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Coupons VS Discounts VS Specials in OpenCart: What is the Difference?

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There are many different promotional methods for an online store. The most effective ones are those that offer some possibilities for clients to save some money.

Retailers often lower their prices to keep up with competitors or with the aim to raise the interest to particular products to get more orders. In OpenCart there are included the possibilities to temporarily reduce the price with the help of discounts, specials and coupons. However, there exists a common misconception is that these notions are interchangeable. On one hand, they all are effective pricing methods, but on the other hand, there are a few major differences between them.

Have a look at explanation of these promotion methods usages and their main difference outlined below.


Generally, discount is used to decrease the price of a current product, but only on condition that a customer buys more than indicated number of one and the same item. In other words, if you buy one piece, it’s cost is $100, but if you buy, let’s say, three and more pieces, then each would cost $89. This is great way for client to save in case he/she needs a few copies of one and the same entity. The more customers buy, the more they save. The discount option can also be targeted on a designated customer group. This can be a long-term pricing strategy as well as time-limited.

opencart discounts


A special is a price of the product you put on sale. It is lower price comparing to ordinary cost of the item and is usually available for limited period of time. For example, a product may have cost $100, but let’s say during holiday weekends with the help of specials option in OpenCart you can set the price to $95. That way customers see the “old price – new price”. Usually this difference provokes them to buy a product, as there is the chance to save. This type of pricing is better used as a short-term tactic during the holiday period, sales week or to keep up with competitor’s price cut.

opencart specials


Coupons provide you the possibility to further lower the price of products by using unique codes. Basically, these are special short texts which customers enter on the checkout page to get the total order price reduced. You can also set a start and end date plus limit the number of times the coupon code is used.

Is It Possible to Use Special, Discount and Coupon Together?

Yes, however if promotional rules overlap, then special price has got higher priority than discount and it’a value is taken into account and discount is ignored.

The reason is because discounts are considered to be set for longer periods of time while specials for shorter ones (special events, discount week, black friday, etc.). In this case when a product has both discount and special set, the special is used.

Coupon in its turn can be applied along with special as well as discount.

opencart coupons

Discount, Special and Coupon: Comparison

Where available
At Product Page
A Product Page
At checkout (if you have code)
Can be added to
Individual Products
Individual Products
Individual Products +
Goods from definite category
Quantity reduction
Possibility to make percentage reductions
Who can use them
Customers of certain client groups
Customers of certain client groups
All who have the code
Need to be applied additionally
Possibility to limit amount of usages

It takes a little bit of practice, but hope that this tutorial helped you understand pricing tactics better. Use discounts, specials and coupons to raise buying initiative of your clients!

Need to be able to add and manage them easier? The following article will be useful -

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