Preventing Coupon Abuse and Fraud in WooCommerce

Coupon abuse is when a customer intentionally uses a coupon in a way it wasn’t intended. For example, a customer might create a new user account or use a different email address to evade coupon usage limits.

When you’re creating coupons, first make sure they are targeted for the customer you want to promote to. There’s a few ways to do this:

  1. Set coupon usage limits: You can limit the number of times a coupon can be used in total or per customer. This can help prevent a single customer from using a coupon too many times.
  2. Set a minimum purchase amount: You can require that a customer spend a certain amount of money before the coupon can be used. This can help prevent customers from using a coupon on a very small purchase.
  3. Exclude certain products or product categories: You can configure your coupon to not work on certain products or product categories. This can help prevent customers from using a coupon on a product that you do not want to discount.
  4. Use expiration dates: You can set an expiration date for your coupons to help ensure that they are only used within a certain time frame.
  5. Use unique coupon codes: You can generate unique coupon codes for each customer or for each promotion. This can help prevent customers from sharing coupon codes with others.
Coupon usage restrictions screen.

You can also target coupons to new customers, existing customers, countries or zipcodes with the WooCommerce Coupon Restrictions extension installed.

Additional usage restrictions offered by the WooCommerce Coupon Restrictions plugin.

When offering a big discounts with coupons that have usage limits, customers might attempt to create new accounts or use email aliases in order to evade the coupon restriction. One way to prevent this type of coupon abuse is also with the WooCommerce Coupon Restrictions plugin. It offers enhanced usage limits to prevent a coupon from being used with the same shipping address, IP address, or email alias.

When offering big promotions with coupons, even with these additional restrictions in place, you should also regularly audit coupon use to look for unusual activity.

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