InterCommerce SecureSystem

VOE Coupon System Administration

How does the VOE Coupon System work?

Each coupon is a pointer to a record in our coupon database. Authorized merchants can create their own coupons and distribute them. The coupons are "digital" - simply a sequence of letters and numbers

How are coupons distributed?

When you create (Generate) a coupon, you are basically generating a "coupon code". There are two main ways the coupons can be utilized: A separate page gives you html examples of how to deploy and distribute coupon codes. For more details see: Using Coupon Codes.

Anatomy of a Coupon Code

The coupon code consists of three parts: merchant identifer-coupon id-pin code

The merchant identifier is typically the merchant ID. It can be set to other things and used as another type of identifier if you desire.

The coupon id is the record number of the coupon data on file. We use this number to retrieve the coupon information (details on the type of coupon, its discount amount/methods and any restrictions). This ID can also be used to recall the coupon for later editing.

The pin code is a unique 4-digit identifier associated with the coupon. In order to recall the coupon, the entire Coupon Code must be specified. The Pin Code is generated when you create a new coupon (or you can specify your own). When the coupon is specified by the consumer, the pin code must match what's on file or the coupon will not be considered valid. There are over 450,000 possible pin code combinations so the coupon's security is quite solid - it would take weeks for someone arbitrarily trying coupon codes to even think they'd have a chance of guessing one. If necessary, the system can accomodate much larger pin codes for exponentially higher security.

The Coupon Administrative System

Here is what the main screen looks like:

Coupon Name:
Merchant ID:
PIN Code:
Customer IP: (BLANK=unused, otherwise coupon has been used)
Deleted: (makes coupon inactive)
Discount Type:
Discount Amount: (Use 0.10 for ten percent)
Product Prefix: (products id prefixes discount applies to)
Minimum Purchase:
Expiration Date: (MM/DD/YYYY) Leave blank for none.
Coupon Use Count: (# times coupon has been used - see below)
Max Coupon Uses: (MAX limit the coupon can be used - will conflict with unique setting below)
Additional Restrictions: Unique (coupon can only be used one time by any consumer)
Exclusive (coupon cannot be used with any other coupons)

 ID: Code:

First, let's explain the BUTTONS on the form: (NOTE: Never Double-Click on these buttons!)

The GENERATE button is the key which creates a new coupon. It's important to make sure you have all the proper fields specified before you press the Generate button otherwise you will create an invalid coupon that could cause problems. Note that EACH time this button is pressed a new coupon is created, so do not double-click, and do not press Generate again if you created a coupon and didn't like its settings - to make changes after the coupon has been created, use UPDATE.

When GENERATE is pressed it does two things: It appends a new coupon to the database which includes the options you have specified in the form, AND if the Pin Code field is blank, it will randomly generate a sequence of characters to be used as the last section of the coupon code. It's important that each coupon have a different pin code otherwise the coupon codes are more easily guessable. So make sure you have the Pin Code field empty when you press GENERATE.

Once you press GENERATE, a coupon code is created - you will see at the top of the screen two new pieces of information displayed: A Coupon Code, and a URL link called "TEST". You should write down the coupon code you just created and/or make a note of the URL linked to "TEST" (right click on TEST and select "copy link location" and then paste the URL into a text file or other place where you're keeping track of coupon codes and URLs).

The UPDATE button will write changes in the form for the currently-displayed coupon, effectively updating it. (Typically, you use this button to edit a coupon you just created, or after you use the FIND command below to display a particular coupon). When you press this button, the coupon data is saved to the system - the same thing happens with GENERATE except Generate creates a new coupon EACH time you press the button.

The FIND button allows you to recall a previously generated coupon from the database and display its options. You can then use UPDATE to change the coupon details.

You can use FIND in two ways: you can input the ID, which is the middle number in the coupon code, or you can specify the entire coupon code. Each time you create a coupon code, the ID number will increment by one. So you can generally tell how many coupons you have by trying to use FIND to pull up coupon # 1, 2, etc. It's generally recommended that you print out the page when you create a coupon so you have a better record of the code and the details.

Coupon Fields

This section details each of the fields of a coupon record and what functions they serve:

Walk-thru of creating some coupons

Here are a few samples of coupons and what fields would be set to create the coupon. Unless otherwise specified, fields not mentioned should be left blank - especially the PIN Code field. I'm only concentrating on specific fields which give the coupon the functionality described; there may be other fields which can be set to employ more restrictions or functionality.

For the first item, I'll outline all the field values, the rest, just the important ones:

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