Many companies that provide some form of training or education (for example, associations or companies that offer b2b services) have modernized their programs to create new opportunities for revenue by streamlining the access and delivery of courses and resources using eCommerce. By integrating one of the leading eCommerce plugins with a Learning Management System (LMS), companies are able to enhance the end user experience by making it easy for customers to purchase and access memberships, training courses, or other content.
Various eCommerce plugins can streamline access to resources after purchase by automatically enrolling users into a course, scheduling them for an upcoming event, or otherwise immediately delivering the purchased resources. Integrating an LMS and an eCommerce plugin allows companies to cut down on the number of time-consuming managerial tasks needed to create an efficient and effective workflow.
If your organization plans to use your LMS to generate revenue, there are a few eCommerce plugins you may want to consider. The right eCommerce solution for your organization will be based largely on factors such as site marketability, security/CPI compliance, system discounting, and other important eCommerce considerations.
To help simplify the selection process, you can place most eCommerce plugins into two different categories: a full eCommerce option or a payment processing option. Which solution will be the right fit depends on your organization’s eCommerce goals. We’ll review both options along with a few of our top picks below so that you can begin to determine which is the best fit for your organization.
Full eCommerce Plugin Options
Products that fall into the full eCommerce category are considered “automated” as they manage the workflow from course catalog presentation to enrollment. Most of these platforms provide additional flexibility in the way of discount codes, course bundles, subscriptions, marketing tools, multiple payment gateways, and other options to support your business objectives. Typically once purchase is complete in the eCommerce platform, the learner’s account is automatically created in the learning management system if it doesn’t already exist, and the learner is enrolled in the purchased course or set of courses.
The most popular full eCommerce options used by eThink customers are as follows:
Arlo is one of the leading training management software and eCommerce providers. Their solutions allow you to promote, sell, and deliver your courses and events. The ability to automate manual processes helps to streamline your operation by reducing necessary administration, while Arlo’s sales and marketing tools help you generate new business and grow your training programs. You can seamlessly integrate Arlo into your existing Moodle™ or Totara site to build an integrated eCommerce portal.
Learn more about Arlo’s eCommerce solutions in How to Scale Your Training Operation with an LMS & eCommerce.
From the creators of LMS analytics platform IntelliBoard, IntelliCart is a complete eCommerce and reporting solution that can be used in Moodle™. IntelliCart features robust dashboards and reporting tools to provide detailed insights into your customers, sales, products, coupons and waitlists – all in one location seamlessly embedded within the LMS. And with automated student enrollment upon payment and powerful data analytics on purchase activity, IntelliCart allows you to streamline eLearning delivery and successfully sell, provide, and analyze the success of your courses through Moodle™.
Course Merchant also provides streamlined commercial eLearning solutions for education and training. A custom storefront allows for bundling of courses, a variety of options for discounts including quantity discounts, memberships and vouchers, and the ability for purchasers to manage licenses for multiple users. Managed independently of the LMS but integrated seamlessly with Moodle™ and Totara, Course Merchant can create unified accounts for new users and pass them directly into their courses.
Payment Processing eCommerce Plugins
Payment processing plugins are considered “direct enrollment options” and are a much simpler option but doesn’t provide many additional features. When using a direct enrollment option, the learner must first exist as a user in the LMS before making a purchase. A single price is set for the course, and the learner is passed to the processor to handle the payment and once complete their enrollment is added to the course. Some of the most common payment processing options with enrollment plugins include:
Each of the eCommerce plugin options reviewed above does require an integration with your LMS. Fortunately, open-source Moodle™ and Totara Learn allow you to integrate with these third-party plugins and solutions seamlessly. Additionally, you will need a license/account with the eCommerce or payment option company of your choice. eThink can assist in enabling any eCommerce or payment option once the vendor’s connection information is supplied to eThink for entry into your LMS.
Arlo, LMS Checkout, and Course Merchant are partners of eThink. Our team has ample experience integrating these high-quality eCommerce solutions with our clients’ learning management systems. For more information about integrating your LMS with an eCommerce solution contact us or click below to get an individualized demonstration.Request a Demo