What to Look for in an e-Commerce LMS

Learning management systems (or LMS for short) facilitate online content delivery, helping employers, teachers, and other organizations deliver educational courses to learners. Some of these organizations might wish to sell the content they create to add revenue streams while improving the content’s perceived value, and that means choosing an e-commerce LMS that’s equipped with the course authoring tools and e-commerce capabilities they need.

Many vendors claim to offer e-commerce functionality, but what you get can vary wildly. Plenty of LMS with e-commerce exist, but others have bare-bones capabilities that make it virtually impossible for organizations to meet their goals. If you’re serious about LMS e-commerce, it pays to consult an expert opinion as you search.

Craig Weiss is the CEO and Lead Analyst for the Craig Weiss Group and one of the most influential figures in the online learning space. He has personal experience with thousands of LMS solutions and understands what an e-commerce LMS should be. His latest project, FindAnLMS.com, allows average people to take advantage of everything he knows to find the right LMS for their needs. You can create a free account on FindAnLMS.com to start comparing top names head-to-head right now. Or, you can keep reading to learn more about what’s expected from an e-commerce LMS below.

What constitutes LMS e-commerce?

Some vendors offer PayPal integration and call it “e-commerce,” but that’s not good enough for an e-commerce LMS in Weiss’s estimation. You want integration with a proven payment processor such as Stripe at a bare minimum. Credit cards such as VISA and Mastercard are also essential, and AMEX cards are a huge plus since many companies have corporate AMEX cards. Accepting Discover cards isn’t quite as important but the option is still nice. An e-commerce LMS can also stand out by supporting all of the novel payment methods available these days such as Amazon Pay, Apple Pay, Zelle, Venmo, and Google Pay.

LMS e-commerce also requires the ability to sell content piecemeal and in bundles, offer paid subscriptions, and provide loyal customers with discounts and promo codes. The requirements don’t stop at the transactional level though. An LMS with e-commerce needs more powerful analytics than a general LMS because you’ll be using them to drive revenue. Which courses are selling and which aren’t? Are there any specific chapters or sections that customers keep coming back to? White-labelling is also big since your customers may not take you seriously if another company’s logo is all over your courses.

e-Commerce also demands powerful course creation tools so that you can provide value for what you’re charging. Look for features such as multimedia support, drag-and-drop course creation interface, mobile responsiveness, and xAPI capabilities as a starting point.

What are some examples of e-commerce LMS?

A complete list of LMS solutions with e-commerce capabilities would be way too long to digest, but in general, you’ll want to look at vendors in the customer education space since that market tends to have the strongest e-commerce capabilities. Raven360 is an underappreciated platform with virtual machine functionality allowing learners to explore a simulation of technology products, making it great if you sell something that requires demonstration. Skilljar accepts international currencies and supports subscription models. Absorb LMS has an optional add-on, Create LI, with some of the most powerful course authoring tools and full e-commerce support. Thought Industries offers everything you would expect from LMS e-commerce except mobile support.

Again, the list above isn’t exhaustive and an expert like Craig Weiss could help you find an under-the-radar solution that would be perfect for your organization’s needs.

Learn more about LMS e-commerce on FindAnLMS.com

An e-commerce LMS is one of the many filters you can use to sort on FindAnLMS.com, allowing you to quickly find potential vendors. Industry expert Craig Weiss provides grades and exclusive insight on every FindAnLMS listing so you can do all of your research in one convenient location. Create a free account on FindAnLMS.com right now to start comparing!

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