Understanding Offer Conditions and Rules

The Item Offer Discount Conditions can be quite flexible.  You can have multiple conditions and each condition can have multiple rules.  Let's cover various scenarios with examples.

Condition with One Rule

Let start with the basics.  A simple condition can be created with just one rule.  In this example, we are targeting the Green Ghost product.  So when the Green Ghost  product is added to the cart, this offer is a candidate for the order.  Other configurations of the Offer setup can impact if this offer is applied, but let's assume all other offer conditions will be met so we can stay focused on the Conditions.

When written out, this condition would be...For every 1 item that matches Name = "Green Ghost".  So:

  • if I add one Green Ghost to my cart, this offer will apply once
  • If I add two Green Ghost products, this offer will apply twice - one for each item

Condition with Two Rules

When you start to add a second Rule, the "items that satisfy ALL/ANY" comes into play.  The ALL option translates to an AND while the ANY option translated to an OR.  Here is an example:

When written out, this condition would be...For every 1 item that matches Category="Hot Sauces" AND Price > $10.  Since we are using the ALL option, both rules must apply.  If we changed the option to satisfies ANY, then the condition would be...For every 1 item that matches Category="Hot Sauces" OR has a Price > $10.  That is likely not an offer you would typically setup but it shows what the ANY option will do.

Conditions with Match > 1

The "Match" clause of the condition stipulates how many items have to match the rule.  Let's go right into an example:

Written out, this condition is...For every 2 items that match Category="Hot Sauces", those items will receive the discount.  So a few scenarios with this rule:

  • If I add one Hot Sauce item to my cart, I get no discount
  • If I add two Hot Sauce items then both of them (the 2 items) get the discount
  • If I add three Hot Sauce items only two of the three receive the discount (I have to match 2 items at a time)
  • If I add four Hot Sauce items, all four (2 items and 2 items) will receive the discount

Adding Another Condition Block

The Rule Builder allows you to add a second condition to the Discount.  This allows the offer to be applied a second time to another item.  Note that all added Condition blocks are evaluated as an AND.  Let's look at an example:

This would read as...Buy one Hot Sauce item and one Merchandise item.  Both items need to be present and both would receive the discount.  A few scenarios to consider:

  • If I only add one Hot Sauce item, no discount would apply
  • If I only add one Merchandise item, no discount would apply
  • If I add one Hot Sauce and one Merchandise item, both items receive the discount
  • If I add two Hot Sauces and one Merchandise item, the discount only applies to one Hot Sauce and one Merchandise - that is because both conditions have to apply (1 and 1, 1 and 1)
  • If I add two Hot Sauces and two Merchandise items, the discount would apply twice

How Order Items are Evaluated

It's important to understand how Order Items are evaluated by the offer engine.  All evaluations are at an individual Order Item level and not as an overall Product/Sku.  The distinction is important when you start to evaluate rules with quantities.  Here is some detail on the difference.

When adding an item with quantity > 1, each of the items are individually evaluated.  So let's say that three items are added to the cart - two Green Ghost and one Men's Shirt.  The system will evaluate the items as:

1) Green Ghost, qty=1
2) Green Ghost, qty=1
3) Men's Shirt, qty=1

The first Green Ghost is evaluated in relation to the other items in the cart.  Next, the second Green Ghost will be evaluated.  Finally, the Men's Shirt will be evaluated.  The exact order of the evaluation is indeterminate.  The main concept is that each item is evaluated individually.  Why does this matter?

Assessing the cart as

Green Ghost, qty=2
Men's Shirt, qty=1

is different.  Here is an example of how this come into play.

When setting up a Rule Builder as outlined above, the condition would read...Every 1 item that matches Name="Green Ghost" and Quantity > 1.

If you assess the cart as 

Green Ghost, qty=2   <<< One product with quantity > 1

the assumed outcome might be that the offer would apply one time.  When breaking down the items into individual entries

Green Ghost, qty=1  <<< One item, and a second item is present making the qty>1
Green Ghost, qty=1  <<< One item, and a second item is present making the qty>1

the outcome would be that the offer is applied to both Green Ghost items.

NOTE: It is important to call out that in most cases quantity expressions should be setup as part of the Match "X" and not as a Quantity rule.

Discount Targets versus Discount Qualifiers

It is important to distinguish between Discount Targets and Discount Qualifiers.  Discount Targets (references the section in the Offer UI titled "Which Items Receive the Discount?") represent the items being added that the cart that will have the offer applied.  This section will only appear when the Offer Type is "Item" - for example, Percent off Item, Amount off Item, etc.

The Discount Qualifiers (references the section in the Qualifiers tab called "What Items are Required to Qualify for the Discount?") are conditions that must be met before the discount can be applied to the items outlined in the Target Discount.  The Discount Qualifiers are most common for BOGO (Buy one, Get one) offers.  Buy one Green Ghost (qualifier), get a Men's Shirt 50% off (target).

A good example for using qualifiers would be a BOGO of Buy 2 Green Ghost items and get a third Green Ghost free.  The Offer setup would be:


Qualifier: (Notice the Match 2 configuration)

Best Discount Assessment

Another topic that needs to be understood is that the "best discount for the customer" will be applied.  If you have two items in the cart that both qualify for an offer, that offer will be applied to the item that provides the best discount.  For example, assume we have an offer for 50% off Hot Sauces.  If the customer add a Hoppin' Hot Sauce for $4.99 and a Green Ghost for $9.99, the offer will be applied to the Green Ghost item since that gives the customer the best discount ($5.00).

And Beyond...

There are a lot of other Offer features that are not captured in this article.  The best approach for deepening the understanding of the Offer engine is to setup an offer in a variety of ways and explore how the Offer is applied.