Benefits of using shoppergroups
Shoppergroups are more than just a logical grouping of shoppers, they can be used to control many aspects of shopper interaction with your store.
As you configure your store you will see options to select a "Shopper group", this enables you to restrict/include a feature for specific shopper group/s, examples are:-
- Calculation rules (discounts, taxes)
- Products (only members of the shoppergroup are allowed to see the product)
- Product prices
- Shipping and Payment methods
- Price elements to display
All shoppers in VirtueMart are assigned to a shoppergroup. There are two default shoppergroups, it is possible to edit the name, but both must exist and be published for VirtueMart to function correctly.
Users without an account or who have not logged in are considered to be members of the "guest" shoppergroup. It is possible to dynamically assign "guests" to other shoppergroups (3rd party plugins are required to do this).
Logged in users who have not been changed to another shoppergroup (either dynamically or by using the administration feature in VirtueMart) are assigned to the "default" shoppergroup.
Many store owners require a greater differentiation of shoppers, VirtueMart shoppergroups enable you to achieve this. You can add additional shoppergroups and assign your registered shoppers to the relevant shoppergroups. Note: You do not need to assign registered shoppers to the default shopper group.
Shoppergroups and Product Pricing
For many store owners the ability to offer differing prices for products is essential. This is one of the basic uses for shoppergroups.
Product Pricing by Calculation Rules - shoppergroup
A calculation rule can be associated with one Shopper Group - e.g. discount 5%
This rule will apply to every item in your store for people in the associated shoppergroups,. Calculation rules can be further restricted to specific categories - for even greater control
Product Pricing by Product - Price - shoppergroup
For some store owners the calculation rule method of pricing will be sufficient however, for others, pricing is not that straight forward and pricing discounts vary widely even withing category. For these such stores VirtueMart supports a Product price for a product restricted to a single shoppergroup.
An "Available for all" price will be used for every other shoppergroup, including registered and guest shoppers.
You only need to setup a price for a shoppergroup if you want it to be different from the "Available for all" price.
Shoppergroups and Payment / Shipment methods
Being able to offer a specific payment and shipment method for certain customers also helps differentiate your store/customer offer even further.
Multiple shoppergroups can be assigned to a shipment or payment method restricting them to customers in those shoppergroups.
Shopper group strategy
Your use of shoppergroups will certainly grow as you develop your ecommerce business, so take your time to see how they may be used to meet your specific needs.
Shoppers can be members of multiple shoppergroups.
A simple scenario might be that you want reduced store prices for "Gold wholesalers" and allow some of these wholesalers to pay "Cash on Delivery".
You could achieve this by doing the following:-
- Setup a "Gold Wholesale" Shopper Group.
- Create a discount rule or Product prices restricted to the "Gold Wholesale" Shopper Group.
- Assign the "Gold Wholesale" Shopper Group to the relevant customers/shoppers.
- Setup a "Cash on Delivery payment" Shopper Group.
- Setup the new Cash on delivery payment method and restrict this method to the "Cash on Delivery payment" Shopper Group.
- Assign the "Cash on Delivery payment" Shopper Group to the relevant customers/shoppers.
Your customer should now be a "member" of 2 Shopper Groups that control aspects of their online visit. When the customer logs in, they will see reduced prices and will be offered a Cash on Delivery Payment at the checkout.