you can use the Specific Sale Price price group. This is typically used for items that are going to remain on sale until they are sold out. This could be discontinued items for instance or products that you want to assign individual sale pricing to, instead of a general 10% off.
As with the volume pricing, you create the price group, then control the actual prices on a per-product basis. Use the price group to dictate things like eligibility and exclusions.
Once the price group is set, you add products to that price group on the product page itself and add the sale pricing at that point.
The Shipping Discount price group gives you the chance to pass shipping savings on to your customers. Decide the following features while creating your discount:
- if you’d like the shipping to show the discounted price in the basket
- if you’d like it to be called something special (i.e. Holiday Shipping Special)
- the amount of discount you’d like to provide (i.e. a percentage off, the full amount, or “up to” a specific dollar amount)
- which shipping method you assign it to (i.e. Flat Rate shipping, or Overnight express)
You can also decide if you’d like the shipping discount to apply to the entire basket by choosing Shipping Discount (Entire Order), or just provide free shipping on specific products by choosing Shipping Discount (Discounted Products Only).
In this example, we want to reward shoppers that have customer accounts with free overnight shipping. We’ve selected All Logged-in Customers as the Eligibility, decided to Replace Shipping Method Name with “Free Shipping”, and have applied a 100% discount to the Overnight shipping method.
To provide the free shipping on a specific product or category of products, create your price group and select your Discounted Products.
Things To Remember When Creating Price Groups
You’ve now got a better understanding of price group types and eligibilities, but there are a few more things to keep in mind while you get creative with your sales.
Priority & Exclusions
Each price group will allow you to set the Priority and Exclusions. These will ensure your price groups play nicely together.
The priority is set numerically. If you want the sale pricing to take precedence over, for example, the volume price discounts, you should have set your Priority to 0, and your volume pricing to 1.
The exclusions allow you to decide, price group by price group, which discounts you’d like to work in conjunction. For example:
This coupon-only discount provides the customer with 10% off their entire basket. The discount will be applied to volume priced items and items that have a specific sale price (for example discontinued items in the sale category). It will also allow the customer to receive free shipping.
However, it will not work for wholesale items, customers who receive vendor discounts, any item already on sale with the BOGO price group, or the nail polish that is on sale.
Be careful about your exclusions; you could end up giving your shoppers much deeper discounts than you intended if you forget to set an exclusion.
A feature of the price groups that help provide some ease of use is the ability to set validity dates. Setting start and end dates gives you the opportunity to plan your sales well in advance, all at once. The price groups will essentially turn on and off according to the time and dates you set. In this example, a flash sale will run, starting 11:59 p.m. December 23rd, and end 12:01 a.m. December 26th. The discount will be available for anyone who shops on December 24th and 25th.
- If you don’t set a Not Valid Before date, the price group will be available immediately.
- If you don’t set a Not Valid After date, the price group will be available indefinitely.
Maximum Discount Values
There are some price groups that have specific restrictions available. As in the Product Discount price group, you can dictate the maximum number of items someone can purchase and receive the discount on. You can also set a maximum discount amount that the basket will allow.
For example, this sale on half price nail polish will allow the shopper to get 50% off on up to 5 pieces. It will also only allow a discount up to $50.00 off the product total.
These values don’t need to be set, though be careful of leaving them empty. If it truly is a great deal, you could end up with people purchasing bulk quantities to take advantage of the sale.
This may seem obvious, but it’s easy to forget: be clear and concise when creating and naming your price groups. Once you start to accumulate a few, it’s easy to get confused between your sales. It can create unnecessary havoc if you accidentally apply products to the wrong sale, or confuse them while setting your exclusions.
Have Fun With Your Sales
Discounts, sales, and special offers can be a serious draw for a lot of online shoppers. Getting creative with your sales will help prevent shoppers from holding out on placing regular orders. We all know those retailers who consistently offer massive savings; it gets to the point where you know not to shop there without a coupon. To help prevent devaluing your products, offer creative sales that actually encourage shoppers to buy more and check back for great savings.
You can even use the price groups to create your own rewards system. Customers who sign up for your newsletter will get notified every time you run a new sale. Users who shop logged in can receive special shipping rates. You can even have Glendale Designs incorporate some code that will add all your customers with accounts to a specific customer list. Set up a price group with a 5% discount or free shipping, for example, and set the Eligibility to Specific Customers. Attach the price group to a customer list of everyone who has an account. That will incentivize shoppers to register for an account to get special savings.
With all these customization options, you can get really creative with your sales, and stand out from your competitors without having to constantly slash your prices. If you need help with your price groups, contact Glendale and we can help you out.