The product-level Discount Start and End dates and times allow you to define the period when a product Discount Percent or Discount Price applies - and will effect automated activation and de-activation of discounted or promotional pricing on the product level (vs using a coupon).
Examples of when you might want to use this feature include flash sales, daily or monthly specials that you want to set up in advance for several days or months, or any time you set up a discount without a coupon, and don't want to turn it on and off manually, especially if the active or inactive times are at midnight or some other awkward hour. While you have long been able to set up start and end dates with coupon discounts as well, this feature on the product level adds flexibility when coupons aren't appropriate or when they are already in use for other things.
To take advantage of this feature, navigate to the Product Pricing section (on the first page of product edit mode) on the product for which you wish to set up a timed discount:
You'll need to ensure that the discounts are set up properly on the product, either in the Discount Percent or Discount Price field seen above, in the Volume, Category or SKU pricing (selected here and specified on the next page), or in the Customer-Based Pricing which is also selected here and entered on the next page (for example club pricing, wholesale pricing, or whatever you may use customer-based pricing for on the product level.)
Then set up your Discount Start and End dates. If you do not specify dates, the product will not be on a timer and will act normally. If you do enter a date or dates, the entries apply to all discounted prices defined for the product, including VOLUME, CATEGORY, and SKU pricing; and Customer-Based Pricing which is specified on the following page.
IMPORTANT: If you regularly use customer-based pricing for clubs, wholesale, VIPs, employees, investors, or any other reason, be aware that all customer-based discounts will become inactive after the expiration of a timed discount set on the product level. Therefore, you may well be better served using a timed coupon (Coupons/New/Start time & End Time), which can be usable by customer type and can override (or not) customer-based discounts which go back into effect when the coupon isn’t used or is no longer active.
Once a timed discount expires, the discounts will remain in the fields in which they were entered, but they will become inactive. You will see signage to this effect on the product summary page, which will look something like this:
Additional Set Up and Use Notes:
If a timed-discounted item is placed in the cart, but the order isn't completed until after the discount expires, the cart will automatically revert to the non-discounted price upon checkout.
However, when editing an existing order, the Discount Start and End are compared to the Order Date and Time (not the current date/time).
Discount Start and End dates set on the product level do not affect Category Discounts, Order Discounts, Customer Discounts, Coupon Discounts, Sharing Discounts, or any other discounts that are not defined specifically for this product on the product setup pages, but rather are set up elsewhere in the system.