What is the difference between Point Rewards and Store Credit extensions for Magento

Now there is a huge confusion between Point Rewards and Store Credits extensions. Most of people think that these extensions are the same. Actually, these extensions are very similar, but different names should point out to different main functionality.

We have analyzed many plugins and found out that Store Credit & Refund and Point Rewards ones have very similar functionality. It is difficult for merchants to choose the most appropriate extension. Moreover, according to numerous extensions’ descriptions, even developers don’t understand the difference between these two modules. Some of them assume that Store Credit & Refund and Point Rewards are different names of a single extension.

So, let’s answer the question: here is one module with two different names or we have two modules that have distinctive difference in functionality.

Main goals of Point Rewards and Store Credits extensions

First of all, we will analyze the goals this module has been developed for. Based on the module descriptions we have identified the following goals:

  • keep money within the store,
  • stimulate sales,
  • improve retention,
  • build loyalty by offering store credits as an incentive,
  • give away store credits as a compensation,
  • polish your CRM strategy with valuable offers.

According to our research, several Store Credit & Refund and Point Rewards extensions can meet all of these different goals. But we have decided to go further in our analysis.

We have divided these goals into two groups:

First group:

  • keep money within the store,
  • give away store credits as a compensation,
  • polish your CRM strategy with valuable offers.

Achieving these goals requires personal communication with a client which is a task of customer support service.

Second group of goals:

  • stimulate sales,
  • improve retention,
  • build loyalty by offering store credits as an incentive,

These goals mean that there is a general marketing strategy that can be applied to all clients.

Usually marketing department or single specialist is responsible for such set of goals.

The first group of goas refers to Store Credit and Refunds extensions, while the second one – Point & Rewards modules.

Merchants should make a choice based on their goals priorities:

  1. Optimizing client relationship management and decreasing returns
  2. Sales stimulation and growing of customer’s loyalty

Therefore, if an extension has the functionality to achieve the goals of both groups, the merchant should find out with functionality is stronger.

But that’s not all.  We need something more valuable than the goals of a module that we can find on the extensions’ page (product page). These goals have been written by copywriters and marketing specialists to present any extension in a better way.

We need exact features that will precisely indicate whether we have Store Credit & Refunds or Point Rewards extension.

If we look at modules closely, both modules have the internal balance which can be used by a client to pay an order fully or partially. The main question is: how can the balance be replenished?

An administrator of each module may add internal points manually. It’s a common functionality.

The crucial difference is that in Point Reward module points are added on the base of certain rules, for instance, in return for specific actions as making a purchase, product review, registration, or just to stimulate a customer to make a purchase. In other words, points are being added automatically as a bonus for certain actions.

In the case of Store Credit & Refunds points are added manually as a result of a purchase return or as a compensation for a dissatisfied customer. This actions assume communications with a client and involves a customer support specialist.

Rewarding clients automatically with points definitely identifies Point Rewards extension.

Credits replenishment as a result of refund or compensation helps us to identify a Store Credit and Refund module.

All other features are common for both types of modules. Let’s depict these features.

Most used Features for Store Credits and Point Rewards plugins

Here is the list of most used features:

Sales stimulation features

  • Customer email notification about credit balance updates
  • Displaying credit balance
  • Credit bonuses based on specified rules
  • Restore redeemed credit/ Subtract earned credit after a refund

Point management features

  • Using credits for Subtotal, tax, and shipping
  • Buying credit by customers
  • Sharing credits by customers
  • Pay by credits fully or partially
  • Canceling to use credits on Shopping Cart / Checkout page

Usage statistics:

  • Customer credit transactions history
  • Users credits Transaction grid for Admin (history)

Now we may give the final answer: whether these two groups of extensions have significant differences, and which one a merchant should buy.

For now, in a Point Rewards module and in a Store Credit module we can found both types of credits (points) replenishment: bonus points for certain activities and internal credits for purchase refund or compensation.

Of course, Point Rewards modules should deal with bonus points, while Sore credits modules should mainly provide refund and manual credit replenishment functionality. But, as we have mentioned above:

  1. Developers and marketers often don’t understand the difference between these two groups of modules
  2. Product owners try to enrich the functionality of their products as much as possible.

For instance, we can see that LandofCoders, Magestore, aheadWorks Point Rewards Magento 2 extensions have Refund functionality. On the other hand, Mirasvit and MageDelight Store Credit (and Refunds) extensions for Magento 2 replenish credit bonuses on the base of the specified rules.

Therefore, Point Rewards and Store Credit extensions differ only by their names.

How to choose the right module?

If you are choosing Point Rewards or Store Credit module, you should keep in mind that Point Rewards usually has more advanced functionality to achieve marketing goals. So, if you have a marketing strategy and you have staff who is able to realize this strategy you should consider Point Rewards for buying.

If the only goal is to improve customer support service and/or you don’t have appropriate resources to achieve marketing goals, we would recommend a Store Credit & Refund extension. In most cases, such modules are cheaper than Point Rewards modules.

Bottom line

Usually, there are no significant differences between Store Credit & Refund and Point Rewards plugins. A Magneto Point Rewards extension is more preferable if you plan to implement marketing activities. Store Credits and Refund module will be useful for customer care service.

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