Sell Gift Certificates online in your Virtuemart Store
Many entrepreneurs using Virtuemart component for their Joomla based e-store wonder how to sell gift certificates on the front end, while keeping it nice and tidy in the back end. Well, AwoCoupon Pro provides quite a simple solution to selling gift certificates online.
It’s as easy as 1, 2, 3. Really! All you need is AwoCoupon Pro (minimum version 1.2.0) which you can buy here.
Here it is in a nut shell:
As you are planning on selling a new product, you need to go to Virtuemart, and create your new product(s).
Example: add a new product called “Gift Card 10” worth $10, and another called “Gift Card 30” worth $30.
Now you need to set this new product up in AwoCoupon Pro. This is so that AwoCoupon Pro knows, that this particular product is a gift certificate, and when it is bought, AwoCoupon Pro auto-generates a gift certificate code, which is inserted into an e-mail that is auto-sent to customer. Note that you can also upload your own codes if you wish rather than using the randomly generated codes. More on this in “Settings to play with” section at the bottom.
To create a gift certificate product, go to your AwoCoupon Pro component.
- On the dashboard choose “Gift Certificate Products”
- In the right-hand corner click “New”. You will get to this screen:
- Fill out the information. For expiration, if you choose, say, 10 days it means that each of the gift certificates purchased will be valid for 10 days only. If the customer does not use it, s/he will loose “the money”. If expiration fields are left blank, there is no expiration on the gift certificates.
- Once you have populated the fields, click “Save” and you are done.
You would need to do this for every product you are going to sell as a gift certificate. In our example, we would repeat step 2 for our second gift certificate product we want to sell which is “Gift Card 30” worth $30.
Good news is that you need to do this set up only once per your gift card/certificate product.
Every gift certificate product you set up in AwoCoupon Pro shows neatly in “Gift Certificate Products”. You can easily edit them here.
Watch the sales roll in.
Settings to play with
Uploading your own codes
As mentioned in the Step 2, once a customer buys the gift card product in your e-store, AwoCoupon auto-generates a unique random gift certificate code which is inserted into an auto-generated email. However you also have the option to import your own codes using a csv file. To do this:
- From the Dashboard, go to “Gift certificates” => “Codes”
- Click ‘New’ in the upper right hand corner
- Choose product (as set up in the step 2 above), select the csv file to upload, attach, and click the upload button in the upper right hand corner
- Once the codes are uploaded they are all visible in the ‘Codes’ section
Note, once all the codes in your gift certificate product have been marked as used, AwoCoupon will switch to auto-generating random codes.
Customizing the email
Now, you would be pleased to hear that the email can be largely customized. To do this, go to Gift Certificates -> Gift Certificate Profiles tab.
Here you can set up your own profiles either as plain text or html email with an image format. The default profile is the one that gets emailed out to customers. Things within your power:
- uploading your own images (or use one of those already loaded in AwoCoupon Pro)
- uploading your own font styles
- creating up to 3 text fields and placing them precisely on the gift card image
- positioning of gift certificate code, value, expiration date (can be hidden too)
- customizing email text, from name, from email, email subject, and whether to Bcc admin
Within this screen you can also set up the minimum and maximum length of the auto-generated code on the gift certificate/card. Default values are 8-12 characters. And this is an example of a final product gift certificate/card if you choose the html format with image:
Hope you enjoy this feature, as I think it is great to be able to create multiple profiles and then just set the default to the one which corresponds with current promotion or shopping season.
Product’s custom attributes – recipient details
When your customer shops in your store for a gift card, by default it is emailed directly to them. However, it is pretty safe to assume that when somebody buys a gift card it is a gift for somebody else. So by adding custom attributes to the product in Virtuemart, you can enable fields to collect gift card recipient details, allowing customers to enter the recipient’s name, email and a personal message.
To do this:
- edit the product within Virtuemart
- go to the Product Status tab
- in the Custom Attribute field at the bottom add the field names. For example: Recipient Name;Recipient Email;Message. Don’t forget to separate them with semicolon (;).
- Save it and you are done
If something goes wrong when sending the email to the recipient, then it is automatically re-routed to the customer. You can also setup the custom field names, entered in Virtuemart, in AwoCoupon configuration.
Good to know for admins
Dashboard => “Coupons”
Once a customer buys a gift certificate and his/hers code is generated and emailed out, it is automatically added into your coupon list. Here you can see all the codes and you can easily filter and/or sort them according to your needs.
Dashboard => “History of Uses”
My personal favourite. Here you have an extra little sub tab for gift certificates which does wonders. It displays a list of all the gift certificates bought, but what more it shows how much of the value of the particular gift certificate was already used and what the remaining balance is. Great for when you get that one email from a frantic customer who wants to know how much he has left on his gift card…
Dashboard => “Reports”
You can download the History of Uses report here, as well as Coupon Usage vs. Total Sales report and other. The latter one shows you all the sales and coupon usage, both regular coupons and gift certificates, and is generally a great way to analyse which coupon promotions “worked”.
So here it is – your guide to selling gift certificates online in your Joomla based e-shop. All you need to create sellable gift certificates is to get your latest version of AwoCoupon Pro and off you go.
Let us know if you need some help. We will be happy to assist you with getting those gift cards selling online.