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Automatic Discount Applied At Checkout (WooCommerce Guide)

Automatic Discount Applied At Checkout (WooCommerce Guide)

Unfortunately, lots of e-commerce stores struggle with high cart abandonment rates. Offering a generous discount applied at checkout is a great way to combat this. However, your efforts could complicate your checkout process and confuse customers.

Luckily, you can avoid this by setting up an automatic discount applied at checkout. This way, you’ll be able to increase customer satisfaction while maintaining a streamlined ordering flow.

In this post, we’ll introduce you to automatic discounts applied at checkout and explain the benefits of using this strategy. Then, we’ll show you how to do this using WooCommerce coupons. Let’s dive in!

An Introduction to Automatic Discounts Applied at Checkout

Providing customers with discounts and coupons is a timeless marketing strategy.

Originally, people would only use paper coupons. Today, in a world that revolves around e-commerce, discount codes are more common:

The discount code field at checkout in an online store
Discount code field at checkout in an online store (click to zoom)

Usually, customers need to enter a unique code at checkout in order to receive a discount. This coupon model makes sense when you only want to allow very specific users to get a coupon code.

However, there are certain scenarios where you may want to give a discount to all customers that pertain to a certain group. For instance, you may want to give new customers a welcome discount:

An automatic 10% discount applied at checkout
Automatic 10% discount applied at checkout (click to zoom)

This is when an automatic discount applied at checkout can come in handy. Since this type of discount is instantly applied, it requires no work from the customer.

As you can see in the example above, some stores use both types of discounts. This is a common (and often effective) dual approach.

3 Benefits Of Applying An Automatic Discount At Checkout

Let’s look at a few additional benefits of opting for automatic discounts at checkout!

1. Reduce cart abandonment rates

As we mentioned, cart abandonment is a huge problem for all e-commerce businesses. What’s more, the number one reason for abandoned carts is extra costs that are too high.

Therefore, one excellent way to increase conversions is by offering an automatic discount that allows for free shipping. You could give this deal to new shoppers or to those who spend a certain amount:

Free shipping discount applied at checkout
Free shipping discount applied at checkout (click to zoom)

This way, you can likely boost your average order value (AOV) while increasing overall transactions.

2. Boost customer loyalty

If you’ve successfully convinced a customer to make their first purchase in your store, you should definitely be celebrating. Not only because you’ve made a sale, but also because this particular customer now has the potential to become a returning shopper.

You can reach pre-existing customers via email campaigns, social media marketing, etc. This way, you can advertise your promotions on various channels.

However, customers may be disappointed if they’re not sure how to apply a discount they saw advertised in your marketing materials. On the other hand, if the discount is applied automatically at checkout, then they won’t have to worry about it.

This can increase customer satisfaction and boost customer loyalty.

If you’re looking for additional ways to keep your customers coming back, you might want to consider our WooCommerce Loyalty Program plugin:

The WooCommerce Loyalty Program plugin
Grow Repeat Purchases & Reward Your Best Customers Easily

You can use this tool to set up a loyalty program in just five minutes. Then, you’ll be able to manage customers and coupons more effectively.

Moreover, this will make it easier for you to apply automatic discounts for specific users and user groups. WooCommerce Loyalty Program is also compatible with the Advanced Coupons plugin, which we’ll use later on in this article for the tutorial.

3. Streamline the checkout process

Another benefit of using a discount applied at checkout is that it can help streamline the ordering process. This can improve the overall user experience (UX) and keep your customers happy.

This is crucial since a complicated checkout process is another top cause of cart abandonment. For example, if a user sees that you offer discounts on first orders, but they can’t figure out how to apply it, that could translate to a lost sale.

Even worse, it might hurt your reputation, as users may think your website is confusing or dishonest. Furthermore, a straightforward checkout process can help reduce the number of requests your customer support team receives.

This can free up lots of time. As a result, your team may be able to focus on other tasks and improve your store’s overall customer service.

How To Apply An Automatic Discount At Checkout (In 3 Steps)

Now that you know about the many benefits of using automatic discounts at checkout, we’re going to show you how to create this type of discount using the Advanced Coupons Premium plugin:

Advanced Coupons is the highest-rated coupon plugin in WooCommerce

Assuming that you already have this powerful plugin installed and activated, let’s go ahead and set up automatic discounts applied at checkout:

Step 1: Create and customize your coupon

If you want to create an automatic discount in WooCommerce, the first step is to install and activate the Advanced Coupons Free plugin. Then, if you want additional features such as extra cart conditions (which will be featured later), you’ll need to select a plan and install Advanced Coupons Premium.

Once you’ve set up your tools and activated your license in settings, you’re ready to get started. To begin, go to Coupons > Add New:

Add a new coupon in WooCommerce.
Add new coupon (click to zoom)

In the coupon editor, you’ll be able to generate a coupon code. This is a crucial step, even though you’re creating a discount that will be applied automatically.

Here, you can also give your coupon code a description and configure your deal under the Coupon data section. By default, the Discount type will be set to Fixed cart discount:

Discount type options
Discount type options with Advanced Coupons (click to zoom)

However, you may want to modify this to a Percentage discount or another choice. If you choose this option, be sure to enter a Percentage Discount Cap.

Next, you’ll want to take some time to customize your coupon settings. For instance, you may want to configure a Buy One Get One (BOGO) deal or create a coupon that’s only relevant only to certain products or product categories.

These are just a few of the many potential coupon options. When you’re done with the Coupon data section, scroll down to Cart Conditions.

Step 2: Set up cart conditions

Although an automatic discount applied at checkout is likely meant for a large group of customers, you’ll still want to limit who receives this deal.

You can further refine your coupon settings under the Cart Conditions section:

Cart condition rules.
Cart Conditions with Advanced Coupons (click to zoom)

On the above screen, you can set up if/then conditions. You can create these simple ‘rules’ based on certain order features, such as Cart Items, Products, Product Categories, and Customers:

Cart condition rules categories.
Set up cart conditions (click to zoom)

Simply select a condition in the dropdown menu and click on Add. Then, you’ll be prompted to complete the setup for your unique rule. For instance, if you choose Cart subtotal, you’ll then need to choose your Condition and a Cart Subtotal value:

Cart subtotal rule in cart conditions settings.
Configure cart subtotal rule (click to zoom)

Alternatively, you might want to encourage repeat customers by rewarding people who come back within a period of 90 days:

Rule to give a discount coupon to returning customers.
‘Customer Has Ordered Products Before’ cart condition (click to zoom)

When you’re happy with your selections, make sure to click on Save Cart Conditions.

Step 3: Enable auto-apply coupons

Finally, all that’s left to do is enable auto-apply coupons.

To do this, simply locate the Auto Apply Coupon panel on the right-hand side of your screen. Then, check the box next to Enable auto apply for this coupon:

Enabling the auto apply coupon setting in Advanced Coupons.
Enable auto apply (click to zoom)

It’s as simple as that! To activate your new coupon click on the blue Publish button.


If you’re looking for a way to encourage your customers to complete a transaction, an automatic discount applied at checkout might do the trick. This simple approach can help you reduce your cart abandonment rates and boost customer loyalty.

To recap, here’s how you can generate an automatic discount applied at checkout:

  1. Create and customize your coupon.
  2. Set up cart conditions.
  3. Enable auto-apply coupons.

Do you have any questions about using an automatic discount applied at checkout? Let us know in the comments section below!

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