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ViArt User's Guide (Version 3.6)
Please, see the list of all new features and fixed bugs that were made to all ViArt PHP Shopping Cart releases from version 2.1.1 up to the latest 3.5 version.
38. Introduce a friend feature
38. Introduce a friend feature
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This tutorial covers the following sections:

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Introduce a friend feature is available in ViArt Shop from version 3.5.13. Both shop owners and customers can benefit from it. Shop owners will get more sales while customers will receive discounts on purchasing products if their friends will purchase products recommended to them by customers. Apart from this, friends can also receive discounts.

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How it works

1. ViArt shop system automatically creates a unique introducer code (UIC) for each customer at registration (once the Introduce a Friend option is enabled in the Admin console). For UIC the system uses a customer’s login name.

2. When a customer clicks any link on the site to send an introduction to a friend (through the tell a friend form) the UIC is inserted in this message. The link with the code looks as follows: http://www.yoursite.com/vaio_tz.html?friend=joy (where yoursite.com equals the actual domain name).

3. A "Friend" receives the email, clicks on the link and purchases the product with the discount (if Admininistrator added a discount coupon through the Admin console and select an option ‘Apply discount for invited friends’ in the coupon settings).

4. If a Friend purchased the product a customer may also receive discount on further purchases. (if Admininistrator added a discount coupon and select an option ‘Apply discount for users whose friends purchased shop items’ in the coupon settings).

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General Settings

To enable an Introduce a Friend option please do the following:

1. Login to your ViArt Shop Admin console.

2. Navigate to Administration > Products > Products Settings > Merchants & Affiliates Settings tab.

3. Enable a Tell a Friend parameter and set a number of days an Introduce a friend link will be saved in cookies (as shown on the below image):


Introduce a friend' URL - if enabled the system will automatically inserted a special UIC (unique introducer code) of a customer who sends the message to his friend to a ‘Tell a Friend’ message. The code looks like the following:


Alternatively, a customer is able to manually send an invitation to his friend by using his personal code. A customer’s personal code is placed after the main page link (in the browser address bar). The link is as follows:


Friend Cookie Expires - means the number of days the link with discount will be valid for use.

Once you complete with the settings, click ‘Update’ to save the changes. General settings for an Introduce a Friend feature are now enabled.

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Setting up discounts for invited friends

Once the general settings are completed you may want to set up a special coupon(s) to reward a customer and his friend. To set up coupons please do the following steps:1. Login to your ViArt Shop Admin console.

2. Navigate to Administration > Products > Coupons.

3. Click to add either a Product Coupon or Order Coupon and switch to ‘Friend Visits’ tab. You will be presented with the following screen:

The first field ‘Friends Discount Type’ has three options which can be selected from the drop-down list. By default the field has a value ‘Don’t apply any discounts for friends visits’. This option means that this coupon does not provide discounts for friends visits, thus all other fields are non-active.

4. To make the fields active please select from two other options:

Select the option ‘apply discount for users whose friends purchased shop items’ and fill three active fields (as shown on the image):

Note: These three fields are optional.

Once done click ‘Add’ to save the changes. This coupon will be applied to customers whose friends purchased some items using the customers special code.

Select the option ‘Apply discount for invited friends’ and three previous field are inactive, while the field ‘Apply to all friends visits’ becomes active and the link ‘Select User’ appears:

Leave the option ‘Apply to all friends visits’ enabled to apply a coupon to all friends purchases or unselect this option to be able to select certain users who will be allowed to use the coupon with the discount:

Important: if you want a coupon with the discount to be applied automatically on the basket page please ensure that you select ‘Auto Apply Coupon’ on the Edit Coupon tab. For more information on coupons please see see section 16.1 and see section 16.2

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