Support Guide

Gift Certificates

    TABLE OF CONTENTS

  1. • Setup in Checkfront
  2. • Creating a Gift Certificate
  3. – Gift Certificate Item
  4. – Staff Issued Gift Certificate
  5. • Website Purchase
  6. • Booking with a Gift Certificate
  7. • Gift Certificate Settings
  8. • Gift Certificate Notifications
  9. – Email Variables

 

Where do I access this in Checkfront?
You can manage your Gift Certificates via your main menu bar at Inventory > Gift Certificates

 

Creating Redeemable Gift Certificates in Checkfront

The gift certificate add-on enables you to offer your customers redeemable gift certificates that can be applied towards the value of a future booking with your business. These gift certificates are fully customizable, allowing you to set the value and determine the period of validity. What’s more, a gift certificate can be used more than once. So, if a customer has a $100 gift certificate, but their booking is only $50, they will still have $50 left to spend at a later date!

Gift certificates can be issued by a privileged staff member through the business backend, or purchased by customers through your website, in the same way they would make a regular booking.

So let’s dive right in and have a look at how to activate and use the Gift Certificates add-on in Checkfront!
 
 

Setup in Checkfront

First thing’s first. In order to use the gift certificates feature, you will need to activate it in your account. The add-on is not active by default. To do this, navigate to Manage > Add-ons in your main navigation bar.

From here, locate the Gift Certificates tile, hover over it with your mouse and click on the SETUP button (1).

 

gift-certificate-setup-tile

 

When the pop-up window appears, simply click on the Activate button to complete the add-on activation (2).
 
 


 

Creating a Gift Certificate

There are two ways in which a gift certificate can be created in Checkfront. You can either create one through the backend as an administrator and email it directly to the customer, or you can create it as an item which will then be purchased by the customer through the frontend.

Gift Certificate Item

After activating the gift certificates add-on, you will be taken directly to the feature’s management screen. If you happen to be elsewhere in the system, you can access the same screen through your main menu at Inventory > Gift Certificates.

Click on the Create Gift Certificate Item button on the left to get started.

 
create-gift-certificate-button
 

You will now see the Gift Certificate Item Builder.

To begin, choose a category and name for your gift certificate.

 

create-gift-certificate

 

Category

Choose a category from the drop-down menu provided. If you wish to create a new category for your gift certificates, click on the + Create New Category button.

 

gift-certificate-category

 

Enter a name for the new category and click on the blue checkmark button. You will now see a green New Category label applied to the field.

Quick Tip:
The category you choose does not in any way restrict the items the gift certificate can be applied to. For example, if you assign the gift certificate item to category A, it is still redeemable against items in categories B & C etc.

 

Name

For the item name, enter it in the field provided. An Item SKU will be generated automatically based on the item name you enter.

 

edit-gift-certificate-sku

 

If you’d like to change this, click on the Edit link, enter the preferred SKU and click on the blue checkmark button to complete.

 

Summary

Provide a short description which will be visible to the customer on your booking page.

 

gift-certificate-summary

 

You can add styles to the text, such as bold and italic, using the editor provided.

 

Price

Enter a price for the gift certificate.

 

gift-certificate-price

 

This amount will then be redeemable against the customer’s booking at a future date. For example, if the customer is renting a boat for $200, the gift certificate in the example above would cover half of that. The customer can then pay the remaining balance with their credit card.

 

Gift Certificate Valid From

When selecting the date the gift certificate is valid from, you have two choices.

 

gift-certificate-specific-date

 

You can choose either the purchase date or a specific date. If you opt for the specific date, a small calendar picker will open, enabling you to select any date in the future. The gift certificate will not be redeemable until this date is reached. This is great if you require the gift certificate to be redeemable during a certain month of the year only.

 

Gift Certificate Expires

Likewise, you can choose when the gift certificate expires.

 

gift-certificate-expires

 

Selecting Never will leave the gift certificate completely open into the future. Or, you can use the calendar date picker to select a specific expiry date.

If you selected Purchase Date for the item’s Valid From option in the previous step, a third option will become available for expiry. This option enables you to choose a number of days after purchase that the gift certificate will expire.

 

Allow Customised Delivery Dates

Rather than basing the gift certificate validity on date of purchase, you can instead choose to work off a delivery date.

 

allow-customised-delivery-dates

 

Selecting yes for this option will turn on the delivery date feature. Now, when a customer is purchasing a gift certificate through the system, they will be able to select a delivery date for the purchase. If today is September 1st and little Jimmy’s birthday is September 14th, the customer can make the purchase today but choose to have the gift certificate email delivered on the 14th.

 
gift-certificate-delivery-date
 

Gift Certificate Item Visibility

You have the option to select the visibility for your gift certificate item.

 

gift-certificate-visibility

 

Choose Everyone to make your item visible for booking on your website. If you’d like the gift certificate to be visible to your staff members only, in the backend, select Staff Only.

 

Sort Order

The sort order determines where your gift certificate item will be displayed among your list of other available items.

 

gift-certificate-sort-order

 

Entering a higher number here will move the item closer to the top of the list.

When you have finished entering your details, click Create Gift Certificate Item.

You will then see a confirmation that the new item has been created.

 

gift-certificate-created

 

From there, you can Preview what your new gift certificate item will look like to your customers, Create a new Gift Certificate or Edit the item you just made. The edit button has a drop-down option that enables you to simply copy the item you just created. This is great if you want a new certificate with a slightly different price point.

Back at the gift certificate home screen, you will now see your shiny new certificate in the left sidebar.

 
gift-certificate-left-sidebar
 

If you select this, you will again have the option to edit it as you see fit. Click on Edit Gift Certificate by the item’s title, at the top, to do so.

 


 

Staff Issued Gift Certificate

If your staff have privileges that allow them to create gift certificates through the backend, this can also be done from the gift certificate home screen.

 

issue-gift-certificate

 

Click on the blue Issue Gift Certificate button to get started.

 

Issue Gift Certificate (1)

 

Select your options from the left. Your updates will be previewed live on the right. At the top of the gift certificate, you will see your company logo and website URL. Below this is the theme. There are currently 3 different themes you can choose, depending on the sentiment you are sending.

 

Gift Certificate Change Theme

 

Click on the Change Theme drop-down button and hover your mouse over the choices to see a live preview of each. Simply click on the one you wish to use.

Then, enter an amount for the gift certificate, the recipient and sender names, the recipient email address, a message and the certificate validity dates.

When happy, click Issue Gift Certificate to send it.

In the gift certificates home screen, you can now click on the Staff Issued Gift Certificates link, in the left sidebar, to view the details of this certificate.

 


 

Website Gift Certificate Purchase

Customers can, of course, purchase a gift certificate themselves through your company website. The gift certificate item you created earlier will be displayed to your customers in just the same way your other bookable items are.

 

Gift Certificate Website

 

When a customer selects the gift certificate item, they will be presented with a pop-up window, similar to the staff view we just looked at.

 

Customer Purchased Gift Certificate

 

After filling out the details and clicking Continue, the customer will be sent to the checkout screen where they can complete their purchase as normal.

 

Gift Certificate Checkout

 

If everything went according to plan, the sender will receive their usual purchase confirmation and the recipient will receive their gift certificate as a PDF attachment to an email.

 

Gift Certificate in Email

 

This attachment contains a barcode which could be scanned by your business via a third-party barcode scanner. The customer can either print out the gift certificate or present it on their mobile device screen.

 


 

Booking with a Gift Certificate

Using a gift certificate to pay for a booking is very easy. All the customer has to do is select the item as normal and fill out their booking details. When it comes time to pay, the payment screen will default to Credit Card. There will now be a new option at the top of the screen for Gift Certificate.

 

Pay With Gift Certificate

 

Clicking on this will display a pop-up window into which the customer can enter their Gift Certificate Number, or Code. This is the number beneath the barcode on their gift certificate PDF.

 

Gift Certificate Number

 

Enter the code, including the dashes, into the Apply Gift Certificate window. Once the system recognizes the code, it will magically pop-up the gift certificate in question.

 

Apply Gift Certificate

 

Click the Apply button to deduct the invoice total from the gift certificate balance. And that’s it, the booking is complete. The customer might then have a balance remaining, which can be used at a later date.

If the gift certificate balance was not enough to cover the transaction, the customer can enter another gift certificate number, or make a payment via credit card.

Referring to the gift certificate home screen again, you will be able to see which gift certificates are active and how much balance still remains on them.

 

Gift Certificate Log

 

 


 

Gift Certificate Settings

There are some default settings you can apply to your gift certificate process if you wish. You’ll find these via the Gift Certificate Settings link in the left sidebar of your gift certificates home screen.

 

Gift Certificate Settings (1)

 

You can add some terms and conditions to the gift certificate as well as customize who a refund will be sent from and a default expiry date.

 

 


 

Gift Certificate Notifications

If you’ve worked with Checkfront’s system notifications before, you will already have an idea of how these work. After activating the Gift Certificates add-on, a new notification type will become available in your account. This notification type is called Gift Certificates.

 

Gift Certificate Notification

 

By default, the system will create a simple notification that will be sent out to the recipient after purchase by a customer. The subject of this notification is Congratulations, you have received a Gift Certificate. To edit this, navigate to Manage > Notifications in your Checkfront dashboard. You will see the notification in the resulting list and all you need to do is click on the subject to enter edit mode.

 

Edit Gift Certificate Notification

 

Once in edit mode, proceed to make any changes you like to the default template. You are able to change the email subject line, add or remove recipients, select which items the notifications should be triggered for after a booking and also the body of the email.

 


 

Email Variables

As with all notifications in Checkfront, you can add or remove variables to customize the recipient email as per your needs. When the email is delivered to the recipient, the variable you embed in the body of the email will be replaced by the relevant data that it pertains to in Checkfront. For example, if you include the variable {$COMPANY_NAME}, then this will be replaced with the name of your company in the email.

The variables you can use are as follows:

{$COMPANY_NAME} – name of your company.
{$CHECKFRONT_URL} – company’s Checkfront URL.
{$ACCOUNT_ID} – name of the staff member or partner who is responsible for initiating the purchase.
{$CREATED_BY} – who made the purchase – customer, staff, partner.

There are also specific gift certificate variables which can also be included in the recipient email. They are as follows:

{$GIFTCERT_CODE} – Gift certificate code, used to make purchases by the recipient.
{$GIFTCERT_TOTAL} – Original value of the gift certificate.
{$GIFTCERT_BALANCE} – Remaining balance on the gift certificate.
{$GIFTCERT_TO_NAME} – Recipient’s name.
{$GIFTCERT_FROM_NAME} – Gifter/sender’s name.
{$GIFTCERT_MESSAGE} – Message entered at the time of purchase.
{$GIFTCERT_EXPIRY} – Gift certificate expiry date.

You can include as many, or as few of these variables as you like, it’s totally up to you. Also, depending on how you wish to use the gift certificate system, you may decide not to send out a recipient email at all. If this is the case, simply uncheck the This notification is enabled box and click Save.

You may also decide that some of the data these variables print should not be displayed to the recipient. In this case, you can create a second gift certificate notification that does not get sent to the recipient, but any of your chosen staff members instead. You can create a new notification at Manage > Notifications, select Gift Certificates as the notification type and then customize the recipient list as per your needs. This “staff only” notification can be sent out in addition to the gift certificate recipient email.

For more information on Gift Certificate Notifications, please click here.