How to Become a Package Master in The Patron Edge in 3 Easy Steps
While there are certainly a plethora of guides on how to design specific packages there are not many that talk about the way packages actually work. The aim of this guide is to try and help you understand why packages behave the way they do, how they work and provide you with the knowledge needed to build your own packages from scratch without the need to find a specific guide for what you want.
This guide covers many aspects of package creation so is fairly in-depth however it should help you become a package master!
Packages ultimately are defined in two stages. First you must define the package and then you must define the package deal. Let’s talk about the package first. Once you have named a package and selected it you are ready to define the packages content and benefits.
Content and Benefits
The contents and benefits are the meat of a package and not only does it dictate whether a package should be applied; it also details what the package benefits are. Each Package can have a number of content and benefit rows.
This Window is where we create a contents and Benefit item so let’s talk a little bit about what each item does.
Item: Depending on what you select here this will affect what the customer needs to buy in order to be eligible for the offer. This will generally be Event Tickets and usually all your contents and benefits Item types should be the same. (Mixing them will usually cause the package to not work)
Minimum: The minimum number of items of this type that the system needs to be able to ring fence in order to apply the package (we will talk about ring fencing later)
Maximum: This will affect how many times the package deal is able to be applied however if the package is not a terminated package (talk about this later too) this does nothing and should generally just be set to the same as the minimum.
Benefit Type: This affects the kind of benefit that will be applied to the tickets ring fenced by this row of the package only. The most common options are Nominal Discount (A flat reduction) and a percentage discount. This discount will be applied to every ticket ring fenced by this row. Free Item will 100% discount some items in this group based on the Most or least expensive items.
Benefit Type – No Benefit. No Benefit means that these tickets will not have any special offers applied to them but they still need to be present for the overall package to apply. This may be a little confusing so I am going to illustrate this with an example.
Ticket Ring Fencing
Ring fencing is important to understand how packages work and interact with each other. When the system decides whether or not a package can be applied to a basket it takes each package in turn and tries to match the minimum tickets for each row of the package against what’s available. If there are enough tickets to apply the package it does so but then ring fences those tickets so that they cannot qualify for another package. The system will then try to apply the package again and again until it fails (unless it’s a Terminated package which we will discuss later) as soon as it cannot apply the package any more it moves on and tries to apply the next package however any ring fenced tickets can’t be used to match the new package. The order in which the packages are checked against the basket depends on the priority on the package deals which we will discuss later.
Sometimes the options within the Contents and Benefits – Edit screen are not enough for us to create the kind of packages that we want.
The toolbar at the top of the Contents and benefits screen allows us to add additional requirements:
It’s worth noting that in addition to the options in this screenshot hitting the >> button will also present a shows option. By selecting a row and highlighting it in blue we can use these options to increase the requirements for our package. We aren’t going to talk about all of these options today but we will discuss a few of the most commonly used in building packages.
Price Levels – Price Levels allows you to restrict your package to specific price levels. For example you could uncheck Price Type A so it cannot be applied to your highest value seats.
Price Types – Price Types allows you to restrict a package to a specific price type and is extremely useful for creating complex packages. When the system is trying to ring fence tickets to apply your package the price types only matter for that row. This means if your package had 5 rows each requiring 1 ticket and each row was limited to a different price type your package would only apply if 1 ticket of each of the 5 price types was purchased.
Time Limitation Groups – Time limitation groups will be discussed in more detail later but this allows you to exclude specific periods from the package or to restrict the package to specific times. This can be used to create ‘after school’ packages or to restrict the package so it won’t apply at the weekend.
Shows – A show limitation will require the tickets that are being ring fenced for that row to be from that specific show. This can be used to limit a package to a specific show or by having different show restrictions for each row setting a package that requires tickets to be brought from multiple events.
Time Limitation Groups/Excluding specific shows from a package
You can restrict a package from applying at specific times and days, for example limiting a package so that it won’t apply on evening shows or at weekends, or you can require that a package will only apply at specific times so in this case perhaps a package that only applies at weekends. To do this we must temporarily move on from packages to Date-Time limitation.
Time Limitation Groups allows you to set either Times of the Day, Days of the Week + Hours or Dates + Hours. Click new and create a new entry, set the name and the type you want, and then click the relevant toolbar option, which will bring up a new entry that allows you to enter multiple values. For example, you can create a time limitation group for 3 different dates.
Once you have created your new Time limitation group return to your package, select each of your rows and click time limitation groups. You will receive the following window:
From here, you can select which time limitation group you wish to apply and whether or not the package is available (in which case it will be denied at other times) or unavailable during this period.
Terminated & Non-Terminated Packages
Every package we have so far discussed is a Non-Terminated package. The package will continue to apply again and again as long as the customer buys enough tickets. But what if we want the package to apply only a limited number of times, perhaps we want the package to only apply once.
If we set our package up as a terminated package then the Max No. Of Items field comes into play. Normally this field does nothing, but if your package is terminated this field will tell the system the maximum number of tickets to ring fence for this deal. If it’s set to the same as minimum the deal will only be able to be applied once.
The deal will expand up to the maximum number of tickets. For example, if you create a row with a 50% discount which has a minimum of 2 and a maximum of 5 as long as it’s terminated , this deal will apply a 50% discount as soon as the second ticket is bought and continue to discount by 50% up to 5 tickets. The sixth ticket would be full price.
So how do we tell the system that a package is a terminated package? We create a new blank row at the end of the package deal. This row should have a min and max items of 0 and a benefit type of no benefit.
The Package Deal Screen
Once we have created our package fully, we must assign it to a package deal and this allows us some additional features we can use to change the behaviour of the package. All packages need to be assigned to a package deal or they will not work.
There are fewer options for Package deals than there are for packages and really there are only a couple of relevant ones we are going to discuss
From Transaction Date: The From Transaction Date simply allows you to set a date from which the packages within this package deal will start applying. You can use this if you want a package to automatically start applying after a certain date
To Transaction Date: Similarly, the To Transaction Date allows you to set a date on which the transaction will terminate.
Priority: Priority is only important when you have multiple deals which could apply to the same set of tickets. An example of this would be if you had a package that offered 10% if you bought 3 tickets and another package which offered 20% off if you bought 5 tickets. If the user places 5 tickets in their basket the conditions have been met for both packages but obviously we want the 5 ticket deal to apply. In order to achieve this we assign the 3 ticket deal a higher priority. The system will attempt to apply the Package deals with the lowest priority first however you should avoid using a priority of 0 unless you are unbothered about the order the system will check packages. As a result in this example you should set the priority of the 5 ticket deal to ‘1’ and the 3 ticket deal to ‘2’. If the customer was to buy 8 tickets it would discount the first 5 by 20% and the next 3 by 10%.
Because of the ring fencing process, each ticket can only be claimed once by any package, which occasionally can cause problems with packages interacting. An example of this would be our happy hour package offering a 10% discount between 4 and 5 and a family ticket offering a 25% discount when you purchase 2 child and 2 adult tickets. Depending on the priorities of these deals only one would apply, however we potentially want both deals to be able to apply if the conditions are met for both.
In this situation, the best bet is to create a third package which has both the requirements and the benefits of both packages. It would be restricted to applying between 4 and 5 but also require 2 adult and 2 child tickets. We would set the benefit to 35% off and assign this package to its own Package deal. Finally we would set this package deal to have a priority of 1 and the other two deals to 2.
This guide does not cover all elements of package creation but with this information you should be set to create all but the most complex of packages, as usual if you need any assistance in fine tuning, tweaking or just plain getting your package working our tireless team of package guru’s are available to help you through your package woes.
Thanks for reading and happy packaging.
- Setting up a Package Discount for Two Specific Shows in The Patron Edge
- Creating Multiple Discounts/Benefits Under One Coupon in The Patron Edge
- Using Time Date Limitations with Packages in The Patron Edge
- New Year, New Prices?
- Using Multiple Gift Aid Commissions on a Single Event in The Patron Edge