Free Gift VS Special Promotions (Pro) extensions for Magento 2: what to use?

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free gift for magento 2 example
Posted in: Magento 2 Guides

If you are going to create a promotion on your website, one of the first things you need to think about is “What tool or tools I want to use?” There are a lot of solutions on the market that can help you create advanced promotions and extended discounts. How to choose which one suits you the best?

As we offer several solutions to create various types of promotions for Magento 2, our customers often ask us, which tool they should use for their purposes.

In this article we would like to compare Free Gift, Special Promotions (see also Special Promotions for Magento 1) and Special Promotions Pro for Magento 2. We hope that this comparison will help you pick the right extension for your needs.

 Our Magento 2 Reward Points can also help you with promotions and customer retention. Check it out.

Free Gift For Magento 2

This extension is useful when you would like to reward your customers with the definite products or when you would like to create theme-based marketing campaigns, for example, for St. Valentines Day. Moreover, the auto-add option can be helpful for related products promotion.

How it works

You set up a promo rule by using 4 additional promo actions and conditions. This rule adds (automatically or via a promo code) free or discounted items to the customer’s shopping cart depending on the rule’s conditions. You can offer several gifts and let customers choose the one they like. Magento 2 free product and discounted product options are available.

 Gift claimed, you can further motivate customers for holiday purchases offering them Magento 2 coupons.

Main features of free gift:

  • Promo items are added to the cart automatically
  • Works with coupon codes
  • Simple, Configurable, Virtual and Downloadable products support
  • Show available promo items in the pop-up, on top of the product page or above add to cart button
  • Add promo banners on top of a product page or above the ‘Add to Cart’ button
  • Add labels on the product image
  • Add reminders to the checkout and cart about the available gifts.
  • Possibility to skip items with a special price
  • Stock functionality support

Promo examples:

  • ‘Buy a foam roller, get one as a gift’ (a typical 'Buy One Get One Free' Magento 2 strategy)
  • ‘Buy an action camera and get a monopod for free’ or ‘Buy 2 T-shirts and get any of the suggested shorts with 75% discount’;
  • “Choose a shower gel for free if the order amount is more than $49’


  • You always need to specify the certain products’ SKU that you would like to promote
  • Only these types of promotions are available:
    • Buy X Get X for free (Magento BOGO with a discount)
    • Buy X Get Y for free (with a discount)
    • Spend $X get Y for free (with a discount)

If you would like to set up any other flexible rules or to create more general promotion, you should consider the Special Promotions extension.

Special Promotions and Special Promotions Pro

Special Promotions and Special Promotions Pro extensions are must-have tools for big sales like Black Friday, Cyber Monday or Christmas when you first of all need to create flexible promo rules and conditions. These extensions allow you to give discounts not only to the specific items, but to the whole range of products, categories and etc. Both of them include 16 additional promo rules, but with Special Promotions Pro you can set up rules with more advanced conditions. Also, you can also offer deals with free items by setting a 100% discount.

How they work:

A customer adds products to the cart and if they meet the specified rule conditions - he or she will get a discount. For example, you can create a promotion like ‘Buy 3 products, and the cheapest will be with a 50% discount’, so to get a discount, a customer should add 3 products to the cart by himself and after this he will get a discount.

What it CAN’T do:

  • Both Special Promotions and Special Promotions Pro extensions DON’T add the products to the cart automatically.
  • This extension doesn’t include promo banners, so you if you would like to inform your customers about the promotion, use another tools, for example, Promo Banners.

What kind of promotions you can create:

  • Buy jeans and a T-shirt will be with a 50% discount
  • Buy 3 different watches and the most expensive will be with 50% off
  • Spend $300 and get a $40 discount to the whole order.
  • Buy pants and a tie will be with $10 off
  • Buy any pizza and a dessert will be for $9.99
  • Buy 4 wheels and the 4th will be with 50% off
  • Buy 3 TVs and the 3rd will be for $89
  • Buy 100 kg of sugar and each next kilo will be with $2 off
  • Buy 10 sponges for $2.99
  • Buy 8 chocolate bars with 40% off
  • Get a chair, a lamp and a cushion for $200
  • Get a bed, 2 pillows and a blanket with a 25% discount
  • Buy 3 books for the full price, each second one will be with $15 off
  • Buy 5 T-shirts, each new one will be with 50% discount.
  • Buy 1 box of contact lens, each third box will be for $10

in detail: Special Promotions

16 advanced promo rules, that allow you to:

  • Create promotions for the cheapest and the most expensive products
  • Create Promotions like Buy X get Y
  • Set fixed and percent discounts
  • Create promotions with quantity steps
  • Run promotions based on spent amount
  • Create promotions for the sets of products
  • Restrict promotions for products with special prices

in detail: Special Promotions Pro

Main Features:

  • All the Special Promotions features, plus:
  • Use customer's attributes as rule conditions (customer segments, a name, a gender, a date of birth, a membership period and etc.)
  • Limit promotions based on customers' order history (orders quantity and total amount spent)
  • Restrict promotions for products with special prices

Difference between Special Promotions and Special Promotions Pro:

With Special Promotions extension you can only create 16 different types of rules. But in case you would like to customize your offers for the specific customers or create promos based on the order history - you will be completely satisfied with Special Promotions Pro.

For example, with Special Promotions Pro you can give a 50% discount on a new collection for customers who have a membership period more than 100 days or allow to get the cheapest product in the cart for free if the user has already spent more than $100 on your store during the previous purchases.


We hope that this article helped you to see the main difference between these three extensions and to decide what exactly you need to run effective promotions on your store.

Special Promotions is a good decision for small and midsize businesses which are not going to complicate their promos with the advanced conditions and personalization.

Special Promotions Pro is a perfect variant for customer-oriented stores which want to create flexible promotions based on the order history and customers attributes. If you wish to increase customers loyalty in addition to general promotions - this extension is for you.

Free Gift is a different story. The auto add option helps you to optimize the sales funnel of your promotion as a customer skip the step ‘Add promo items to the cart by yourself’.  This option is extremely useful when you want to increase the number of spontaneous purchases.

But anyway, pay attention that the real magic begins when you have both plugins: Special Promotions Pro and Free Gift. In this case, you will be well-equipped for any marketing activities in your store.

Still got any questions? Feel free to ask in the comments, we'll be happy to help you!

March 2, 2018
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