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Reference Guide

Marketing

Account Credit and Gift Certificates

In version 9.0003, Miva Merchant added Account Credit and gift certificates. Account Credit, sometimes called "Credit Balance", and gift certificates, work the same way in Miva Merchant as they do in a brickand-mortar store. For example:

  • Adjust credit balance: A customer returns an item. The store owner can credit the customer's account for the purchase amount.
  • Gift certificate: You create a gift certificate in your store. A customer purchases the gift certificate, which is really just a special code. The customer signs into their account, enters the gift certificate code, and now has a credit for that amount.

In both cases the customer has a credit in their account. When this customer goes through checkout, the system will let them pay for all or part of the order with their credit.

Account Credit (Credit Balance) Gift Certificate
Account Credit is added to a customer's account by an admin. Gift certificate codes can be:
  • Generated by an admin and given to customers.
  • Created as a standalone product in your store and purchased by customers.
  • "Attached" to a regular product, so when the customer buys a hat, they also get a gift certificate
Account Credit shows up in a customer's account right away. The credit from a gift certificate doesn't show up in a customer's account until the customer signs into their account and enters the gift certificate code (redeeming).
Gift certificates always have a positive value. Account Credit can be positive or negative. Say that one of your employees issued a Account Credit for $30.00, but the amount should have been $25.00. You could delete the original Account Credit from the customer's account and create a new credit for $25.00. But you could also leave the first credit in place, and issue a second "credit" in the amount of "-$5.00". You can add negative credits to a customer's account.

To Install Account Credit/Gift Certificates in Your Store

  1. Make all changes to your store listed in the Template Changes for Miva Merchant 9.0003 section (see Template Changes for Version 9).
  2. Install the Customer Credit module (new in version 9.0003).

    2.1. Go to Menu> Payment > Add/Remove Modules.

    2.2. In the Available Modules section, click Install under Customer Credit.

  3. Edit page OPAY (Checkout Payment Information).

    3.1. Select the Items tab.

    3.2. Search for these items: paymentmethods and splitpayment. You must install these items if they are not already installed.

To Give Customers Account Credit (Adjust Credit Balance)

  1. Go to Menu > Customers > edit a customer account > Account Credit tab.
  2. In the Account Credit tab, click Add Credit Credit.
  3. Fill out the fields in the Adjust Credit Balance dialog box:

    Adjust Credit Balance

    • Amount: the amount of credit you want to add to this customer's account. Note that the amount can be a positive or a negative number.
    • Description: You can use the Description field to explain the reason for the credit adjustment.
    • Transaction Reference: If there is a transaction associated with the adjustment, you could enter a reference number in this field.
  4. Click Save.
  5. In the Account Credit tab, the Current Credit Balance will reflect the change that you made.

    Current Credit Balance

To Check a Customer's Account Balance

A customer's account balance consists of their credit balance (Account Credit), and the gift certificates that they've redeemed.

The customer's account balance shows up in two places:

  • Admin interface: Menu> Customers > Edit a customer > Account Credit tab
  • On-line store: Customer signs in > Account button > Customer Account Balance screen.

    Keep in mind that Account Credit shows up as soon as you add it to a customer's account. Gift certificates will only show up in the customer's account balance after they are redeemed.

    But see also Menu> Marketing > Gift Certificates tab, which doesn't show Account Credit, but shows every gift certificate that has been created or purchased in your store, even if the gift certificate has not been redeemed.

Gift Certificates

There are several ways to distribute gift certificates:

  • Admin generates gift certificate codes. You can generate as many gift certificate codes as you want in the admin interface, and use different methods to give them away. For example, you could manually email these gift certificate codes to customers; you could even print the gift certificate codes out and send them to customers by snail mail.
  • The gift certificate is attached to an ordinary product. In this case you edit an existing product, a t-shirt for example. When the customer buys the t-shirt, the system will automatically send the customer a gift certificate code. It's similar to giving the customer a discount for purchasing that product. When the customer redeems the gift certificate code, it becomes a credit in their account. Customers can use their account credit to make purchases in your store.

    You can also give customers a discount by using Price Groups, but Price Groups and gift certificates have different effects.

    • $5 discount with a Price Group: the customer buys a $20 shirt and pays $15 for it at checkout.
    • $5 discount with a gift certificate: the customer buys a $20 shirt, pays $20 for it at checkout, and receives a $5 gift certificate code that they can use next time in your store.
  • The gift certificate is the product (standalone gift certificate). This is similar to the situation in a brick-and-mortar store where a customer comes in, buys a gift certificate, and walks out with a piece of paper that can be redeemed at your store later on. In this case you create a product, which you might call "Gift Certificate - $5.00". After the customer purchases the gift certificate, the system will send the customer a gift certificate code. When the customer redeems the gift certificate code, it becomes a credit in their account. Customers can use their account credit to make purchases in your store.

To Generate Gift Certificate Codes

  1. Go to Menu> Marketing > Gift Certificates tab.
  2. In the Gift Certificates tab, click Generate Gift CertificatesGenerate Codes.

    Generate Gift Certificate

    • Amount: Enter the dollar value you want each gift certificate code to have. If you enter "5" in this field, the customer will get a $5.00 credit in their account after they redeem this code.
    • # of gift certificates: Enter the number of unique gift certificate codes that you want the system to create.
  3. Click Generate.
  4. Now when we look in the Gift Certificates tab, we see that the system has created the number of unique gift certificate codes that we wanted, with the value we selected.

    Gift Certificates

To Attach a Gift Certificate to an Ordinary Product

In this example, we've already created a product, a Hawaiian hat, and we'll attach a gift certificate to it. When a customer buys the hat, they will automatically receive a gift certificate code.

  1. Edit the existing product: Go to Menu> Catalog > Products > edit product.
  2. Select the Gift Certificate Sales tab.

    Edit Product

    • Generate a Gift Certificate When This Product is Purchased: If you check this box the system will automatically send the customer a gift code in an email after the purchase. If you do not check this box, no gift code will be created or sent to the customer.
    • Gift Certificate Amount:
      • Product Sale Price: The gift code will have whatever value you entered in the Product tab > Details section > Price field.
      • Fixed Amount: The gift code will have the value that you enter in this field.
    • Send Notification Email To: When the customer purchases this item, an email containing the gift code is sent to the address that you select.
    • Shopper Entered Attribute / Gift Description Attribute: These fields are used when your customer wants to send a gift certificate to someone else.
      • If you do not use these fields, the gift certificate code will still show up on the invoice, which is sent to the customer who makes the purchase.
      • If you use these fields, the customer enters a recipient's email address when they add the gift certificate to their basket. After checkout, the customer receives an invoice that shows the gift certificate code. The recipient gets a special email with the gift certificate code, and a link to your store so that they can redeem the code. The recipient must have an account in your store before they can redeem the code. See To Send a Gift Certificate to a Third Party below.
  3. Click Update.

To Send a Gift Certificate to a Third Party

In this section we'll demonstrate how to use the Shopper Entered Attribute / Gift Description Attribute fields in the: Menu> Catalog > Products > edit product.> Gift Certificate Sales tab

These fields are optional when you create a gift certificate. You use these fields if you want to let your customer buy a gift certificate, but have the code sent to a third party.

  1. Create a gift certificate, either attached to a product, or standalone. In our example, we've already created a standalone gift certificate product called "Gift Certificate - 5 Dollars".
  2. Go to Menu> Catalog > Products > edit product "Gift Certificate - 5 Dollars".
  3. Select the Attributes tab
  4. In the Attributes tab, we'll create and save two attributes.

    Gift Certificate Attributes

    • You can name these attributes anything you want. You'll see later on why we chose these names.
    • Make both attributes type Text Field or Text Area
    • Copy and paste the code of each attribute into a text file. The attribute codes that we created are: GC_Email, and GC_Desc.
  5. Select the Gift Certificates Sales tab.

    Gift Certificate Sales Tab

    5.1. Check the box next to Shopper Entered Attribute. In the text field, enter one of your attribute codes. It doesn't really matter which code you use. But since the Shopper Entered Attribute field is always used for the recipient's email address, we made life simple and created an attribute code called "GC_Email". The important thing is that the attribute codes that you created match exactly what you enter in this screen.

    5.2. In the Gift Description Attribute field, enter the second attribute code that you created. The Gift Description Attribute field is used to let the customer send some message or greeting to the recipient, so we created an attribute code called "GC_Desc".

    5.3. Click Update to save your changes.

Now let's look at how this changes the customer experience:

  1. The customer signs into our store and goes to the product page for the Five Dollar Gift Certificate.

    Gift Certificate Prompt Field

    Now our product page has two new fields. The customer can enter the email address of the recipient, and some kind of message or greeting.

  2. Checkout is the same as always for our customer, except that the gift certificate information appears on the checkout pages. As usual, the customer will be emailed a copy of the invoice.

    Certificate Invoice

  3. A special email is sent to the recipient's email address. It contains the gift certificate code, and a link to our store. The customer can click on the link and redeem the gift certificate code. Note that the recipient must have a store account before they can redeem the code.

    Redeem Code

To Create a Gift Certificate as a Product (Standalone Gift Certificate)

In this example, we'll create a gift certificate that appears in our on-line store as a product by itself.

  1. Go to Menu> Catalog > Products.
  2. Click Add Product Add.

    Product Details

  3. Click +Add.
  4. Select the Gift Certificate Sales tab. See above for information about the fields in this tab.
  5. When you finish filling out the fields in the Gift Certificates Sales tab, click Update. The gift certificate now appears in our store as a standalone product.

    Gift Certificate

  6. When you create a gift certificate that is a product (standalone gift certificate), make sure you have free shipping available. The gift certificate is just a special code that is sent to the customer by email, so there is no need for a shipping charge.

To Create Free Shipping for a Standalone Gift Certificate

If you create a standalone gift certificate, you also want to make sure that you have free shipping. There are several ways to create free shipping for your standalone gift certificates, but one fairly easy way to use a Price Group (Shipping Discount, Discounted Products Only).

  1. Go to Menu> Marketing > Price Groups tab, and click Add Price Group Add.

    Add Price Group

  2. When you finish editing the settings in the Add Price Group dialog box, click Save.
  3. In the Price Groups tab, select the Price Group that you just created and click Discounted Products.

    Discounted Products

  4. In the Discounted Products dialog box, select one of your gift certificates, then click Close. We can use the same Price Group to make sure that all of our standalone gift certificates get free shipping.

    Discounted Products

Customer Experience - Buy a Standalone Gift Certificate

In this example:

  • The customer already has an account in our store.
  • We created a $5 standalone gift certificate
  • We have two shipping methods enabled: UPS Ground and UPS Next Day AirĀ®, and a Price Group that will create free shipping for our standalone gift certificate. Because of the way that we created our Price Group, it will show up as a shipping option during checkout called "Gift Certificate - Free".

We'll look at three situations:

  • The customer buys an ordinary product and nothing else.
  • The customer buys a standalone gift certificate and nothing else.
  • The customer buys an ordinary product and a standalone gift certificate.
  1. The customer browses through your store, adds products to their basket, and clicks the Checkout button.

    Order Details

  2. The shipping options in the Shipping/Payment Selection screen will change depending on what the customer has in their basket.
  3. Ordinary item only Standalone gift certificate only Ordinary item and standalone gift certificate

    Payment Option

    Stand Alone Gift Certificate

    Ordinary Items Gift Certificate

    This customer ordered an ordinary product. They'll see the two shipping methods we enabled: UPS Next Day Air and UPS Ground. We configured our Price Group to ship UPS Ground for free if the customer buys a standalone gift certificate, and the system knows this is the only item in their basket. The string "Gift Certificate - Free" was set up in the Price Group. Here's the fun part. This customer is buying an ordinary item and a standalone gift certificate. They can choose a shipping method, but the system will only apply shipping charges to the hat, and not to the standalone gift certificate.
  4. Payment Information

    Payment Info

  5. Ordinary Item Only

    Payment Module

    Stand Alone Gift Certificate

Customer Experience - Redeem a Gift Certificate

Even after the customer has received the gift certificate code in the mail, they still have to redeem the code before it will show up as a credit in their account.

  • Customers must have a store account, and be signed in, before they can redeem gift certificate codes.
  • After the customer redeems their gift certificate code, the credit will show up in two places:
    • Admin interface: Menu> Customers > Edit a customer > Account Credit tab.
    • On-line store: Customer signs in > Account button > Customer Account Balance screen.

    The gift certificate code only shows up in these locations after the customer redeems the gift certificate. However, you can also look in: Menu> Marketing > Gift Certificates tab.

    This tab shows you every gift certificate that's been created in your store, even if it hasn't been redeemed.

  1. The customer receives a gift certificate code in an email. The email will be slightly different, depending on whether the customer purchased the gift certificate for themselves, or bought it for someone else (see To Send a Gift Certificate to a Third Party).

    Third Party Gift Certificate

  2. The customer opens a browser window, browses to your on-line store, and signs in.
  3. In the Customer Account screen, the customer clicks on Redeem Gift Certificate.

    Redeem Certificate

  4. In the Redeem Gift Certificate screen, the customer enters the gift certificate code and clicks Redeem.

    Sorting Records

  5. The system updates the Redeem Gift Certificate screen to show that the gift certificate has been applied as a credit to the customer's account. The updated screen also shows the customer's current balance, which includes both Account Credit created by an admin and redeemed gift certificates.<.p>

    Redeem Gift Certificate

Customer Experience - Use an Account Credit (Split Payment)

In this example, our customer has already redeemed a gift certificate for $5.00, and they now have an account credit for that amount. The customer is going to make a split payment for their next order: they'll pay for part of their order using their account credit, and pay for the remainder of the order with a standard payment method.

  1. The customer goes to your on-line store and signs in to their account.
  2. The customer adds an ordinary store item to their shopping basket and starts checkout.
  3. The Order Details screen is the same as always.

    Orders Detail Screen

  4. Things are a bit different when the customer gets to the Shipping/Payment selection screen. All of your typical payment methods are available. But the system recognizes that this customer has an account balance (from either a Account Credit or gift certificate), and makes the balance available as a payment method.
    • If the customer doesn't want to use their account credit right now, they should select any of the other typical payment methods.
    • If the customer wants to use their account credit, even if it isn't enough to pay for the whole order, they should select Apply Credit Balance.

      Apply Credit Balance

  5. The Payment Information screen will look slightly different depending on whether the customer's credit balance was enough to pay for the entire order. In our example, the customer is going to use all of their credit, and pay for the remainder of the order with a credit card.

    Account Balance

  6. After the customer clicks Continue in the Payment Information screen, the system presents another Payment Information screen. This is required for a split payment.
    • In the first Payment Information screen the customer applies all or part of their Account Credit.
    • In the second Payment Information screen, the customer selects a typical payment method to pay for the balance of the order.
    • Payment Info Screen

  7. The Invoice screen reflects the split payment.

    Split Payment

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