Getting started with discounts

Recharge discounts empower merchants to offer incentives to both their current and potential customers.

Recharge discounts enable merchants to craft personalized promotions, not only at checkout but throughout the whole customer journey with the merchant. Discounts serve multiple purposes:

  • Enhance customer acquisition
  • Reward existing customers
  • Reduce customer churn

You create, apply, and manage discounts programmatically (via API) or manually (via the Merchant Portal). Discounts may also be referred to as “promotion codes,” “promotions,” or “coupons.”



  • Shopify Checkout Integration
  • Recharge Checkout on Shopify
  • BigCommerce Checkout Integration
  • Recharge Checkout on BigCommerce

Discount model

There are many different types of discounts that a merchant can offer customers, but it is important to remember that discounts should only be used as a temporary measure to increase customer loyalty and engagement. They are not meant to be used as a long-term strategy for customer acquisition and retention. Consider introducing a Subscribe and Save model if you'd like to encourage customers to subscribe to your products with a discount.

Discount application model

Discounts can be applied at the time of checkout either manually or automatically by different users, such as:

  • Customers
  • Merchant admins
  • Third-party applications

There are four different touchpoints from which discounts can be applied:

  • Checkout
  • Customer Portal
  • Merchant Portal
  • Automatically

The table below shows how each of these touchpoints can be accessed by customers, merchant admins, and third-party apps:

Customer Portal
Quick Actions
Merchant admin Merchant Portal UIAPI
Third-party appAPI

Discount structure

Discounts are structured around three categories:

  • Definition: What is the deal about?
  • Rules: Who, how, when the deal can/should apply?
  • Usage: How often has the discount code already been applied?

The combination of these parts makes up a discount. By thinking of each part separately, you can understand what discounts are (and are not), and how they should be used in your store.

Discount definitions

The following chart highlights key terminology used in the discount creation and maintenance processes:

discount idThe discount identifier
codeThe discount code name
statusThe active status of the discount
RepeatsThe number of times the discount will apply on recurring transactions
product idThe product identifier
plan typeThe plan types the discount will apply to
spendThe minimum amount a customer must spend to receive the discount
new customerIdentifies if the discount should only apply to net new customers, based on the customer's email address
startThe discount start date
endThe discount end date
channelsThe channels where a user can apply a discount. The following channels are avialable:
Customer Portal
Merchant Portal
countThe maximum number of times the discount code can be used
single useDefines the discount to be used one

Discount types

Recharge supports common types of discounts like:

  • Free shipping at checkout
  • Percentage (%) or fixed amount discount for the first order
  • Temporary promotions (Christmas, New Year…)

And more advanced applications specific to relationship commerce:

  • Recurring discounts
  • Discount for new or existing customers

Discount rules

Discount rules are great assets to define how, when, and where a promotion should apply. It is a control and targeting tool to ensure your promotion reaches your target audience and application without spillage and side effects.


Create discounts to apply to certain products or product types, and build customer loyalty to these products.


Apply discounts to a group of products, referred to as collections in Recharge.


Allow customers to apply discounts only during specific time periods, such as during BFCM.

When you create a discount code, you specify a start and end date for the discount. When the end date is reached, the discount enters a disabled state, which means that the discount will not be applied to any new orders. The discount code will, however, still be applied to any orders which have not yet been processed.

Number of customers

Set a limit so that only a set number of customers across your store can redeem your discount.


Set your discounts so that they can only be applied through specific channels:

  • Checkout
  • Merchant Portal
  • API
  • Customer Portal (This permission is only valid for Recharge-hosted portals)

Discount usage

The number of times customers redeem discount codes is a key metric for merchants to understand how discounts perform in your store. Keep track of specific discount usage in the discount admin section of your Merchant Portal or review the Discount Code Attribution Dashboard to track discount usage.

Discount lifecycle

Every discount in Recharge has a status that represents the stage of the lifecycle the discount is at. This status defines the availability of the discount for consumers and existing transactions, as well as its broader status in the Recharge system.

The Recharge discount status has 3 states:

  • enabled: The discount is active and can be applied, providing that it is in its activation period. At the time of activation, you set a starting date for the discount (an end date is optional), and this is the date when the discount becomes enabled.
  • disabled: The discount will no longer be applied to new charges. The discount will, however, remain on charges to which it has already been applied.
  • fully_disabled: The discount will no longer be applied to any charges, including queued charges.

When thinking about the difference between a discount in a fully disabled state and a discount that has been deleted, it is helpful to remember the following:

  • If a discount is fully disabled, it is partially reversible. This means that you can revert the discount to an enabled state.
  • If a discount is deleted, it is irreversible.



The enabled status means that Recharge systems and processes are to take the discount into account as an argument. Whether the discount is applicable, live or not, is defined by the rules of the discount.

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