Choosing An eCommerce Platform For eLearning: 30 Questions To Ask

Choosing An eCommerce Platform For eLearning: 30 Questions To Ask
Summary: If you sell your courses to customers, choosing an eCommerce platform is a case of balancing your budget with the features you genuinely need. It’s a good idea to think forward and anticipate problems before they arise, assess what your eCommerce needs will be, and how the system will scale as your business grows.

What To Ask When Choosing An eCommerce Platform For eLearning 

I’ve put together a list of 30 things to think about when choosing an eCommerce platform for your Education and Training business. If you get the answers to the following questions that you think you need, the system you end up choosing should serve you well.

If you think I’ve missed any out or want to add any you wish were available, please add them in the comments section for discussion.

  1. Is the eCommerce platform licensed (software you buy and host on your own server) or SaaS hosted (maintained by a third party)?
  2. Can you easily access the courses yourself to edit and update them?
  3. Are the catalog and shopping cart easy to navigate? Are they graphically pleasing?
  4. Are there adequate search features to help learners find courses?
  5. Is there automatic enrollment or do you have to do it manually?
  6. Is there SSO (single sign-on) into the Learning Management System or do learners need to do a series of logins to access their courses?
  7. What level of support is there?
  8. Can it be used to sell physical products? If so, does it calculate shipping and tax?
  9. Does it support multiple payment gateways so you can choose which ones you use?
  10. Does it generate SEO-friendly product URLs that contain keywords relevant to the course?
  11. Does it have a “back end” (admin area) where you can create and manage categories, set variable pricing, set discounts (voucher, member, multi-seat), view orders and sales reports? Does it let you customize your order and enrolment emails? Create Buy Now button code for pasting into social media?
  12. Is it scalable so it can grow with your business, or capped at a certain number of users?
  13. What level of PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard) compliance does it have?
  14. If it gives you a website, does it offer you the security of an SSL certificate?
  15. Can it use Google Analytics to track site and page visits?
  16. Does it integrate with other systems e.g. ones containing promotional content, member databases, user registration data etc.?
  17. Does it have inventory and wait lists?
  18. Does it have customizable registration forms for capturing the data you need?
  19. Does it charge you per course sale or number of users, or a flat monthly or yearly fee?
  20. Can someone purchase a block of courses and allocate them to people in their company?
  21. Can someone buy a course just for themselves?
  22. Can it calculate sales tax for any country?
  23. Is it possible to create course bundles to be sold as a single product?
  24. Can you add affiliate tracking?
  25. Can it have multiple categories and subcategories?
  26. Does the platform take a percentage of your course fees?
  27. Can you create vouchers for promotional offers?
  28. What notification emails does the platform generate?
  29. Can it give membership discounts?
  30. Can you accept payment by invoice and delay enrollment until payment has been processed?