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)
|Account Credit is added to a customer's
account by an admin.
|Gift certificate codes can be:
- Generated by an admin and given to
- 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
|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
|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
|Gift certificates always have a positive value.
To Install Account Credit/Gift Certificates in Your Store
- Make all changes to your store listed in the Template Changes for Miva Merchant 9.0003 section
(see Template Changes for Version 9).
- Install the Customer Credit module (new in version 9.0003).
2.1. Go to > Payment > Add/Remove Modules.
2.2. In the Available Modules section, click Install under Customer Credit.
- 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)
- Go to > Customers > edit a customer account > Account Credit tab.
- In the Account Credit tab, click Add Credit .
- Fill out the fields in the Adjust Credit Balance dialog box:
- 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.
- Click Save.
- In the Account Credit tab, the Current Credit Balance will reflect the change that you made.
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: > 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 > 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
There are several ways to distribute gift certificates:
To Generate Gift Certificate Codes
- Go to > Marketing > Gift Certificates tab.
- In the Gift Certificates tab, click Generate Gift Certificates.
- 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
- Click Generate.
- 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.
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.
- Edit the existing product: Go to > Catalog > Products > edit product.
- Select the Gift Certificate Sales tab.
- 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.
- 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: > 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.
- 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".
- Go to > Catalog > Products > edit product "Gift Certificate - 5 Dollars".
- Select the Attributes tab
- In the Attributes tab, we'll create and save two attributes.
- You can name these attributes anything you want. You'll see later on why we chose these
- 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.
- Select the Gift Certificates 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:
- The customer signs into our store and goes to the product page for the Five Dollar Gift Certificate.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
- Go to > Catalog > Products.
- Click Add Product .
- Click +Add.
- Select the Gift Certificate Sales tab. See above for information about the fields in this tab.
- 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.
- 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).
- Go to > Marketing > Price Groups tab, and click Add Price Group .
- When you finish editing the settings in the Add Price Group dialog box, click Save.
- In the Price Groups tab, select the Price Group that you just created and click Discounted
- 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.
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 Air®, 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.
- The customer browses through your store, adds products to their basket, and clicks the Checkout
- The shipping options in the Shipping/Payment Selection screen will change depending on what the
customer has in their basket.
Ordinary item only
Standalone gift certificate only
Ordinary item and standalone 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
|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.
- Payment Information
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
- After the customer redeems their gift certificate code, the credit will show up in two places:
- Admin interface: > 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:
> Marketing > Gift Certificates tab.
This tab shows you every gift certificate that's been created in your store, even if it hasn't been
- 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).
- The customer opens a browser window, browses to your on-line store, and signs in.
- In the Customer Account screen, the customer clicks on Redeem Gift Certificate.
- In the Redeem Gift Certificate screen, the customer enters the gift certificate code and clicks
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
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.
- The customer goes to your on-line store and signs in to their account.
- The customer adds an ordinary store item to their shopping basket and starts checkout.
- The Order Details screen is the same as always.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- The Invoice screen reflects the split payment.