Installation ↑ Back to top
- Download the .zip file from your WooCommerce account.
- Go to WordPress Admin > Plugins > Add New and Upload Plugin with the file you downloaded with Choose File.
- Install Now and Activate the extension.
More information at: Install and Activate Plugins/Extensions.
Requirements ↑ Back to top
Gift Cards requires a WordPress hosting environment that supports background processing through Action Scheduler, the task queuing system built into WooCommerce. WooCommerce core uses Action Scheduler for many important tasks, such as installing updates. Gift Cards depends on Action Scheduler for processing and e-mailing Gift Card codes to recipients. If WP Cron is disabled on your system, or if your server is unable to “talk to itself” (perform loopback requests), Action Scheduler will not work, and gift card code deliveries may fail.
Understanding Gift Card Types ↑ Back to top
There are two types of gift cards:
Prepaid Gift Cards
Prepaid gift cards are multi-use, stored-value codes that must be purchased by customers before they can be issued. From an accounting perspective, they are usually further classified into single-purpose and multi-purpose gift cards. This influences how the gift card is taxed at purchase, and how it needs to be accounted when it is redeemed.
- Single-purpose gift cards are issued for a specific product or service. They are typically taxed at purchase just like the product they are associated with, and treated like discounts when redeemed.
- Multi-purpose gift cards can be redeemed to purchase multiple products. They are not taxed at purchase: Instead, when a multi-purpose gift card is purchased, the cash received is treated as a liability, which shifts into a sale when the gift card is redeemed. For this reason, tax must be assessed on the products purchased when the gift card is redeemed. Additionally, multi-purpose gift cards are often subject to breakage, which means that they may need to be recorded as revenue if left unredeemed beyond a certain time.
Promotional Gift Cards
Promotional gift cards are multi-use, stored-value codes that can be issued without receiving any cash from customers. As their name suggests, they are used in marketing campaigns. Usually, they are generated and sent to customers either individually, using automation, or in bulk for use in retargeting campaigns.
This type of gift cards is accounted like coupons. Since no cash is received when promotional gift cards are issued, they are treated like discounts when redeemed.
Selling Gift Cards ↑ Back to top
Gift Cards allows you to create and sell prepaid, multi-purpose digital gift cards that customers can use to pay for orders at your store. Customers may purchase gift cards for themselves, or for others.
Every time you receive an order with a gift card, a unique gift card code of equal value is generated and e-mailed to the specified recipient. The recipient of the code can:
- Use it to pay for orders by entering the code directly at checkout.
- Add it to their account for later use.
For details, refer to Redeeming Gift Cards. Note that from now on, we will refer to redeeming as “the process of adding a gift card to an account”. This process allows a customer with an account on your site to secure a gift card code. Once a gift card code has been redeemed by a customer, its balance is added to the total gift card balance of the customer. This balance can be used to make purchases without having to enter a code.
Creating Gift Card Products ↑ Back to top
Gift Cards does not introduce a dedicated product type. Instead, it allows you to use Simple or Variable products as a basis for selling gift cards.
To create a Simple gift card:
- Go to Products > Add New.
- Choose the Simple product type.
- Enable the Gift Card option.
- In the General tab, enter the price of your gift card.
- Enter a Title and Description.
- Choose a Product Image.
- Save your gift card.
To create a Variable gift card:
- Go to Products > Add New.
- Choose the Variable product type.
- Enable the Gift Card option.
- Follow this guide to: i) add a Price attribute (and perhaps a Design attribute), and ii) create the variations you need.
Customizing Recipient E-mails
E-mails sent to gift card recipients follow the standard transactional WooCommerce e-mail format. The template added by the extension is called Gift Card Received and includes an image/design element that can be customized per product/variation. To set this image:
- Edit the gift card product you have created.
- Navigate to Product Data > General.
- Choose a Recipient Email Image option.
There are 3 Recipient Email Image options:
- None — Choose this option if you don’t want to include any image/design in “Gift Card Received” e-mails.
- Use Product — Choose this option to include the featured product image in “Gift Card Received” e-mails.
- Upload Custom — Choose this option to specify or upload a custom image/design for “Gift Card Received” e-mails.
To offer multiple gift card designs for different occasions, you have two options:
- Create a separate gift card product for each occasion, and group all of them in a dedicated product category.
- Create a Variable gift card and add a variation attribute that customers can use to select the design of their liking.
In both cases, you can use the product- or variation-level Recipient Email Image option to specify the image/design you wish to display in recipient e-mails.
The extension does not include any custom images/designs, but feel free to get in touch with us for ideas and suggestions.
Making Gift Card Codes Expire ↑ Back to top
Every time a gift card product is purchased, a unique gift card code of equal value is generated. By default, this code remains valid indefinitely. However, it is possible to issue expiring gift card codes. The extension allows you to choose how long an issued gift card code should remain valid, counting from its delivery date. This can be configured for each individual gift card:
- Edit the gift card.
- Navigate to Product Data > General.
- Locate the Time to Expire option.
- Enter a time period in days.
Managing Gift Cards ↑ Back to top
Viewing Gift Card Codes ↑ Back to top
Gift card codes are created when a customer orders a gift card product. You can view, search, and edit all issued gift card codes in your store from WooCommerce > Gift Cards. This data is visible to Admins and Store Managers only. The following information is available:
- Available Balance
- Date Issued
- From (Sender)
- To (Recipient)
- Redeemed By
You can search for an issued gift card by code, sender, or recipient. You can also filter gift card codes by date, and further limit results to gift cards that have been redeemed by a specific customer.
The Status of an issued gift card indicates whether it can be redeemed, or used to pay for orders. A gift card will be listed as inactive if:
- It is scheduled for delivery at a later date.
- It has expired.
- It has been disabled manually.
You can view and edit individual gift cards by clicking their code.
Editing Gift Card Codes ↑ Back to top
Clicking a gift card code allows you to inspect its data, and edit some of it. The following fields are editable:
- From — the sender’s name as the sender intended it to appear to the recipient.
- To — the recipient’s e-mail address.
- Message — the sender’s message to the recipient.
- Delivery date
- Expiration date
From this page, you may also:
- Send the recipient notification.
- Enable or disable the gift card code to prevent customers from redeeming or using it.
- Redeem the gift card code for a customer to add it to their account.
Creating prepaid gift card codes manually is not possible. Remember that prepaid gift cards are not coupons. While coupons do not require any special handling from an accounting point of view, prepaid gift cards do, as they must be recorded as a liability.
Viewing Gift Card Activity ↑ Back to top
The extension records all gift card activity and transactions and makes this information available to store managers under WooCommerce > Gift Cards > Activity. An event is logged when:
- A gift card code is issued.
- A gift card code is redeemed.
- A gift card’s balance is used to pay for an order.
- A gift card’s balance is refunded via an order.
The information is organized in the following columns:
- Gift Card Code
- Customer — the customer who purchased the gift card, or the customer who placed the order using the specified gift card code.
- Event Type — issue, credit, or debit.
You can search for events/transactions by gift card code, or customer. You can also filter gift card codes by date, and further limit results to events that involve a specific customer.
Viewing Gift Card Reports ↑ Back to top
Store managers can use reports to track:
- Issued gift card balance.
- Expired gift card balance.
- Used gift card balance.
These reports can be generated from WooCommerce > Reports > Gift Cards.
Purchasing Gift Cards ↑ Back to top
Gift cards can be purchased like any other product in your store. When purchasing a gift card, customers must specify:
- One or more recipients.
- The sender’s name, as it will appear to the recipient(s) in the notification e-mail.
- A short message.
- A delivery date.
When the order is placed, a unique gift card code is generated. Depending on the specified delivery date, the code will be e-mailed to the specified recipient(s):
- Within a few minutes, if the gift card was purchased for immediate delivery.
- On the specified date, at roughly the same time, if the gift card was purchased for delivery at a future date.
Redeeming Gift Cards ↑ Back to top
Once a gift card code is generated, anyone with access to its code can:
- Use the code to pay for orders by entering the code directly at checkout.
- Redeem the gift card by adding it to their account for later use.
Once a gift card code has been redeemed by a customer, its balance is added to the total gift card balance of their account. This process allows customers to make purchases without having to remember or enter codes at checkout, provided they are logged in.
From their Account page, customers can view their:
- Total gift cards balance.
- Redeemed gift cards that are still active.
- History of gift card transactions.
Paying with Gift Cards ↑ Back to top
Paying with gift card balance provides a fast, secure, mobile-friendly checkout experience for logged in customers. To pay for an order using their gift card balance, customers only need to tick the “Use $XX.XX from your Gift Card balance” checkbox:
It is also possible to pay by entering an unredeemed gift card directly at checkout: Unredeemed gift card codes can be used like this multiple times by different customers with access to a gift card code. Note that unredeemed gift card codes can be redeemed by any customer at any point.