Why you should sell courses online, and how you can do it.
Sell courses online and transform your LMS into a money making machine
eCommerce is an avenue that is fast gaining momentum in the elearning industry. With the rise of various different types of elearning platforms it is now easier than ever for instructors and companies to sell courses online and bring in an extra revenue stream.
No doubt there are plenty of people out there who haven’t yet considered the benefits of selling the content they have spent time and resource creating, as well as people who may be unsure of the best way to go about it. This article should open up some possibilities for those who are considering commercializing their own content, and will give some useful information for sellers who want to learn more about how you can hook your LMS up to an eCommerce platform to add make some cash out of material you have spent a lot of time and effort producing; basically mint some money by selling courses online with the same content that is already prepared.
eCommerce is simply selling your courses/product online, and there are plenty of different platforms to choose from which can each offer you something slightly different depending on your needs, but more about that later. eCommerce gives users the power to sell whatever they want, and to whomever they want, over the internet. Almost all robust learning management systems have some kind of eCommerce integration which allows learning managers and course designers to effectively sell courses online, either to individual buyers or buyers looking to purchase content for organizations or specific elearner groups.
When it comes to selling elearning content, probably the main product you will be wanting to sell are your courses. However the list doesn’t end there. All elearning content you produce can be sold, including webinars, presentations, videos, digital content and even entrance to in-person events.
eCommerce LMS integration and how it works
eCommerce LMS integration is a customization offered by many market-leading LMSs, and the extent of the integration depends strongly on the needs of the individual organization. It depends on the quantity and breadth of your products, the size of the company and how many bells and whistles you want included in the package. At Paradiso Solutions we work with you, the client, to determine exactly what your needs are and how we can best build in the integration for your specific case to allow you to sell courses online.
Thanks in great part to Single Sign On (SSO) – which means you only need to enter one set of login details for both the eCommerce platform and the LMS – going from purchasing to taking the course is now a piece of cake.
So who’s going to buy?
There are different types of people who you will be wanting to buy your elearning material, such as individual private buyers or people who like the look of a course or webinar. Your students or users of your LMS may want to purchase courses also, and likewise you might want to buy individual or packages of courses for your students.
After the buyer has located the course on the eCommerce platform they will proceed to the checkout. From here they enter a few personal details and make the payment.
Once the purchase has been processed the learner, if they are a user of your LMS, simply has to enter a few personal details, and because of SSO they will be automatically enrolled on the course they have bought and can access the LMS from the eCommerce dashboard. If the buyer is not an LMS user then they can be assigned guest user status and still get access to the course, or simply download a copy of the course to use on another learning management system.
The pricing that can be assigned to your products for selling elearning online is very flexible. Courses can be sold individually or as part of a bundle of courses, and there is the option of bulk discounts if you so wish. You can manage subscriptions, payment plans and even offer free trials.
Just like your LMS it is important that the eCommerce platform you use reflects your brand’s identity. With eCommerce LMS integration the ideal is that the transition between the two platforms is seamless from the user’s perspective. Being able to transform the look and feel of the platform is critical as it could be the difference between a learner choosing your course or not. If brand loyalty is important to you then it is crucial that the branding, color schemes and narrative be consistent across any platform to which you lend your brand.
Choosing the right platform
There are several excellent eCommerce platforms which you can choose from to help you sell courses online, and as already mentioned much depends on the size of your company and your individual needs – you can view a great article which delves much deeper into the subject here. Probably the first thing that you will consider when looking for an eCommerce platform is the cost, especially if you are an SME. The good news is that to sell courses online is now so popular that there are plenty of options available at very competitive prices. Just be sure before you commit that you are only purchasing the features that you need and not a whole load you will never make use of. Likewise you must be aware of where your business is headed in terms of growth, and be sure that the platform you choose is fully scalable in line with your own projections.
Possibly the most important thing to bear in mind when making a decision on which eCommerce platform to go with is how your customers will be interacting with the platform, and how easy it is for them to process to the payment stage. The easier it is to go from choosing a course to actually purchasing it, and the less hassle the customer has to go through with forms to fill out or extra accounts to open, the happier the customer will be and the more willing they will be to buy.
Some platforms to help you sell courses online
Paradiso LMS integrates with the most popular eCommerce platforms around. Again, which one you choose depends on a lot of factors. WooCommerce is a platform built on WordPress and can be downloaded for free as an add-on, so if you already have a site built on WordPress then this would be an easy transition. Magento on the other hand is designed more for enterprise and larger companies, with tons of great features and almost unlimited customizability, however may be a wee bit out the price range of smaller firms. Shopify is a good option as, for a monthly fee, they take care of a lot of things for you, allowing you to concentrate more on other things such as making your courses the best they can be.
Do you plan to sell courses online? want help with integrations? Get in touch with us by clicking on the below link