Monitoring Promotions for the Holiday Season

With Black Friday and Cyber Monday coming up fast, it is safe to assume that most retailers are running some form of promotion: flat discounts, percentage discounts, bogo, free shipping, etc. But how are you monitoring those orders and discounts? How long would it take you to realize, in the midst of your busiest days of sales, that something was setup wrong?

We all make mistakes, but here are some of the most common promotion mistakes in Magento that can sometimes go unnoticed:

  1. Making a flat discount instead of a percentage discount (or vice versa)
  2. Not properly attaching a customer group or customer segment
  3. Incorrectly setting up the conditions
  4. Incorrectly setting up the actions

As a results of these mistakes, customers end up getting either too much off or access to a discount that was not intended for them. These mistakes cost money, waste time, and cause customer service nightmares.

So, how can you monitor and detect promotion issues? Below are the 3 most important KPIs related to promotions and what each typically means if the numbers are out of control.

  1. Percentage of orders discounted – the percentage of all the orders that have a discount applied to them
  2. Percentage discounted – the average percent discount on each order that is discounted
  3. Percent of orders with free shipping – your free shipping rules are not being applied correctly


Monitoring these KPIs also helps to detect things you cannot control, like customers trying to game the system or special coupon codes being posted coupon aggregators such as RetailMeNot. Getting an alert when there is a deviation from the normal range enables you to investigate and minimize issues.

It’s not too late to start monitoring. You can join the Magento beta program for FREE; just use invite code blogbeta. You can install and setup alerts in 15 minutes without impacting your store or other modules.


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