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Beginner's Guide to WooCommerce Discounts

Online shoppers often postpone their buying decision. Being a frequent online shopper, I, myself, have done it.

The prime reason why many people do not rush into buying a product is: “I want to buy this product but I am not so happy with the price.” So how do we motivate the shoppers to make the purchase decision instantly? Here is a time-tested solution: Offer a discount.

The word “DISCOUNT!” itself is so tempting that even if customers are not here to shop, they would still be motivated to check out. So offering a coupon or discount has got the great potential to increase your WooCommerce store sales.

So how can we offer a coupon or a discount in WooCommerce?  What are the types of discounts available ? What are the best practices ?

Let's get started.

Why offer discounts in WooCommerce?

Pricing is the primary factor that has the power to attract as well as bother your buyers. It plays a pivotal role in affecting your sales.

Discounts can act as great motivating factors to buy. 

What are the default discount options in WooCommerce?

WooCommerce does provide you with options to set discounts. There are two options

1. Coupons

2. Sale Price (You can set a product on sale by entering a reduced price)

Coupons are fairly straight forward and works as it should. You can create coupon codes and distribute it to your customers / visitors / prospective buyers. Learn more on how to set up a basic coupon in your WooCommerce store.

The "Sale price" option is a product-wise option that lets to sell a product at a reduced rate than its retail price. However this is too restrictive and cumbersome to manage when you have a large catalog. As a result, a majority of the WooCommerce stores will need a dynamic pricing and discount plugin that helps create a variety of discount deals.

Well, you might ask why do we need discount plugins when WooCommerce itself allows you to offer coupons?
As I mentioned earlier, the “Default WooCommerce Coupons” comes with a set of basic options only. And it has limitations like

  • Dynamic pricing of products and showing the offers at the product pages
  • Bulk discounts, BOGO type deals
  • Less scope for customization
  • Cannot set up advanced settings and complex discount rules

 With these limitations, it is quite not sufficient to boost sales. Considering the cut-throat competiton in the market, you may want to offer a number of flexible promotions for your customers.
You may have seen your competitor offering deals like "Buy 1 Get 1", "Buy 10, get 10%, Buy 20, get 40%", Spend $1000, get 25%,
"Buy Item A, get 20% on everything else."

This is where the discount plugins like WooCommerce Discount Rules come into picture.

How WooCommerce Discount Rules can help you run offers / deals ?

The plugin can help you create and run 100+ discount types or promotions in your store. Starting from a simple store-wide discount to complex discounts based on products, variants categories, user roles, attributes, purchase history can be offered with the Discount Rules plugin for WooCommerce.

You can also run Buy One Get One deals, order total based discounts, bulk discounts, tiered pricing discounts and more.

This can subsequently increase your sales conversions and boost your revenue several folds.

Furthermore, it is easy to use and helps you set up your own set of discount rules and conditions.

Download Discount Rules for WooCommerce

Things you need to know about discounts

Before giving discounts learn about the types of discounts, how to give discounts, how to set up discount rules, how to track the performance and so on in order to enjoy the complete benefits of the same.

Classification of discounts with examples

Let us categorize discounts based on the two factors concerning rule complexity and applicability.

Rule complexity

Further divided into three broad categories based on the complexity of their logics, specifications, restrictions, and customization.

  • Simple discounts
  • Advanced discounts
  • Complex discounts


Further divided into two categories based on the element on which it applies.

  • Price based discounts
  • Cart based discounts
  • BOGO rules

1. Rule Complexity

Simple Discounts

These are discounts set up with very simple and common rules as mentioned below.

Eg: Get a 10% off on all products from the store.

Advantages of Simple Discounts?

  • Helps you get started immediately with discounts as they are available as easy to use options
  • You can enable them by choosing very few options from your plugin homepage tabs.
  • It will be available as basic customizable options in most of the WordPress discount plugins.

Eg: Here there are 4 unique products and there is a 10% discount on all of those.

1 Simple discount

Check the below video tutorial to create a percentage discount in your online store.

Advanced Discounts

These are discounts set up with slightly advanced rules than simple discounts.

Advantages of Advanced Discounts?

  • They are mostly available as customizable options in many of the discount plugins.
  • Now you are ready to go, provided you explored enough and got a grip on how to use advanced options in discount rules.

Eg: BOGO discounts

In this, the first product suggests that you are getting two memory cards at the price of one. The second product suggests that you get four socks at the price of two. The third product signifies that you are getting six back cases at the price of three.

2 Advanced Bogo discount

Complex Discounts

A discount that can be availed once the customer satisfies a particular complex logic in their purchase behavior.

Advantages of Complex Discounts?

  • Try designing your own “if” conditions for discounts
  • Create complex discount rules using logics
  • Try out something new other than the existing ones

The below example sounds extremely customized. You might either not find one or it might be difficult to find a plugin with a specific discount rule and install it just for using the same. So it is always rewarding to have a plugin that helps you set up your own discount rule.

Eg: Here there are 3 unique products in your cart A, B, and C. Provided you are buying 10 pieces of A, one piece of B and C. Here you can set up discounts by providing the product with the lowest price among the products in your cart for free.

3 Complex discount

2. Applicability

Price Discount Rules

Discounts applicable on the basis of price. Here the discount rule focusses on storewide prices where you can set up the following types of discounts.

Discount type

Discount Feature with example

Dynamic Pricing

Discounts provided for different tires of orders, customers or cart value

Product Category-specific Discount

Discounts for a particular product category. 

Here certain products can be included or excluded from discounts

Product Specific Discount

Certain products can be specified to apply discount

Time-limited Discounts

Discounts that are applicable only for a certain time period

Coupon based Discounts

Discounts that can be availed only by using coupons

User-role based Discount

Discounts that are given based upon the customer type

Custom user list based Discount

Discounts that are given only to a certain type of customers

Purchase History based Discount

Discounts that are given based on the customer’s purchase history

Conditional discounts

Discounts based on certain complex rules.

Cart Discount Rules

This option is used to provide discounts that are applicable to certain carts. Here the focus shifts more towards cart specifications and discounts can be given based on the following criteria. 

Cart Discount rules

Discount for carts fulfilling certain specifications

Cart subtotal discount

Discounts for carts meeting a certain range of subtotal value 

First-order Discount

Upfront discounts for customers who have not yet made a purchase 

Number of

Discounts for carts holding a certain number of products

Quantities in cart

Discounts for carts holding a bulk order of certain product

Free shipping

Free shipping can be enabled for only those carts satisfying a particular criteria

Free Shipping/Region based discount

Discounts that are given to a particular shipping region.


Difference between Price and cart-based discount rules

There is a simple difference between Price and Cart-based discount rules. In the former one, you select the discount value and choose whom to give it to. In the latter one, you choose the carts for which you intend to give discounts.
Though both have overlapping functionalities it gives clarity while setting up discounts.

BOGO Discount rules

This option/method helps you give “Buy One Get One” type of discount. Get to know that there are different variants for the same. It can be applied both on price and cart discount rules.

Buy one get one offer categories:

  • Buy 1 get 1
  • Buy 2 get 1
  • Buy 2 get 2 and so on
  • Buy 1 get 50% discount.

Learn how to give discounts

Choose the right discount and coupon plugin

  • Know about discounts and how they work
  • Make sure if the required features are covered
  • Choose the one with a good price transparency
  • Choose the one with good customer support
  • Go for an easy to use
  • Prefer a light-weighted plugin
  • Avoid installing multiple rule overriding plugins
  • The one that allows deep customization

How to set up discounts using Discount Rules for WooCommerce?

Log into your WordPress account -> Plugins -> Search for “WooCommerce Discount Rules”-> Install and Activate it.

insatll and activat discount rules for woocommerce plugin

You can also manually download and upload it in your WordPress dashboard and get started.

You can also download the pro version with added features.

Go to your WordPress dashboard -> WooCommerce -> Woo Discount Rules -> Price Discount Rules -> Add New Rule

4 woocommerce price discount rules

Now go to the “General” tab before you set your discount rule and specify the necessary details about your discount.

5 price rule general tab settings

Here there are two most important options which are “Priority” and “Method”. They are set up with a default option which is suitable for certain discount categories. Their importance and their variants that have to be used for different discount rule scenarios are discussed in the upcoming sections.

Know the types of discounts that can be given using WooCommerce discount rules?

1. Set up dynamic pricing and dynamic discounts

Dynamic pricing enables you to offer tailored prices for your customers. It helps you take your sales approach towards customer segmentation by providing discounts based on carts or customers satisfying a particular purchase behavior.6 woocommerce dynamic pricing

2. Set up Product Category Specific discounts

Here in the “Condition” tab, enable specific Categories option and select the category for which you would like to give a discount.
Here you can exclude or include a list of products or products that are already on sale, from the discount.

7 woocommerce category specific discounts

3. Set up Product-Specific discounts

Similarly, like the previous example after filling the necessary information in the general tab. Go to the “Conditions” tab and select the “Specific Product” option and choose products for those you wish to give discounts from the drop-down box.8 woocommerce product specific discounts

4. Provide time limited discounts

You can add validity/timer to your discount campaign. This makes the discount valid for a definitive period of time. Note that the timer will not be displayed on the customer front.

You can click on the “General” tab -> Set up the Validity option.

5. Provide discounts based on coupons

Provide discounts based on coupons. From the “Conditions” tab set up the coupon option.

6. Set up user role-based discounts

Provide discounts based on the type of customer in your WooCommerce store. Here you can choose the “User role” from the “Conditions” tab.

9 woocommerce userrole discount

7. Provide custom user list based discounts

Here you can provide discounts to a list of customers by using the “Customers” option from the “Conditions” tab where you can specify their names.

10 woocommerce custom userlist discounts

8. Provide purchase history based discounts

Discounts can be given based on purchase history. You can specify a minimum purchase value at the “Total purchased amount at least” option. You can also specify order status, the order quantity for which the discount should specifically apply.

11 woocommerce purchasehistory discount

9. Give conditional discounts

In order to give conditional discounts in the “General” tab change the “Method” to “Dependent/conditional based discount (by individual product)”

12 woocommerce conditional discount

In the “Conditions” tab choose your specifications.

13 woocommerce conditional discount

From the “Discount” tab choose the discount value.

14 woocommerce conditional percentage discount

Here you can set up complex conditional discounts by selecting a user-defined combination of various options.

10. Give cart-based rules for discounts

Certain discount rules can be set to apply directly to carts that satisfy certain “if” conditions.

Go to WooCommerce -> Woo Discount Rules -> Cart discount Rules

15 woocommerce cart discounts

Here in the below example, you are adding a cart rule that gives a conditional discount only to those carts having a 200 as cart subtotal value.

16 woocommerce cart condition discount rule

11. Provide first-order discounts

Provide discounts to your “to be customers” for their first orders by setting up the value of the “Number of previous orders made” to “Less than or equal to” “0” from the “Conditions” tab.

17 woocommerce firstorder discount

12. Give free shipping

From the “Discounts” tab, you can select the “Free shipping” option in order to enable free shipment to your location.

18 woocommerce free shipping

Here you can also provide free shipping for certain regions by selecting the country and state from the “Conditions” tab.

19 woocommerce shipment region based discount

13. Give a BOGO (Buy One Get One) discount

BOGO enables you to give Buy One Get One offers with a wide range of customizations.

Whether you choose price discount rule or cart discount rule. You can customize your BOGO rules using the “Discount” tab.
In the below example you are getting four products at the price of two.

20 bogo discount

Advanced discount settings that play key role

Apart from choosing your set of discount rules that need to be applied to your store. You should also pay attention to what user settings do you provide to your customers.

Internal settings- Please choose specifications like the following for your rules carefully.

  • Set up discount validity
  • Set up priority-based discount rules.

Display settings- You can choose to display contents like the following in your cart.

  • Plain discount
  • Display Discount price
  • A table
  • Sale badge
  • Display a message.

1. Internal settings

How to set up discount validity?

You can set up discounts for a set time period. In the below example you are setting up discount validity in the “General” tab that starts and ends in the future automatically.

21 discount rule setup

How to set up priority-based discount rules?

Always prioritize discounts by carefully assessing the rules. But, what if your customer satisfies multiple criteria under discounts. Well, you need not end up giving all of them. Here you need to prioritize what you need to give.

Here in the below example, the second customer satisfies two discounts but gets only one.22 woocommerce discount validity

Here the discount rule number “9” applies as it is specified as the “Priority”

23 woocommerce rule priority  based discount

2. Display Settings

How discounts are displayed in the front end matters. You get to customize what and how necessary information should be displayed in the customer front end in order to engage them.

Display price before and after discount like the one displayed in the image below using the following steps.

24 woocommerce display settings

Here the old price is crossed out and displayed adjacent to the new one.

25 striked price discount rule

How to provide next order coupons in WooCommerce?

26 next order coupon discounts

Provide discounts not only for today’s purchase but also for subsequent purchases so that customers stay motivated. By this, you tend to increase the frequency of your customer’s purchase. This rewards you with regular customers. Retainful plugin enables you to give your customers discounts for their next purchase with “Next Order Coupons”.

How to add sales countdown urgency marketing timer in WooCommerce?

27 woocommerce discount timer

Think about a scenario where there is a discount for an infinite time period. Wouldn’t your customers think about procrastinating their purchase? But at the same time what if there is an offer for a limited period of time? This will create Fear Of Missing Out and customers will think about buying it before the validity ends.
Sales Countdown timer for WooCommerce plugin helps create FOMO with attractive designs and helps you reap the complete benefits of your discount rule with a countdown timer.

How to provide the Prepaid Subscription option for WooCommerce?

28 freeshiping upfront subscription discount

Are you looking for a long term business with predictable cash flow? Subscription-based upfront payment is the best method. This can either be given as an option or as the only choice of payment and decide the time period.

Custom Delivery Schedules for WooCommerce Subscriptions plugin helps you give a prepaid subscription for delivering your WooCommerce store product at a regular time interval.

Note that you need to install the WooCommerce subscription plugin in order to sell subscription-based products.

How to make your Emails powerful with discounts?

29 custom email builder

Email marketing and notifications have become incredibly easy these days.
You can design emails and add discount coupons and much more using drag and drop email builder.

You can get started right now with zero coding knowledge and easily automate emails. Further, there are readymade templates for reference that come with Email Customizer for WooCommerce which is one of the best email builder plugins.

How to track and troubleshoot WooCommerce discount plugins?

First, check the plugin settings. In case if you have multiple plugins enabled at the same time, there are obvious chances that they are conflicting or overriding logically with each other.

Solution: You can try disabling any other plugin that can give discounts from the plugin section and see if it works.
If an option is “on” but if it is still not working? Then try disabling the option then enabling the same.


How to make your customers love your WooCommerce stores?
“Make your customers love your WooCommerce stores by giving the perfect discounts”

Be it a decline in sales, shopping cart abandonment or less revenue, most of the surveys suggest that the primary reason for less cash flow is price related. So, eCommerce marketing experts are trying out different strategies to combat this issue and discounts serve as one of the key solutions.

But before giving one, understand the types, importance, how it works and how to effectively implement the same. Importantly do not hesitate to take the expert’s support, which is the discount plugin and get familiar with discount tricks and hacks in order to enjoy high conversion rates.

And most importantly, discount needs as much attention as required while pricing a product because they directly reflect on the product price. Now you can freely explore and experiment with your discount rules and take a step forward by updating your eCommerce pricing trends.

Let us know your unique experiences and ideas regarding discounts in the comments section below.