Print Page | Close Window

Gift Vouchers that really work

Printed From: RomanCart.com Forum
Category: RomanCart
Forum Name: What do other carts do that RomanCart does not?
Forum Description: If you think RomanCart is missing features available on other carts, post here!
URL: http://forums.romancart.com/forum_posts.asp?TID=12233
Printed Date: 22 January 2018 at 2:11pm


Topic: Gift Vouchers that really work
Posted By: beng27
Subject: Gift Vouchers that really work
Date Posted: 07 February 2012 at 11:50am
Hi it would be great if we could have gift vouchers that can be applied to the whole order, including postage.

Anyone who has tried to issue their customers gift vouchers for use with RC will know that it isn't satisafctory.

You can sort-of use coupons as a voucher system, but the value is only applied to the subtotal BEFORE postage is applied.

This annoys your customers... they get given say a £20 voucher, but cant use it for £18 of goods plus £2 of postage.

They have to use it for £20 of goods and then put in CC details for £2 postage.


RC support have discussed this several times with people and say this is correct, there's no intention to provide gift voucher functions via coupons.

But it would be SO simple, not lots of coding needed, just a tick box that allows us to have our coupons applied to the TOTAL rather than SUBTOTAL

Two other well-known carts do offer this, but we'd rather not switch. We've been with RC since practically the beginning , and we're used to its quirks . . .

Ben

thanks

-------------
The Best Vegetables for the Kitchen Garden



Replies:
Posted By: Support
Date Posted: 07 February 2012 at 11:52am
Hi,
Can you point us to any well known online store which lets you use vouchers against the total price including shipping. It's not something we have ever seen, but maybe we haven't looked hard enough.
Many thanks
Support


Posted By: beng27
Date Posted: 07 February 2012 at 12:01pm
Thanks Support for such a swift reply ( I guess nothing is broken this morning :-)

This is really the standard behaviour for gift vouchers - I know RC has always thought in terms of coupons, but they're different. With gift vouchers, you _always_ get to apply it to the final total including shipping.

How about Amazon as a well-known example?

Or in our sector (vegetable seeds by mailorder)   http://www.thompson-morgan.com

I can find more, but if you look, you'll see this is the norm.

thanks

Ben

-------------
The Best Vegetables for the Kitchen Garden


Posted By: beng27
Date Posted: 07 February 2012 at 12:05pm
Note: if you wanted to make vouchers complicated, you would have to track the remaining amount outstanding and so on if they were part used. I agree that would require a major re-write plus significant extra coding and DB resources.

BUT, if you wanted to keep it simple, then you could just say any unused voucher value is lost. In which case there is no extra work at all compared to coupons. You can use your current coupon system, all you'd need in this case is a tick-box option for coupons to be applied to the total not subtotal.

-------------
The Best Vegetables for the Kitchen Garden


Posted By: rscass
Date Posted: 07 February 2012 at 8:26pm
I was selling vouchers last year. The method I tried was to issue a promo code with a fixed value of £32.34 (or £29.99 plus £2.35 P&P).

Didn't work. So tried coupons, 99.99% discounts, discounts plus coupons etc.

Whatever way I tried, it always generated an error in the cart because the invoice value was nil. I gave up in the end.

A voucher which covered the total invoice value would be great, regardless of whether any one else's cart has managed it.

Richard.






Posted By: Red
Date Posted: 07 February 2012 at 9:39pm
We would also like that
Red


Posted By: goodgoth
Date Posted: 14 February 2012 at 1:25pm
same here- cant offer gift certs because they won't work on shipping.


Posted By: softap
Date Posted: 13 September 2013 at 2:57pm
and same here- cant offer gift certs because they won't work on shipping. would also need to allow cart total to be zero and handle that (i.e. not take them to the payment screens if whole order value was covered by a voucher)


Posted By: Red
Date Posted: 13 September 2013 at 4:09pm
This would be nice to have for Christmas Sales so people could give a gift - any chance Support? I am sure this would be a very welcome addition for most of us
Red


Posted By: Support James
Date Posted: 13 September 2013 at 5:18pm
Hi,

Can you give us some more info. Let us know exactly what you are looking for and how you want these gift vouchers to operate.

Thanks

James


Posted By: softap
Date Posted: 13 September 2013 at 6:03pm
James, I'll try and explain....

We want to be able to sell a gift voucher to a customer. That's easy, because we can set it up as a normal product. Let's say we have a product called "Gift Voucher £10" which entitles the receiver to spend £10 in our store and use the voucher to pay for it.

So if somebody buys this gift voucher, we can set it up as a promotional code in the normal way, giving it a unique promo code or something.

Now, little Johnny gets sent that gift voucher code by his grannie, and she says - "there you are, you can go to this store website, and use this voucher for £10 of goodies".

So Johnny comes to our store, selects something for £10, and taps in his gift voucher (i.e. promo) code.

Unfortunately, orders under £20 have a shipping fee on our site of £2.88, so johnnie trys to buy a £10 CD and finds that the site wants him to pay £2.88 shipping. He is annoyed, as he thought the gift voucher entitled him to get a gift without having to pay any money.

So we need to:
Have an option to all a promo code to pay for the whole order, including any shipping. This will not help johnnie, because his order total comes to £12.88 and he's only got a £10 voucher, but at least he will be able to understand that he needs to spend a little less to get a gift for free.

However, at the moment, RC does not allow people to place an order with zero total. So even if you allowed the above change, there would still have to be a way to allow zero total orders to be completed in some way... probably by having a "complete this order" button that only appears if the order total is zero. This would then have to show as "paid" in the order status, to show that it needs sending out.

As another poster explained above, there are further things that could be done with vouchers to allow part of the voucher total to be used against an order, with a "carried forward" balance on the voucher, but that is a lot more complex.

Allowing promo codes to be used against the whole total, and allowing zero total orders would at least go part of the way towards having a workable gift voucher system.

I hope this is of some help

Best wishes,

Andy Rigby
www.christianbits.co.uk



Posted By: Support
Date Posted: 13 September 2013 at 6:52pm
Hi,

Answer to part of your question - Add the 'zero value order' payment method for zero value orders.

Many Thanks
Support


Posted By: softap
Date Posted: 13 September 2013 at 7:17pm
Hi Support

Yeh, I already thought of having a new payment method for zero-value orders. That would work, but it relies upon people clicking that button if their order total is zero. It's not automatic. And so muppets will click it just to see if they can get away without paying for their items. Not a particularly elegant workaround.

Best wishes

Andy Rigby
www.christianbits.co.uk


Posted By: Support
Date Posted: 13 September 2013 at 9:00pm
Hi,
There is a specific payment method called 'zero value orders' you need to enable.
It is only shown if the order has zero value.
Many Thanks
Support


Posted By: Red
Date Posted: 13 September 2013 at 9:04pm
Support
If other carts can offer this function then Roman cart should be able to do so, we should not have to be looking to make do and try to come up with workarounds to the problem.
We need as stated earlier in this thread to be able to   
"have gift vouchers that can be applied to the whole order value, including postage and Tax."
At the moment a £20 voucher cannot be used for £18 of goods plus £2 of postage, it has to be used for £20 of goods and then the customer has to put in CC details for the £2 postage which is no good at all.
We need a gift voucher that applies to the Total(goods, postage, tax) and by passes the payment page if the order value is under the voucher value once the code has been entered by just confirming that the order has been accepted and voucher value has been used.
Red





Posted By: softap
Date Posted: 14 September 2013 at 11:35am
Support

Thanks for the tip about zero value orders (the special payment method) - that is useful.

However, the shipping is still the main problem.

When trying to test the "zero value orders" to see how it works, I couldn't manage to create a zero value order using a promo-code gift voucher!

1. Added a promo code for a £20 gift voucher

2. Enabled a new zero-value orders payment method

3. Put EXACTLY £20 worth of goods in my basket, so my free shipping would kick in

Unfortunately, because the £20 voucher has been applied, and the goods total is now zero, RC adds shipping because the goods total has fallen below £20 again! So the order total is not zero. Aarrgh.

So you see how difficult it is to try and simulate vouchers using these techniques.....

Andy Rigby
www.christianbits.co.uk



Posted By: softap
Date Posted: 14 September 2013 at 11:40am
Further to my last post, it occurs to me that one possible quick solution would be to allow promo codes to be set up that not only trigger a discount, but ALSO trigger free shipping. Then we would not run into problem with gift vouchers adding shipping (this would only work for merchants who are prepared to offer free shipping for gift-voucher related sales).

Then I would just need to prevent people overseas from using that promo code. Not sure if RC has the ability to restrict promo codes to a certain region?

Interesting stuff..

Andy Rigby
www.christianbits.co.uk


Posted By: rscass
Date Posted: 16 September 2013 at 8:48pm
My request is simpler.

I just want the voucher/promo code value knocked off the bottom line invoice total including shipping.


Posted By: beng27
Date Posted: 16 September 2013 at 9:14pm
Hi All.   It was me that first stared this thread way back in the start of 2012. Still no joy . . .

It is unbelievably simple: We want a voucher code that is applied to the ENTIRE order including shipping.

This is not a bizzare request, nor that difficult to comprehend, and would not change the way RC works at all.




-------------
The Best Vegetables for the Kitchen Garden


Posted By: beng27
Date Posted: 16 September 2013 at 9:27pm
And a note: We've been RC users from way back when, so we do have some idea what we are talking about. Our throughput is now pretty huge, but we've stuck with RC because we like it. It is mildly annoying that it won't do vouchers the way other carts will, but its more annoying when RC refuse to acknowledge that this is a valid request.

We don't want a whole series of complicated work-rounds. What we need is really simple!

We just need an extra option in the 'Promotion Type' drop-down, one that says 'Direct - total order'

and which works just like 'Direct' but is applied to the TOTAL including postage.


-------------
The Best Vegetables for the Kitchen Garden


Posted By: Support James
Date Posted: 17 September 2013 at 1:41pm
Hi,

Thanks for the feedback, if we had a checkbox on the promotions screen (when you are setting up a promotion) which allows the promotion to also give free shipping would this meet your requirements?

Thanks

James


Posted By: softap
Date Posted: 17 September 2013 at 1:52pm
James, this would work for me (although not ideal), but somehow I would need to make sure that people outside the UK could not use that promotion. I'm OK with giving away free shipping to UK customers who have a voucher, but not overseas ones!

Best wishes
Andy Rigby
www.christianbits.co.uk


Posted By: Red
Date Posted: 17 September 2013 at 3:19pm
No not for us, you are still trying to do a work around this.
We do not give free shipping at all it would cost us to much, a lot of our customers are overseas.
It needs to work for all sales and so deduct the final total for the sale which includes the price for Goods, Postage and VAT so we can offer a gift value of up to £20, £25, £30 etc so the customer knows what value they can spend without being expected to pay any extra for postage or Tax.
Red


Posted By: beng27
Date Posted: 17 September 2013 at 9:04pm
No.

As Red says, you are just trying to do a work-round! But why?

Its simple. We just need a normal voucher that operates - like every other gift voucher in the universe - on the TOTAL of the order, including shipping.

Why is this so impossible to do? ( I am trying to be sympathetic, though failing through frustration at this point - sorry :-)

Seriously, can you explain what the technical problem with this is? Why CANT we have a drop-down that choses a discount applied to the whole order inc shipping? In what way would this 'break' the logical flow of the checkout process?

-------------
The Best Vegetables for the Kitchen Garden


Posted By: Support
Date Posted: 17 September 2013 at 9:21pm
Hi,
There's a number of problems which we need to work out.

Firstly we are working on sending the items to PayPal when PayPal is used as a Payment option.
I'm not sure if they would support this, with most carts promotional codes create a negative value line item.

Other problems are things like tax.
If you sell 4 items for £50 each with a different tax rate, then use a £55 voucher. The remainder is £5, but what is the tax on that and what does the £5 left relate to.

If you have examples of what other systems do - showing tax breakdown and how the promotion is applied, please email us the details

It would be great to add it but we need to understand how it should work.

Many Thanks
Support


Posted By: rscass
Date Posted: 17 September 2013 at 9:52pm
Hi Support -

There is a guide on HMRC's website for UK businesses.

If you sell a £10.00 gift voucher for £10.00, the voucher is not subject to VAT.

When redeemed, all VAT rates and any shipping with apportioned rates (if say the sale included standard and zero rated goods) are left as is and the voucher is treated as if it were cash being handed over.

The URL is here: http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/vat/managing/charging/discounts-etc.htm

In essence, for VAT purposes, the idea of a gift voucher is straightforward, provided it is sold at face value and not for example sold at a discount.

If added to Romancart, the feature would have to be specific and not just another promo code. Perhaps the ability to apply a tax rate to a gift voucher could be permanently disabled?

Richard.


Posted By: softap
Date Posted: 17 September 2013 at 9:54pm
I can't see why you think these problems are new, when Romancart has allowed promo codes for years? It already correctly re-apportions the tax if you apply a promo discount code. And surely Paypal just gets sent a total to pay, rather than a list of the line items involved, so why would Paypal be a problem?

The existing promo code discount system works fine - it just needs to be able to work on the whole order total (i.e. including shipping) rather than on the goods-only total.

Best wishes

Andy Rigby
www.christianbits.co.uk



Posted By: beng27
Date Posted: 17 September 2013 at 10:00pm
Thanks very much for explaining. It is really helpful to be able to have a dialogue about this.

I think many of the problems might be because you are still thinking of this as a promotional coupon type of thing, not a voucher.

So, just to explain:

Customer Fred buys a gift voucher code for £55 and sends it to their friend Harry

Harry makes a cart of goods.

The total inc shipping and tax will be either:
A) less than the value of their voucher
B) exactly the value of their voucher
C) more than the value of their voucher

In both case A and B, then Harry is not billed anything, The total owing is £0. So they do not pass to any payment processor be it PayPal or anyone else. (Tax and shipping calculations are exactly as normal for that basket.)

In case A, there is spare value in the voucher, but this is discarded. Harry loses any unspent voucher. It would be nice to point this out by pop-up, but this keeps it all simple - avoids all sorts of grief for RC and the merchant in tracking part-vouchers. There are no (sales) tax issues on the discarded part as it has not been spent. The merchant will pay corporation tax on it as it is a profit, but that is not RCs problem. There are no issues with payment gateways as no payment is made or processed.

In case C, then Harry is billed for the difference between the TOTAL value of the basket (inc tax and shipping) and the voucher. He can pay this extra by any active payment method, just like always.

Now this last bit is the bit you say is a problem with PayPal specifically. But I genuinely don't understand how this can be a problem, because this ALREADY happens with the current model - if I issue a voucher for £10 off and someone spends £20 , you bill them for the difference. So how can it work now - but not if you apply the voucher to the total inc shipping and tax?

I still wonder if many of the stumbling blocks are because RC is conceptually thinking of this as a variant of a promotional code or coupon (apply to items), but really its a gift voucher (applies to a cart total).

If you discard any preconceived ideas, and think of how an amazon gift voucher works, it will be clearer what we all would like. (But for simplicity we will discard any unused part of the voucher, as tracking that would be hideous)

thank-you

Ben


-------------
The Best Vegetables for the Kitchen Garden


Posted By: rscass
Date Posted: 17 September 2013 at 10:00pm
Hi Andy,

There is a tax issue because the goods are not just being discounted.

If you apply a 20% discount to a £100 sale, then the VAT is worked out on a gross value of £80.

If the same £100 item was paid for with £80 paypal and £20 gift voucher, the VAT element is based on £100 not £80, a difference of £3.33.

Richard.


Posted By: rscass
Date Posted: 17 September 2013 at 10:03pm
It only goes pear-shaped if you sell the VAT-less £20.00 gift voucher for £15.00!


Posted By: beng27
Date Posted: 17 September 2013 at 10:10pm
No. I think the VAT is a red herring!

Look here's your basket:

Gross goods +shipping £100.
VAT £20.

Basket total £120 all in.

Customer enters voucher code: - £80

Total to pay £40

Pays £40 by card/paypal/whatever

gets receipt from merchant showing all the above:

GOODS & SHIPPING £100
VAT £20
TOTAL PAID £120

All is OK, what is the problem?



-------------
The Best Vegetables for the Kitchen Garden


Posted By: rscass
Date Posted: 17 September 2013 at 10:28pm
The above is the correct way to apply a pre-paid gift voucher in the UK.


Posted By: Red
Date Posted: 20 September 2013 at 5:32pm
Support
can we have an update from you on this as it is something a lot of us would like to be able to use and as I said it would help to be able to offer a gift voucher in time for Christmas.
Red


Posted By: beng27
Date Posted: 23 September 2013 at 1:32pm
I'll second that - can we have some feedback on your thoughts please? Last time this thread was active, pretty much the same thing happened - we spent ages explaining what a gift voucher was, then all went quiet and nothing happened . . .

thanks!



-------------
The Best Vegetables for the Kitchen Garden


Posted By: Support James
Date Posted: 23 September 2013 at 5:56pm
Hi,

Thanks for everyones feedback regarding this. We have looked at your requirements and this is something we would like to implement.

However please appreciate that this is not easy to integrate and simply cant be added overnight. We will take a serious look at this after we have completed other projects which must take priority. However this unlikely to be for a few months.

But rest assured we are keen to add this and will look into this when we can.

Thanks

James


Posted By: softap
Date Posted: 25 September 2013 at 12:56pm
James, many of us would dearly love to have some form of gift voucher facility in place in the run-up to this Christmas, but it sounds like the solution you are thinking of will take several months, so it will not help us this year, and we'll all miss out on valuable gift voucher sales.

I, for one, would be happy to have the easy workaround that was discussed earlier in this thread, to tide us over until a full-blown gift voucher scheme is written. If you remember, all this workaround needed was to allow promotion codes to be set up which give both money off (your existing "Direct" option) AND free shipping (currently we can only have either-or).

Any chance?

Best wishes

Andy Rigby
www.christianbits.co.uk




Posted By: beng27
Date Posted: 25 September 2013 at 8:10pm
Andy, the problem with the 'work-around' that you suggest is that it is suitable for very few merchants.

Most of us cannot afford to give free shipping to anyone who spends a gift voucher.

We all have our business models worked out, we know how our postage bands work, & we dont want to change it. We just want to be able to use a normal gift voucher, in the normal fashion.

And, seriously, there's no technical reason why doing it properly should take 'several months'. People do need to be clear we are not talking about months of development work here, just a few hours. The fact is that it isnt a priority to RC. That's fine - there are limited resources and thats RCs business decision.

But people need to realise that the amount of coding needed to do either a bodge, or a discount that applies to the total inc shipping is about the same (practically SFA for either). So its not that one could happen quickly while the other takes ages - its simply that you're not going get either in a hurry if you can't convince RC of the need for action.

The actual problem is that Support either do not see the need for this, and/or don't understand the conceptual difference between a coupon and a gift voucher. So it isn't a priority, so it doesn't get added to the roadmap. No doubt we'll be having exactly the same conversation this time next year. . .

-------------
The Best Vegetables for the Kitchen Garden


Posted By: Red
Date Posted: 27 September 2013 at 9:31am
James
re your "We will take a serious look at this after we have completed other projects which must take priority."
can you tell us what the other projects are please as we often get this answer on the forum but never know what it is that you are working on.
Red


Posted By: Support Oliver
Date Posted: 27 September 2013 at 10:02am
Hello Everyone,

All your concerns are completely justified and it is agreed that vouchers are something that would be a brilliant feature for RomanCart. Obviously a key selling point as well. However as mentioned there are other works that unfortunately take priority.

The priority works are actually Payment Gateway updates. As you know we work with a variety of Payment Gateway Integrations all of which have to be maintained. Unfortunately we get very little notice to do this and it is a constant and when these updates come in we have to drop everything and get them done to make sure you our customers can continue to process transactions through them.

The problem with vouchers are as follows. Although it seems like an easy fix. We cannot adapt Promotion Codes or Coupons to give free shipping. The main reason for this is actually to do with all the tax variations (depending on the shipping method) that occur with shipping. I appreciate this might not be the case for everyone. But when working on a hosted system like ours this has to work for everyone.

Vouchers when we finally get there will have to be configured as a new Payment Method. That is the most practical way to keep tax and shipping calculations all up together.

Where things get really complicated is that we will then have to rewrite every payment gateway to become a "partial payment method" to pay for the remainder of the balance. In a sense itís a more complicated version of the 'zero value order' found under 'Configure/Payment Methods'

This then makes RomanCart Support two payment methods per transaction which in turn means pretty much rewriting most of the core code for invoices and despatch, call back and you name it. And that is just to begin with.
I know this is not the best of news but we feel it is important that you are aware of the real reasons for such a beneficial and maybe even obvious feature to not be prioritised. Please be assured we are aware that this is something that does need to happen but it will be a lot more work than you probably anticipate and the current maintenance and upkeep of RomanCart to keep you all processing your transactions obviously takes priority. I hope that you can all understand this. Also please watch this thread. This is something we all want to see happen.

Kind Regards

Oliver Brason
RomanCart Support Team


Posted By: softap
Date Posted: 08 October 2013 at 10:28pm
Support

Don't get that last post by Oliver.

You can already have a promotional code that generates free shipping.

You can also already have a promotional code that reduces the amount to pay by a fixed amount eg £10 off

So why is it so difficult to have a promotional code that does both the above? The code has already been written. And it works......

Andy Rigby
www.christianbits.co.uk


Posted By: rscass
Date Posted: 08 October 2013 at 11:56pm
I get it - it's to do with sales tax.

A promo code or coupon reduces the bill and therefore the VAT collected.

A gift voucher is currency.

The goods (including VAT) are charged at full retail. The invoice is then settled with a combination of voucher and other payment method.

When you think it through, it's not the same as simply knocking an amount off the price of an item.

Richard.



Posted By: AnnieCov
Date Posted: 17 October 2013 at 4:25pm
We just need a gift voucher that can be applied to the whole order INCLUDING shipping please!

-------------

Quality Poster, Photo and Canvas Printing

CD/DVD Duplication

http://www.amc-photographics.com - AMC Photographics


Posted By: beng27
Date Posted: 19 October 2013 at 10:01pm
If you can do it to the order BEFORE adding shipping (like it works now), you can do it to an order AFTER shipping. The logic does not change.

All this talk of tax, paypal integration etc is a red herring, IMHO.

-------------
The Best Vegetables for the Kitchen Garden


Posted By: Keith
Date Posted: 18 December 2013 at 9:00am
I see that Amazon do gift vouchers. They take the amount of the TOTAL which is what everyone wants. Here are their instructions......


To redeem your Amazon.co.uk gift certificate or gift card using the Shopping Basket, follow the steps below.
1.Select the items you wish to order, using your Shopping Basket.

2.In the order form, you'll see a box that says "Have you got a gift certificate or promotional code?".
3.Enter your claim code into the box and click the "Apply" button.

You'll be able to see that the value of your gift certificate/card has been deducted from the total cost in the order summary. When you have successfully placed your order, the following message will be displayed: "Thank you--we have received your order".
To Redeem your Amazon.co.uk gift certificate or gift card using 1-click, follow the steps below:
1.Visit the Your Account page.
2.Click "Apply a Gift Certificate to Your Account."
3.Sign in with your e-mail address and password.
4.Enter your claim code and click "Apply to Your Account".


Next time you place an order with 1-click, the value of your gift certificate/card will be deducted from the total.

If the value of your gift certificate exceeds your order value, any remaining balance is added to your gift certificate account. You will be given the option to use that balance when you place future orders.

If your order total exceeds the value of your gift certificate you will be asked to select a payment card or redeem another gift certificate to pay the balance.


-------------
Regards, Keith



Print Page | Close Window