Rule Builder in Smartstore 5: Expand your store without coding
Friday, October 27, 2023

Rule Builder in Smartstore 5: Expand your store without coding

Since Smartstore 3.2, the Page Builder has provided a solution for design and appearance.

With the Rule Builder in Smartstore 5, you can customize your offers in a variety of ways.

In the Rule Builder, conditions such as "All customers who have purchased one of the following products in the last 14 days" can be defined intuitively and, in a second step, the resulting customers can be informed via an action such as "Recommend the latest products from product group x by e-mail".

In the past, this individualization often meant individual software and plugin development. But this cost time and money, required expert knowledge, was complex and the software had to be maintained and kept up to date.

The Rule Builder in Smartstore is a tool for implementing such individual store offers without programming. We are thus picking up on the current no-code trend in software development.

What does no-code mean?

No-code platforms enable programmers and non-programmers to create application software via graphical user interfaces. Conventional computer programming is no longer necessary with no-code.

You know the very first common no-code platform for business applications: Your Excel spreadsheet and predecessors. Even non-programmers can use Excel to create small and large applications with clicks and drop-down menus, without having to learn computer languages, software libraries and so on. And everything works immediately.

In the same way that Excel provides a no-code solution for businesses, the Smartstore Rule Builder can extend your online store just as easily, accessibly and responsively, and with minimal effort.

Developers and Smartstore partners become more effective and can implement projects faster, sometimes even ad hoc, i.e. on demand.

Great, and how can I use the Rule Builder to enhance my store offering in practical terms?

The Rule Builder is all about rules. Rules are used to organize dynamic processes and trigger actions in the second step. You can set up these rules very easily and apply them in many places in the store. The Rule Builder offers a visual editor for this purpose.

Example rules

  • "All female customers from DACH, between 30-40 years old, purchased at least once"
  • "All customers who have purchased a product in the last 14 days"
  • "All new customers who currently have products x and y in their shopping cart or wish list"
  • "All products from the manufacturer abc in the color red and with a price above 100,- Euro."

What does this mean for the purchasing process?

Everything becomes more interesting and personal. The Rule Builder shopping cart rules, a special group of live rules, give your store customers a completely new shopping experience.

Let your imagination run wild, because as an online retailer you know the wishes and interests of your customers best! Let highly dynamic discounts and pricing definitions take effect live during the shopping process and guide your potential customers even more effectively towards a purchase.

And set offline rules after the purchase. Automatically assign first-time customers to a special customer group "new customers" and a mailing campaign, for example for a special voucher depending on the product, wish list, product group and time of purchase. If customers have not purchased again after 3 months, you can bring them back in a very targeted manner. This is also possible with the Rule Builder.

How do I get the Rule Builder?

By upgrading to Smartstore 5. The "Rule Builder" is always automatically included in all Smartstore editions, i.e. in the free Community Edition, the Premium Edition, the Premium Flat and the Enterprise Editions. Even if you license or rent a plugin such as Mega Search and Mega Search Plus individually, you can still enjoy the benefits of the Rule Builder automation!

The rule builder recognizes three groups of rules:

  • Shopping cart rules apply to the shopping cart and checkout in order to link discounts to conditions or to filter payment and shipping methods.
  • Customer rules are used to automatically assign customers to specific customer groups via scheduled tasks (i.e. not live).
  • Product rules work in a similar way to customer rules. They are used to automatically assign products to specific product groups using scheduled tasks (i.e. also not live).

Mini Tutorial Rule Builder - How to easily build a live rule

We go to the Rule Builder and click on NEW. Then a new, empty rule appears, for which I define the name, rule type and optional notes.

After saving, I select the so-called condition in the left-hand column. Here I only see conditions that are relevant for this rule type. In the list, I will select the condition "Delivery country". A list of all the countries that my store supports is then displayed in the column on the right.  I select the two countries Germany and Austria.

Since more than one value is selected for this condition (2 countries), operators for lists are displayed in the middle. I decide that it is sufficient if the customer has selected Germany or Austria as the delivery country in the check-out.

I now add a second condition for the number of orders of the store customer (for example "20"). Now only the relevant operators are presented to me in the middle to select from. I click to specify that this condition is fulfilled if the customer has placed at least 20 orders. I could also simply say "less than" 20, and so on.

How can I link individual conditions?

If I have defined more than one condition in the Rule Builder, I can click on "All" to define how these conditions are linked to each other.

  • "All" means: all defined conditions must be fulfilled (corresponds to AND).
  • "One" means: only one of the following conditions must be fulfilled (corresponds to OR).

If this is not enough, there are Rule Builder groups.

Complex nested conditions are possible by adding groups. The linking of the conditions can be carried out independently for each group (via All / One). It's like chaining IF-THEN formulas in Excel, but with a nice graphical overview and without having to type in formulas.

Well, I now have the "IF" with my newly created rule, but where does it work "THEN"?

It works like this: in the second and final step, I have to assign my rule to a so-called Smartstore object, such as the Discount object.

To assign it, simply go to the object, i.e. to the editing page for discounts in the admin backend, and select your new rule there. That's all, the rule is then effective.

Below we show you how to do this in detail for shopping cart rules.

As of Smartstore 4, the old tab with discount requirements has been replaced by a new selection box for rules. It can be found in the first tab "Information" at the bottom. All previously created shopping cart rules are available in this selection.

You can select not just one, but several rules in the new box. These rules are then OR-linked. This means that it is sufficient for one of the selected rules to be fulfilled for the discount to be applied.

Just like a discount, you can also link the payment method and shipping method objects to conditions or rules. You do this by going to the editing page of the respective payment or shipping method.

Build your rules with the Rule Builder!

You can attach shopping cart rules to the discount, payment method and shipping method objects.

By automatically assigning customers to customer groups using customer rules, rules also apply to other objects to which no rules can be assigned directly. This gives you flexible options, for example for remarketing, i.e. reactivating customers who have not been active for some time. And much more.

Customer and product rules can be executed automatically via scheduled tasks or manually.

Upgrade to the most up-to-date Smartstore 5 today and create new rules!

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