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katieand Alumni
Automatic Discounts for Square Point of Sale app

You can now set up discounts that automatically apply to single items or entire categories for a select period of time. So whether you host a happy hour from 5 to 7 p.m. or offer a 20% discount on sweaters all of March, these discounts now automatically apply and end based on your rules!

 

Create and edit discounts from your online Square Dashboard or from the Square app. 

 

Create and Edit Discounts

 

Square App

 

  1. Tap the three horizontal lines > Items.
  2. Tap Discounts > Create Discount or select a discount to modify.
  3. Enter the discount details and tap Save.

 

You can edit the name and percentage or dollar amount of manual and automatic discounts from the app. To set and edit rules for automatic discounts, sign in to your online Square Dashboard. Discounts can also be deleted from the Square app.

 

Online Square Dashboard

 

  1. Visit Items > Discounts in your online Square Dashboard.
  2. Click Create New Discount.
  3. Enter the discount details > Save.

 

Note: If you’d like to create a variable discount so you can enter the amount at checkout, leave the Amount field blank.

 

Create Automatic Discounts

 

Create automatic discounts for specific items and categories, daily specials like happy hours, or limited time offers.

Note: At this time, automatic discounts can only be created from your online Square Dashboard.

 

Create Automatic Item or Category Discounts

 

  1. Visit Items > Discounts in your online Square Dashboard.
  2. Click Create New Discount.
  3. Enter the discount details.
  4. Toggle on Auto Apply to Items and Categories.
  5. Click Select Items to apply discounts to certain items or categories automatically.
  6. Choose up to 100 individual items or categories and click Done. To select all items, select the checkbox next to the Items heading.
  7. Click Save.

 

Create a Recurring Discount

 

  1. Visit Items > Discounts in your online Square Dashboard.
  2. Click Create Discount to add a new discount.
  3. Enter the discount details.
  4. Toggle on Auto Apply to Items and Categories.
  5. Click Select Items to apply discounts to certain items or categories automatically.
  6. Choose up to 100 individual items or categories and click Done. To select all items, select the checkbox next to the “Items” heading.
  7. Toggle on Set Schedule.
  8. Set the days of the week and times of day this discount is available.
  9. Click Save.

 

Create a Limited Time Discount

 

  1. Visit Items > Discounts in your online Square Dashboard.
  2. Click Create New Discount.
  3. Enter the discount details.
  4. Toggle on Auto Apply to Items and Categories.
  5. Click Select Items to apply discounts to certain items or categories automatically.
  6. Choose up to 100 individual items or categories and click Done. To select all items, select the checkbox next to the “Items” heading.
  7. Toggle on Set Date Range and select dates to create a limited time discount.
  8. Click Save.

 

It’s important to note that online store discounts apply to the entire sale and are not available with auto apply discount rules at this time.

 

For example: Let’s say you limit the number of times a discount can be applied to 10. If 2 customers use this discount, and you later update to only allow the discount to be applied 8 times, only 6 will remain available for your customers to use in the future.

 

For more information, be sure to check out our Discounts FAQ and how to create and manage discounts articles.


Thanks for being part of the Seller Community! This update was made possible thanks to feedback like yours, so please keep it coming!

69 Comments
HeatherS

THIS is a great update! The ability to program sales rather than rely on our Associates to know what is on sale. Good one!

Krhodes

This is still not doing what I was hoping you were adding.

 

I run a doughnut shop.  We sell both indiviudal doughnuts, and half dozens.  When peopel buy 6 or more, there is a discount applied.  I want to be able to have indivudal buttons for each flavor of doughnut, and then when there are 6 or more, my employees can hit a "half dozen discount" button, that will take a percentage off, but only of doughnuts, not any drinks the customer may be buying.

 

Right now, we have to have seperate buttons for all the doughnuts at both full price, and discounted half dozen pricing.  This is too many buttons, so we group the prices into categories, instead of listing out all the flavors.  That means I can't track which doughnuts are most popular or selling best on certain days.

 

Why can't there be a discount button, that is selected before checkout, but is restricted to a particular category.  I don't want it to automatically apply all the time, only when we want to use it.

HeatherS

@Krhodes, I have set discounts like 25% Off, 30% Off, 50% Off, etc. that we use in our store & cafe. When our team wants to apply a discount to one item in a transaction, they ring in the item, select the item in the transaction, go to discounts, select a discount and then proceed with the transaction with only the one selected item being discounted with the selected discount. Have you tried this in your shop?

SGC

Love the new automatic items and categories feature, super helpful! However this feature would be most helpful for the online store, does anyone know if this feature will be applied to online stores anytime soon?

doghouse56258

@katieand 

 

This is a great update, but it doesn't address my original request. 

I offer a discount for military, veterans, EMS, and veterinary community members (I run a doggie daycare and boarding kennel). I have these customers identified in their profiles as "superheroes", and I want to be able to have the discount automatically apply to make sure they're receiving it, rather than have to rely on staff to remember to click the discount button.

Is this going to be added to a future development?

 

Thanks!

elaine_p Square

Hi @doghouse56258 - I've got it on my feature request list. Thank you for sharing it! 

elaine_p Square

@Krhodes I hear you on the volume discounts. We're thinking about it as a discount rule you could set that would apply when customers hit the quantity you specify on certain items to get a discount. So your rule would be 6 of any flavor doughnut, and when 6 or more were added to the cart, the discount would kick in. Let me know if that would help, or if you have a reason you're wanting the cashier to hit the discount button.  

400º

@elaine_p - would be great to also have 'if they buy X then discount a purchase of Y'. So for me, get a drink half price when they buy a pizza. 


elaine_p Square

Makes sense @400º! Thank you. 

Tommer

I also would love to see :

1. An amount discount - buy 12 donuts, get a $1 discount. And the ability to have it multiple time per transaction, so a customer can buy 2 dozens and get 2 discounts.

2. Combo/bundle deals - buy 2 donuts and a coffee, get a $0.5 discount. And also here to be able to have multiple discounts.

 

The system would prefer the bigger discount, so if a customer buys 12 donuts and a coffee, then she'd get the $1 off rather than the $0.5.

 

Both seem pretty basic for a lot of small businesses and will save a lot of time at the register.

elaine_p Square

Makes sense @Tommer, thank you for the detailed examples. Today we can support choosing the best discount for the buyer in the case of multiple auto apply discounts, so future discount types like amount discounts or combos will have that behavior too. I hope to have an update to share for amount discounts soon!

Tommer

Make it so @elaine_p , and there will be parades in the streets 🙂

Seriously, for small businesses these would be killer features that some of competition (ahm, cl**er, ahm) is really struggling with.

alexam1012

@elaine_p , from what I have been able to gather, it appears that Square has been working on ability to auto-apply a discount based on specific number of items?  Would this be able to handle things like "Buy 2 get 1 FREE" so that when you ring the 3rd item it automatically registers it as a free item?

elaine_p Square

Correct, @alexam1012 , that is the behavior we are working on.

davefackler

I love this new update!  But, any word on an old problem related to $ discounts that we want to apply to a single item in in a ticket?  From what I remember, only % discounts can be applied to a single item - not $ discounts.  Has that been addressed yet?  Here's the use case:  we have a Ladies Night where all ladies get $1.00 off all drinks for the night.  I can't use the new automatic discount for that as it would apply to EVERY drink sold that night - we want it to only apply to drinks sold to ladies.  Thus, I'm assuming we will still have to have our bartenders enter the discount.  That said, at present (unless this has been updated), the bartenders have to count the number of drinks sold and then enter the $ discount manually to reflect X dollars off on the ticket.  Way too hard.  Or are we doing this wrong?

Sctn4elk

@davefackler AFAIK only % discounts can be applied to an item....makes it really hard when 4 people are on one ticket and you have to keep track of what the ladies drink. 

Admin

Glad you're liking this update @davefackler! In regards to your question about dollar amount discounts- this is still a feature request. Having your bartenders count up the number of drinks and then applying the discount that way is unfortunately the correct way to continue applying your Ladies Night discount. 😔

 

I checked in to see if there's an update I can provide but there's not at this time. If and when this feature launches, we'll absolutely keep you posted here in the Community.

 

 

 

400º

 @davefackler a workaround for you is to drop the 1980s concept of a ladies night and join us all in 2019 😉 

davefackler

Really?  That’s your helpful comment?

Admin

@davefackler I love a good Ladies Night! Hopefully we can make some adjustments to make the checkout flow easier for you in the future. 💯

elaine_p Square

Discounts based on the quantity purchased like Buy One Get One are now available for Beta testing. When qualifying items are added to an order, your discounts will apply automatically. 

 

To join the beta, you will need to do two things: 

  1. Make sure you have at least version 5.17 of the Square Application. 
  2. Comment in this thread so we can turn on the feature for you. Once we message back that you’re good to go, you can go to your Square Dashboard to create your discounts. 
  • Coming soon to Square for Retail. Auto apply discounts are not yet available for Virtual Terminal Itemized sales, Appointments, or Invoices. 

 

In the beta, you can create different types of quantity based discounts: 

  • Exact Purchase Quantity
  • Minimum Purchase Quantity
  • Buy X Get Y

 

There is always some risk of discovering a problem in a beta program, so you may want to start small before rolling it out across your business. If you do encounter an issue, our recommendation is to delete quantity-based auto apply discounts and alert us to the problem. 

 

Edits: adjusted instructions to join the beta now that the minimum version for application is in production. 

elaine_p Square

@Krhodes @400º @alexam1012 

 

Our quantity-based discount feature is now available to test on Square Register, Square Terminal, Square Point of Sale, and Square Restaurants. (coming soon to Square for Retail). To test, you will need the latest version of the app, and to reply back to this thread or via message and I will turn on the feature flag. More details in the post above. 

400º
@elaine_p Count me in! Can you confirm this will be with the latest general release software build though?
elaine_p Square

Yes! Version 5.17 in Square Point of Sale; 3.9 or 3.10 in Square Register or Square Terminal. You can check the version by looking at Support > About. 

 

You should now see the option to select quantity discounts when you create discounts in dashboard.

GLl

Would like this feature as well please.

greatto

hi @elaine_p i would like this feature please. thanks

bobalove

Hello, we would like to test this feature out! 

elaine_p Square

Hi @bobalove , @greatto , and @GLl

 

I added you all to the test group for volume based auto apply discounts. A few things to note: 

  1. Make sure you have at least Square Point of sale version 5.17, Square for Retail 2.8, or Square Register or Terminal version 3. You can check the device version in your app by going to support > about
  2. Auto apply discounts can be created in the Square Dashboard
  3. If discounts are added manually, note that the rules set up for auto apply will be overridden. To restrict the ability to manually apply discounts with rules, select 'Passcode Required' when you create the discount. Then only employees with permission to edit items can apply the discount manually. 

Feel free to share any feedback or questions with me! 

GLl

Thanks Elaine, we’ve been using this for the past week or so, and it seems like some of the earlier bugs have been worked out eg was applying both a 6 item and 12 item discount if 12 items were purchased, wasn’t saving updates to categories add to discount.

 

Haven’t had any issues the last few days.

 

Would be nice if we could add customers to a discount in addition to item and category.

 

Thanks!

elaine_p Square

Thank you! 

bobalove

Hi @elaine_p ,

 

So I created an automatic discount to use for our Happy Hour. The deal for our happy hour is Buy One, Get One Half Off. Usually with these types of discounts, we apply the discount to the drink that is equal or lesser in value. I'm not sure if this is a bug or not, but currently Square is applying the discount to the most expensive drink rather than the cheaper one. Is this intended or a bug in the system?

 

Thank you! 

elaine_p Square

Hi @bobalove  - that is how it is designed to work today - we only apply one auto apply discount and optimize to give the best deal to the buyer. It sounds like we should look at adding the ability to give the best deal or to discount the lowest priced item so that you can choose. Thanks for the feedback!

Krhodes

@elaine_p We are using the square pos hardware (not an iPad), does the quantity based discount beta work on that yet?

 

Also, I'm surprised you would make it discount in favor of the customer.  In no retail store ever has it been that the more expensive item is discounted.  Never in any of my years of retail or restaurant experience have I seen a company do it that way.  It is always equal or lesser value.  It even says that on almost all coupons.

Sctn4elk

Who in their right mind would discount the more expensive item? Square works for the business owner, not the customer. Who made the decision to discount the more expensive item? Seems in very poor judgement if you ask me.

elaine_p Square

@Krhodes - it will work with Square's hardware. 

 

We applied the heuristic at a higher level to determine which auto apply discount should apply in the case when different offers would apply and we are choosing which one to use. I hear you and @Sctn4elk that it is more common, especially for quantity discounts, to discount the item that is of lesser value. Thank you for raising it as a need. 

Krhodes

@elaine_p  there is one more piece to this feature that I think we would need.  In our state, when something is sold packaged 6 or more, it is considered grocery, and does not carry a meal tax.  I am going to test this out as it.  But it would be nice if there was an option to turn off meals tax for those items, when the discount is in effect.  Basically we do not collect sales tax on half dozens and dozens.  If that makes sense.

bobalove

Hi @elaine_p - Thanks for the reply. As others have stated, I agree that having the discount be applied to the item that is of equal or lesser value is definitely needed. Especially when the discount is contingent on the purchase of another item. 

 

Also, I haven't been able to figure out a way to do this.. but is there a way to auto-apply a discount to a whole transaction and on certain items ONLY when the discount is selected from the list of discounts? We offer a variety of discounts to customers (student, military, police, firemen, etc.) that is only good towards their drinks and not on any merchandise. Currently, if someone in the military were to come in and order 4 drinks, 1 hat and a t-shirt.. my employees would have to hit the "Discounts" button, apply the military discount to their whole transaction, then select the hat to remove the discount, and then select the t-shirt to remove the discount. It would be great to have everything be auto-applied for a whole transaction on applicable items if a certain discount is selected. 

elaine_p Square

Makes sense @Krhodes. We don't have a way to automatically turn off taxes based on quantity today, but I understand what you would need there. 

 

@bobalove today we don't have the ability to use rules with manual discounts, but I can see how it would be useful. One question on the military discount - do you anticipate having your cashier add a "military" tag of some kind to the customer's record once they verify their eligibility? Or, would you expect the customer to present their military ID with each order and the cashier would hit the "Military Discount" button? 

bobalove

Hi @elaine_p - since we are more of a casual tea shop, we just ask for a military/student ID for each order. It would take my employees too long to set-up accounts for customers and apply a military or student tag.

elaine_p Square

For those of you interested in Buy X Get Y (aka BOGO) discounts - let's imagine you have a buy one get one half off discount running. There are three qualifying items in an order, one for $10, one for $7.50, and one for $5. How would you expect the logic to work? 

A: Customer pays full price for the $10 item and gets the discount on the least expensive $5 item

B: Customer pays full price for the $10 item and gets the discount on the $7.50 item

 

Pesso Super Seller

Good question, @elaine_p 

I think there should be different rules depending on the Discount Type/System itself - sometimes the customer should benefit, sometimes the seller should benefit. Ideally the seller gets to set the rules for their own discounts.

In the case that you mentioned, personally I would say that A: the $7.50 item would get the discount. It's the most fair to the customer and the seller, especially since they "could be" getting more off if they bought two $10 items.

 

But I could think of other stores that would set the rules so that B: the $5 item would get the discount. 

 

But it definitely should never happen that the $10 item gets the discount.

Sctn4elk

A good read on BOGO offers can be found here. Typically BOGO offers are handled in pairs, so the $10 and $7.50 are a pair and the $5 is the odd transaction out and could clearly be used as a sales opportunity. The seller should try to upsale the transaction and get the buyer to add a 4th item and use their second BOGO discount. By doing that you just increased your margin sales and the customer felt that they got a bargain.

In the $10, $7.50 and $5 item example, the $5 can be thrown out of the mix because it stands alone. The standard BOGO operation is the discount applies to an item of equal or lesser value. You should never, ever, discount the highest priced item.

However, with all of that said, Square should never be the one to make business decisions on how our businesses operate. You give us the tools and we decide how to implement them.

bobalove

@elaine_p 

 

Definitely Option B. We would apply the discount to the $7.50 item. For us, it wouldn't make sense to apply the discount to the $5.00 item because the customer could just request to do 2 separate transactions to maximize their savings. 

 

The way that I train my employees to apply the BOGO Half Off discounts (since they aren't automatic yet) is to go from highest to lowest and work in pairs. So if they were to order 4 items ($10.00, $4.50, $7.00 & $3.00).. $10.00 is the highest (and would have to be regular priced), and then the $7.00 item would be half off. The next highest price after that pair is the $4.50 item, and then the $3.00 item would be half off. 

elaine_p Square

Thank you all for the feedback! If anyone does things differently, I'd would still love to hear more examples.

Krhodes

So the new quantity based automatic discount is great.  But to my dismay, it does not work in the square online store.  So I still can't use this basic tool for my customers to make orders.  Not the new weebly version, just the old square online store system.  Is it possible this could be "ported" over to also work on that platform?

400º

@elaine_p  - I’m not seeing any options for the discounts to set in my online dashboard? 

 

 

Scrap that - I just wasn’t doing it properly!

herboganic

Hi,

I'd like to register for the beta for this.

 

Thanks

400º

@elaine_p  - any info for if you buy X AND Y discount rather than just overall quantity?

elaine_p Square

@herboganic - I added you to the program and will send a follow up note with details. 

 

@400º - After setting up your quantity, when you click "Add Discount Rule"  and select the last option, "Buy One Get One". Note that in our test version, our logic currently applies the discount to an item of equal or greater value. Until we update with logic to apply to equal or lesser value, I would recommend that you create BOGOS for groups of items that are the same price. 

Screen Shot 2019-08-15 at 10.24.13 AM.png

400º

Thanks @elaine_p  - that works just how I need for ‘buy a pizza, get £1 off a drink’ offer as it’s setting a £ value on the drink so no higher/lower issue on this one. 


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