Price Components represent a change record of what happened during price calculation to give you the final price of a line item or order. When building your price calculation rules, you have the ability to choose what type of price component should be used to represent the price change on the order, which is why we provide a couple generic types (like discount / fee).
Ultimately customizing these further will result in the best customer experience, so instead of just "Discount" a user might have visual feedback that they've received their "Member discount" or "Wholesale discount." The ability to customize the price component label is possible in a custom module or there have been rumors of a contributed module that provides an interface for this to work.
The unit price of line items includes an array of price components that show the breakdown of how a particular price was calculated. These components will be multiplied by line item quantity into the line item's total price field and added together into an order's order total price field. Thus component data at the order level will show all the price components that went into the order total.
Price component types are defined by modules installed on the site using hook_commerce_price_component_type_info(). Core price component types include:
In order to show you what price components look like, we've picked up the Price Calculations example towards the end. To see the whole exercise, check it out.
In order to show you what price components using rules look like, we've picked up the Price Calculations example in the very middle. To see the whole exercise, check it out.
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