There are many times, specially on big sales or weekend sales, that the activation of a coupon in a WooCommerce store needs to happen at a specific date and time. There is also typically a need to deactivate the coupon at a certain date as well (coupon expiry date). Did you know you can do that on WooCommerce without the need of a plugin and all for free. Yes! that functionality is already part of WooCommerce. In fact, scheduling the coupon is part of WordPress to be precise. Just like any other post or page, you can change the publish date of a coupon to any date and time that you pick and schedule the change.
Keep reading for a step by step process on how to schedule you coupons to a future date. No more waking up early to activate all those coupons!
Why would you need to schedule a WooCommerce coupon?
Let’s start with a bit of background. Why would I need to schedule a discount coupon? A discount coupon is a way to attract potential buyers and to incentivize existing buyers to buy more. It is an incentive. In marketing, when there is a campaign running, there are many psychological and emotional aspects that are in play. One of them is expectation. Let’s take the example of Cyber Monday or Black Friday. Have you seen online stores asking you to sign up to receive discounts on your email. Many times those discounts come in a form of a coupon. Those coupons are, in most cases, only valid for specific period of time. That way, most customers will wait till the coupon is valid to make a purchase. This way the store is generating a lot of traffic on those specific dates which they can turn into sales and a lot of opportunities for up-selling as well. In this scenario, the online store created the coupon code ahead of time, configured its validity for a specific period of time and send it over email to potential customers.
There are many advantages on providing coupons over email. It is also a very good way to keep your email subscribers interested in receiving your email communication from your store or products because now they know they get discounts on their mailbox.
And this is just one example of the use of discount coupons to bring more business. I am sure there are many more. Creativity is the key. But let’s get back to our business and explain how to setup you coupon’s validity dates.
How to schedule a WooCommerce coupon?
There are 4 simple steps to follow. This will only take you 5 minutes or less. Remember this functionality works as well on Posts and regular Pages in WordPress.
Create a coupon
First, head over to the coupons panel in WordPress.
If this is the first time you create a coupon, you will something like this:
Go ahead and click on the big “Create your first coupon” button or the “Add coupon” button at the top.
Then you will see a coupon configuration panel. Here you can setup the coupon code, which will be used by customers to apply the discount in their cart. The description, which is often shown in the cart or checkout as explanation of the discount as well as setup limitations, restrictions and many other configurations for a coupon which I won’t explain in detail here. I am sure there are plenty of resources out there that give you a full explanation on how to setup a coupon, just check out the official WooCommerce Coupon Management Documentation
Edit the published date
To schedule your discount coupon, you must go to the Publish panel on the right. The one above the “Publish” button.
Notice that the field “Publish” says immediately. Click on “Edit” link next to it.
Pick a date and time
You will then be presented with multiple fields to setup the date and time when the coupon will be published.
Schedule the coupon
Click “Ok” and then you will see that the “Publish” button now reads “Schedule”
Continue setting up the coupon as you normally would and finally click on “Schedule”. If everything is ok, you will see a notification like this.
You are all set!! The coupon will automatically enabled itself on the date and time that you pick. All for free! No plugins! No payments!
But wait, what about deactivating the coupon. Keep on reading.
How do I automatically disable a coupon at a specific date?
Simple. Once you are editing the coupon in the coupon configuration panel, go to the “General” section in the coupon data and look for the “Coupon expiry date” field. Click on it. A date selector will come up and just click on the date you want the coupon to automatically expire. Click the “Publish” button and you are all set. Keep in mind that the “Publish” button may not say that all the time. If you are just updating the coupon, the button will say “Update”. If you are scheduling the coupon for the first time it will say “Schedule”. But it is always located at the bottom of the “Publish” panel on the right.
Scheduling discount coupons is an excellent way to integrate them into your marketing campaigns and also an excellent way to reduce the stress of enabling coupons late at night or early morning on to meet the date. Just configure the coupons for the year and forget!