by Tobe Osakwe Jun 14, 2024

One common question from store owners migrating to Shopify is whether they can create a single discount code that applies both a product/order discount and free shipping. Unfortunately, due to the way Shopify’s discount system is designed, this isn’t possible. Here’s why.

The Nature of Shopify Discounts

Shopify allows discounts in three distinct categories: product discounts, order discounts, and shipping discounts. Each discount code can only apply to one of these categories at a time. This means you can’t create a single discount code that offers 20% off products and free shipping simultaneously.

Common Workarounds and Their Issues

You might have seen apps that claim to stack discounts or provide combined discounts. These apps typically create a separate discount field on the cart page that can apply multiple discounts. However, this method has significant limitations and can cause confusion:

  • Compatibility Issues: Apps that implement their discount fields aren’t integrated with Shopify’s checkout system. This can lead to compatibility issues with other apps and themes.
  • User Confusion: Customers might get confused if the discount they enter in the cart doesn’t reflect in the final checkout page, leading to potential cart abandonment.

It’s essential to communicate these limitations to customers clearly. If a customer mentions an app that appears to bypass this limitation, explain that while the app might offer a workaround, it won’t integrate seamlessly with Shopify’s checkout system and may introduce other issues.

Alternative Promotional Strategies

While Shopify doesn’t allow a single discount code for both product and shipping discounts, you can still use alternative promotional strategies within Shopify’s framework. Shopify supports combining separate product and shipping discounts. You can create two separate discount codes and set them to combine, allowing customers to use both discounts in the cart at the same time.

For more details on how to set up combined discounts, you can refer to Shopify’s Discount Combinations Documentation.


While it can be frustrating to deal with Shopify’s discount limitations, understanding them is key to maintaining a stable and user-friendly store. Communicate clearly with your customers about what discounts are available and consider alternative promotional strategies that fit within Shopify’s framework. This approach will help ensure a smoother experience for both you and your customers.