Ecommerce LMS Tips You Can Use
Ecommerce LMS may not be the first thing on your mind when choosing or setting up your LMS. But there are logistics to work out before and during your ecommerce setup that are best dealt with sooner rather than later. Here are some ecommerce LMS tips to think about when choosing an LMS, or as you set up the ecommerce solution on your existing LMS.
Ecommerce LMS Features
It is prudent to research whether your chosen LMS has the features to fulfill your vision of how ecommerce will work on your LMS.
How do you plan to sell your courses?
Will you sell them:
- Individually as one-off sales?
- In bundles by category or learning path?
- As subscription levels?
What kind of sales funnels do you need?
Do you want to offer part of your course for free with an up-sell for the remainder of the course? Or maybe you plan to let users choose their own learning paths, with up-sells along the way.
Do you plan to offer coupons or discounts?
If your LMS offers ecommerce solutions, it most likely offers a way for you to create coupons and discounts for your users. Each LMS is a bit different, so make sure yours has the types of coupons and discounts you expect.
Case in Point:
Discounts for subscriptions can get tricky. You may not want a discount to be applied to every single month your users are subscribed. Instead, look into whether your LMS has a way to apply discounts or coupons to only the first month of a subscription – or a way to offer a free trial.
Will you offer affiliate or rev-share programs?
Affiliate programs are not common features in an LMS (MatrixLMS has one). If you plan to have one, you may want to start with an LMS that offers the feature, or plan to integrate.
It is even more rare to find an LMS that offers rev-share features. Rev-share is when you split the revenue of a course with someone else, like an instructor or subject matter expert. This is particularly useful if you want to create a marketplace of courses by different instructors.
Thinkific offers a rev-share option and would be a good pick if your goal is a marketplace.
Do you need to sell other products?
Some LMSs provide options to also sell digital products along side your online courses. But if you also need to sell physical products, you may want to set up your ecommerce off of your LMS (more about that later).
Each LMS has its own way of dealing with these scenarios. Make sure your LMS accommodates your plans. If not, you may need to incorporate integrations or APIs to make it happen (see below).
A payment gateway is a service that collects payments from your customers and makes that money available to you. Payment gateways typically charge a percentage of the transaction (usually around 3%) and/or a flat per-transaction fee.
You’ll need to have at least one payment gateway to connect to your LMS in order to initiate ecommerce LMS solutions.
Some popular payment gateways include PayPal, Stripe, and Authorize.net. Most payment gateways accept global payments; however, there are some gateways, like PayU and PagSeguro, that are more widely used in specific countries.
Possibly the most important criteria when choosing an LMS is whether it connects with the payment gateways your organization already uses or ultimately needs.
If you are starting fresh, research which payment gateways are best for your location and purposes. But if you have established merchant services or accounting software, base your payment gateway choices on the ones that will integrate best with your existing systems.
Almost all LMSs will offer PayPal as a payment gateway. We typically recommend having at least one other option – Stripe is a good choice.
Alternative Payment Methods
Payment gateways typically accept all major credit and debit cards as payment methods.
If your organization requires the use of purchase orders, direct invoicing, or other alternative payment methods, your LMS may be able to accommodate.
Many LMSs offer solutions for alternative payment methods. For instance, MatrixLMS offers a “purchase order” payment method. This solution incorporates strict approval processes to avoid abuse.
TalentLMS offers a way to handle “off-site payments” by allowing you to issue a block of credit to individuals or groups of users.
Ecommerce LMS Integrations
It may be that your organization already has ecommerce set up on a website or that you handle receivables from your own accounting system.
There are several routes you can take to integrate your own ecommerce solution or accounting system with your LMS.
Most LMSs offer a variety of integration options. One of our favorites is Zapier. Zapier is a third-party tool that can trigger enrollments in your LMS courses when users purchase from your website or other ecommerce system.
For more complicated integrations, look into using your LMS’s API. APIs may sound intimidating, but a good LMS will have exceptional documentation, and even third-party tools like Postman to help with the process.
If you’ve hired an LMS service provider for the maintenance and support of your LMS, they can help you with integrations as well.
If your organization needs complete control of every moving part of your ecommerce solution, check out FastSpring. FastSpring and solutions like it are best for those with a bit of web development experience.
How Elearning Delta Can Help with Your Ecommerce LMS Solution
Our expert LMS team can help you analyze your ecommerce LMS solutions and determine if they are the right fit for you. We can also help you find workarounds or implement integrations and APIs to your specific eccommerce needs.