We have just launched a new update that will greatly simplify the redemption process while utilizing the integration. Prior to today the cashier had to be mindful of what was being added to cards as purchases and whether or not an item recorded as a purchase actually qualifies as a redemption. If the cashier did not remove the item from Today's Purchases before redeeming the card the item would be recorded as both a Purchase and a Redemption. Well, we are very happy to say that this is no longer an issue thanks to our update. [Update released 7/11/2019].
Redeeming a Frequent Buyer Card on Astro with the Integration:
This process is so simple now it almost requires no explanation. Ok. let's begin.
Step One: Lightspeed Sale
Add the Customer to a Sale Tab in Lightspeed. Now scan in all of their purchases. There is now no need to leave anything out. When you have finished click the Astro Loyalty Button on your Lightspeed interface.
Step Two: Astro's Today's Purchases
This is the best part. Astro is now smart enough to determine for you whether an item that you rung up as a Purchase actually qualifies as a free good!
In the example below the customer is purchasing Happy Cat's Natural Beef, 10lb.
Above Today's Purchases we see an Unredeemed Rewards alert telling us that this customer qualifies for a free good. Notice the alert also tells you what program and the items the customer can redeem. Beside where it says "Any Eligible Program Item" there is a link that says "Click to see available items". If you click that link it will show you what the customer could redeem as a free good that day.
Side Note: This link is helpful if the customer did not purchase an item today that is eligible as a free good. So for instance, if the customer in this example was purchasing a bag of Happy Dog today you would be able to click that little link in the alert and tell them they could also take home a free bag of Happy Cat. There is no need then to cancel the Astro transaction because we are not adding Happy Cat to Today's Purchases. The customer can go grab their bag of Happy Cat then you can click Checkout to move onto the next page in Astro to and redeem it. Just make sure to add the item to the sale upon returning to Lightspeed.
Below the Unredeemed Rewards alert you will see the item that you just rung up in Lightspeed with a notification beside it that says "Eligible Free Good". This means that Astro has cross referenced the Happy Cat item with the list of eligible free goods on the completed card and got a match. To the right there are two button options; Add Anyway which would add the item to a new frequent buyer card as a purchase, and Remove which is a confirmation that the item will in fact be redeemed during this transaction.
If the cashier does not click one of those red buttons to the right of the item it will default to the Remove option and the item will not be added as a purchase.
Also, if you refer to his actual card you will notice it has all 4 punches required to redeem it and all 4 of those purchases occurred prior to today.
- Let's say the customer was buying two bags of Happy Cat today, in that case you would see one item added to a new card as a Purchase and the other item would have the eligible free good notification beside it and would not be added to a card.
- Or if the customer only had 3 punches on their card prior to today and purchased one Happy Cat bag then it would be added to the card as the 4th punch and you would see the Unredeemed Reward alert above Today's Purchases.
To differentiate between a purchase that was added to a card in the past from one that is being added during a transaction refer to the color of the punch on the card. Light Green punches represent past purchases, Dark Green punches represent present purchases and will reflect the items listed under Today's Purchases.
Moving on to what the cashier actually needs to do at this point -
First they should always confirm that what they are seeing in Astro is accurate and everything is being recorded as it should be.
Then they can either click Remove and then Checkout or click Checkout and the item will be removed since Remove is the default.
Step Three: Astro Redemption Pop-up
After clicking Checkout Astro will bring you to the second half of the checkout process. Since there is a card to be redeemed you will be greeted by either one or two pop-ups depending on the redemption requirements of the program.
If a Brand Manufacturer Requires a Home Address there will be a preliminary pop-up with fields to collect that information. You will need to record information in each field in order to proceed. If you encounter a customer that refuses to give you their address do your best to collect as much information as you can. The City and State are the most important, the Street is mainly there so that the vendor knows this is a real person. This information will never be used by Astro or any of our partners (including the vendor requesting it) to contact your customers.
Most of the time you will be taken straight to the Reward Redemption pop-up. Here there will be a drop-down menu that includes all items that the customer qualifies to redeem as a free good. If you do not see the item they want listed then it does not qualify to be redeemed according to the rules of the program.
Select the item from the drop-down that they will be taking home for free.
This is really the only time that a cashier has to manually perform a task in Astro, so make sure that the SKU selected from the list matches the item you are giving away so you receive the proper credit from your distributor.
Once an item is chosen the pop-up will change and there will be a green button that states "Redeem Selected Item", go ahead and click that button.
Step Four: Final Review in Astro
Now you will see the redeemed item listed under Rewards Earned / Redeemed This Visit. Since the card was redeemed it will say This reward was redeemed this visit below it. You will also notice that the redeemed card is no longer visible on their list of cards.
If you ever need to view redeemed cards again you can click History, which will show you all of the customer's cards both unredeemed and redeemed whether you are enrolled in a program or not.
If a mistake was made and the wrong item was selected from the redemption pop-up you can click the Undo Redemption button beside the redemption. This will bring up a pop-up where you can choose between Remove and Reselect, which will remove the redemption you chose and allow you to choose a different one from the list, or Remove Only, which will remove the redemption and reopen the card so it can be saved for the customer's next visit.
For those running who are also running a Loyalty Points program take note that the customer was not granted any points for this item since they are receiving it for free. Now you no longer have to make adjustments to your Points Transactions when there is a redemption in play!
If you need to return to the Checkout screen to make any adjustments to the customer's cards you can click the Return to Checkout button. Do not use your browser back arrow, it's a hit or miss and usually causes the integration to get all grumpy.
From this point all you need to do is confirm that everything looks correct, the item the customer is taking home for free should be listed below Items Redeemed this Visit. If it is not then the card was not redeemed properly and you should Return to Checkout and try again.
Once you are satisfied that everything is as it should be select Finished and return to Lightspeed.
Step Five: Discount the Sale in Lightspeed and Collect Payment
Upon clicking Finished in Astro you will be returned to the sale you started in Lightspeed. Now you need to manually apply the discount to the sale and collect your payment. How you go about this is up to you and the tax laws in your state. We at Astro have absolutely no say in what you do from this point forward. How you manage the monetary part of your sale is literally your business. Case in point, the integration will not apply a discount to your sale for you. We want you to maintain complete control over how you apply your customers' earned discounts to their sales.
This freedom allows you to do things such as discount a more expensive item the value of a less expensive item if that less expensive item qualifies as a redemption and the more expensive item does not. This means that if a customer really wants a bag of Venison valued at $98.99 but their frequent buyer card only redeems for items that are valued at $65.99 or less, you can redeem the card for what the pop-up says is the Least Valued Item Purchased, then discount the bag of Venison $65.99, then the customer can pay the difference plus whatever tax is owed.
If you need a reminder of this option and are redeeming a Least Value Free program card there will be a link on the card that says "Lowest Valued Item on Card" and if you click on it you will see an explanation customized to the redemption you are completing. In the image below a Primal Frozen Nugget card was being redeemed.
How to Manage Sales Tax on a Discounted Sale
Everything that I am about to show you from this point forward has been collected from retailers like yourselves. This is to be taken as a suggestion not a direction.
Most States have tax laws that require a consumer to pay the full tax that is owed on a free/discount item before the discount is applied.
If the discount is sponsored by the manufacturer or the distributor and you will be reimbursed by either of these parties for offering the discount, the sales tax base is the full sales price and not the reduced sales price. As noted with manufacturer’s coupons, because the tax base is the amount of receipts you receive for selling the product, the states generally don’t distinguish whether the payment comes from the customer or by some third party. This rule is pretty uniform across the country. - Ned Lenhart, TaxJar
We have been collecting tips and tricks from your peers on how best to do this in Lightspeed. Below I will outline one popular method, but please share your own method with us if you can recommend something better so we can pass it along to your peers here. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
There is some preliminary setup required.
- Create a non-inventory item in your Lightspeed inventory. Make sure that you uncheck the box for Taxable (you don't want to charge tax on tax) and set the MSRP to 0.00. I also added a Note below Custom Fields that says "Our State tax laws require that we still charge the full tax on goods even if they are discounted or comped entirely. Thank you." Then checked the box so it will show up on the receipt so the customer knows what it is. Whether or not you add a note is totally up to you.
Now that you have your non-inventory item for Tax you can use it during a transaction. This method is the simplest if there is only one item on the sale, so we'll start there.
Start by adding your Tax on Free Good item to the sale along with the item that the customer will be taking home for free. It will not alter the sale yet since it's value is 0.00. Before you apply your discount to the free good make a note of what the tax is at the right.
Now click on your Tax item and open it and edit it. Change it's 0.00 value so it matches the the tax owed on the item pre-discount.
Now click on the free good and apply your discount (it is best to make these discounts beforehand so you can just select them from the drop-down).
You can create premade discounts by going to Settings and selecting Discounts which is grouped below Pricing. Lightspeed provides a more in depth explanation on this on their help desk.
The total of the sale should now only be the tax owed.
If you have more items than just the Free Good on a sale it will require some quick math to determine the tax owed. A calculator will come in handy. I use the one built into my computer. First you will need to find out what percent your sales tax is in your state. I'm in NC so I'll use ours which is 4.750%. Now use your calculator and multiply the Price of the Free Good by 4.750%. For instance, in the example above 39.99 x 0.475 = 1.90.
It is a little more challenging to determine how much tax is owed on an item that is only partially discounted and not comped completely. For instance, if I only discounted the bag in the example above 5% instead of 100% the discount would be 2.00 instead of 39.99. In this instance it is best to make a note of what the total tax is before the 5% discount is applied. In this example that is $1.90. Now we apply our 5% discount. This drops the tax owed to $1.80. The difference between $1.90 and $1.80 is $0.10. So you would change the 0.00 on your Tax on Free Good item to 0.10.
Frequently Asked Questions
I am running an Astro Loyalty Points program that is tethered to my customers' sales in Lightspeed. Is it possible to have Astro reference the final sale Total instead of the Sub-total so we do not have to remove points from Today's Purchases during a redemption when a discount is applied?
Now that there has been a new update points will not longer be rewarded for Free Goods since they are not being added to Today's Purchases. However, if you are discounting the sale a couple dollars for either an Astro Offer, a Custom Program or a My Promotion, then you can adjust your customer's points earned within a transaction. The best way to do this is by clicking the Manage Points button to the left of your Checkout screen. Then type in the dollar amount that your customer will be spending after the discount is applied. For instance, if the sale Subtotal is $55 and the customer has earned $5 off for an Astro Offer then enter $50 in the field provided. This will change the customer's points earned from $55 to $50.
If you want to you can Exclude certain items from being to award points for their purchase. This is done by first editing your Points Event and changing the Dollars Based On field from Sale Subtotal, which is the default value Purchase Events reference awarding points, to SKU Subtotal, which will make the Purchase Event reference the individual subtotals of each item in the sale. This will generate two new fields where you can Exclude or Include certain items from the Event.
The SKU Subtotal identifies the items it is including or excluding by referencing the Category you assigned to each item in your Lightspeed inventory. All you need to do is list those categories in the fields provided. Whether you choose to Exclude or Include is best decided by which list is shortest. For instance, if you want to reward points for just toy and treat purchases then it would be best to list those categories beside Include. If you want to reward points for everything but Dog Food and Cat Food then it would make sense to list those categories beside Exclude.
For a more detailed explanation of the setup and execution of a Loyalty Points program on Astro utilizing the Integration checkout this article
. The integration will also work with our Custom Programs