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NopCommerce Customer Groups: Role-Based Features

In today’s e-commerce marketplace, sometimes store owners have a need to create price differentiation for different categories of customers, restrict certain product purchases to specific group of customers or apply discounts to selected customers. For example, they may want to offer different prices to Premium Customers, Retail Customers and Trade Customers. To achieve this, the e-commerce site needs to be designed in such a way that when customers from these different groups log into their account, each of them sees a different price for the same item. The question is, can this be done conveniently without making too many changes to the code at the back-end?

Well, the good news is that nopCommerce helps store owners achieve this easily. nopCommerce is designed suitably to control varying categories, products and prices for different type of users. Let’s see the various role-based features and steps to achieve them on your nopCommerce site:

1. Create Different Customer Roles

With nopCommerce, you can create multiple customer roles based on your requirements. To create customer roles login to nopCommerce Admin module, go to ‘Customers’ menu, click on ‘Customer Roles’ and click the ‘Add new’ button on the right window as shown in screen shot below:

Now, add the details of the customer role in the screen shown below.

If you want to enable Free Shipping for this group of customers, click on ‘Free shipping’ check box. If you want this specific group of customers to make Tax-Free purchases, then select ‘Tax Exempt’ check box. If you want this specific customer role to be assigned automatically to customers who purchase a specific product, for example, any specific coupon, then select those products by clicking ‘Choose a Product’ button.

2. Restricting Categories to Specific User Roles

In nopCommerce it is also possible to restrict specific categories of merchandise to specific set of customers or user roles. To do this, login to nopCommerce Admin module and under ‘Catalog’ menu select ‘Categories’ and edit specific category for example, Electronics. In the categories page, find the field ‘Limited to Customer Roles’. Note: If you do not see this field, then change the categories settings tab from ‘Basic’ to ‘Advanced’ at the top of categories page. 

Now, in the ‘Limited to Customer Roles’ field select the customer roles for which this specific category should be available as shown in screen shot below. If this field is blank, then this category is available to all customers.

3. Restrict Products to Specific Group of Customers

Just like you restrict categories to specific customer groups, you can also restrict specific products to specific customers. To do this, login to nopCommerce Admin module, and under ‘Catalog’ menu select ‘Products’ and edit any specific product. Find the ‘Customer Roles’ field in the product page. Note: If you don’t see this field, then change the product settings tab from ‘Basic’ to ‘Advanced’ at the top of product page.

In the ‘Customers Roles’ field select the customer roles for which this specific product should be visible as shown in screen shot below. If this field is empty then this specific product is visible to all customers.

4. Different Product Price for Specific Customer Groups

Sometimes store owners may want to offer discounted price if the customer orders in bulk or allocate special price for specific customers, say repeated buyers. nopCommerce has a built-in module called ‘Tier Price’ to support this feature. To add any specific tier price for a product, edit the Product from the catalog section and find ‘Tier Prices’ section. Note: If you don’t see this field, then change the product settings tab from ‘Basic’ to ‘Advanced’ at the top of product page.

In the ‘Tier prices’ section click the ‘Add New Tier Price’ button and in the quantity field specify the quantity for which this price is applicable. Then, in the Price field enter special price you want to allocate to the customer group. Next, in the Customer Role dropdown, select the customer group for which this price is applicable. If this special price is applicable only for any specific duration select start and end dates as shown in screen shot below and click save.

5. Restrict Manufacturers to Specific Group of Customers

Store owners can also restrict specific manufacturers to specific customer groups. To do this, login to nopCommerce Admin module and from the ‘Catalog’ menu select ‘Manufacturers’ and edit the specific manufacturer. In the manufacturers page check for ‘Limited to Customer Roles’ field. Note: If you don’t see this field, then change the manufacturers page from ‘Basic’ to ‘Advanced’ at the top of product page.  

Select customer roles for which this specific manufacturer should be visible as shown in the screen shot below. If this field is blank then this manufacturer is visible to all customers.

 6. Special Discounts to Selected Customer Roles

It is also possible to create special discounts limited to only a specific group of customers. To create a discount specific to a certain group of customers, create a discount coupon from ‘Promotions -- > Discounts’ menu. To edit discount record, select ‘Requirements’ tab, select ‘Must be Assigned to Customer Role’ option in the ‘Discount Requirement Type’ dropdown. Now, select customer role to which the specific discount should be applied in the ‘Required Customer Role’ dropdown as shown in the screen shot below:

7. Restricting Specific Pages to Customer Roles

If you want to restrict certain static pages visible only to certain customer groups, then you need to login to Admin module and edit the Topic (page) from ‘Content management   --- > Topics (pages)’ menu. In the customer roles field select the customer roles for which this specific page should be visible as shown in the screen shot below:

8. Assign Customer Roles to Customers

Assigning customer roles to specific customers can either happen automatically on purchase of specific products as explained in the above sections or we can assign them manually from nopCommerce Admin section. To assign customer roles to customers manually, login to Admin section and edit any customer from ‘Customers -- > Customers’ menu. In the customer page, select the appropriate customer roles in the ‘Customer roles’ field and save changes as shown in the screen shot below:

The above features demonstrate how easily you can create different pricing structures for different customer groups, restrict products and product categories to specific customer roles and apply special discounts to preferred customers on your nopCommerce site. Role-based features for customer groups can help store owners charge different types of customers the maximum price that they are willing to pay, thereby creating a pricing strategy that is better aligned with their business goals.

Shwetha Bhat | Blogger

Manjunath Govindappa | ASP.NET Technical Lead

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