The Swiss Army-TDS, Pt.2: eFrontPro for eCommerce

Explore Your Options With eFrontPro For eCommerce

eFrontPro is flexible. Like, really flexible. It can do Talent Development with the best of them, but it also has a powerful eLearning core. It can handle an SMEs training needs just as well as it can handle an Extended Enterprise talent development scenario. It can help you onboard your talent and let you implement a social enterprise learning environment. And a whole lot of other things. In this series of articles, we take a look at the different ways you can use eFrontPro, and the tools it provides to fit each particular use case. Last week we had a look at the Enterprise use; this time around, we will examine how well eFrontPro for eCommerce performs.

Selling Out

Selling out is a good thing. If it involves your products, and not your principles, that is.

And if your products are Talent Development and eLearning courses for the Enterprise or for the general public, eFrontPro can help you sell them like hotcakes (presuming hotcakes sell really well and really fast).

Alongside Talent Development and Corporate Learning, eCommerce options (which of course can be leveraged in both of the above scenarios), are an important aspect of eFrontPro, and a very common use case for our customers. In fact, about 25% of them use the platform to sell their courses.

Setting Up Your Store With eFrontPro For eCommerce

While some competitive products take a full-time IT person (or a small team) to set them up and run them, with eFrontPro you can go from signing in, to selling courses in almost zero time.

Basically, you just need to configure your payment gateways, set your prices and you’re on the way to becoming the next Lynda.com, Udacity, etc.

To start on your way to eCommerce riches, visit the e in the admin pages, and configure the currency you want to use, and the access credentials for your payment gateway (eFrontPro supports Stripe, PayPal, and uPay).

If you’d rather have your own currency, then you don’t even need a payment gateway to do eFrontPro for eCommerce. You can just opt to use a virtual currency as credit, that you can manage and distribute any way you like. How’s that for innovation? Oh, and, speaking of innovative features, with eFrontPro you can also have a user pay in behalf of other users (allowing you, e.g. to have the manager of a business pay for their employees’ training).

And with this, and a couple of totally optional, err, options, related to the presentation of your eCommerce pages, e.g. whether the currency sign should be shown before or after the price, you’re good to go.

Heck, you don’t even need to create original course material in the first place -- you can buy and resell ready-made course content. eFrontPro makes this easy too, as it integrates with the OpenSesame service, a huge Talent Development and eLearning marketplace full of content that you can buy and include with your eLearning offerings.

The only thing that remains is to set prices for your courses, and, if you want to spice it up, to create some special offers, discount bundles, and the like.

Mark It Up

eFrontPro is so simple to use, that setting the price for a course is done in the "Advanced" panel of its management page. Not because it’s really advanced stuff (it’s as simple as filling in your desired price in the "Base Price" box), but because everything else is even simpler.

Base Price Box - eFrontPro for eCommerce

The price will then be shown next to the course’s title in the Course Catalog listing, along with a nice, fat, "Get It" button, prompting your learners/customers to buy the course.

eFrontPro for eCommerce - Course Catalog and Price

The recently added "Price Tracks" options allows you to target specific audiences and groups of users (which you can define however you like, and, in the case of audiences, have them dynamically update), and offer them special discounts and such (which you can also set to expire after a specific period, e.g. to create seasonal discounts). You manage those from the "Price Tracks" section of the eFrontPro for eCommerce settings page.

Price Tracks - eFrontPro for eCommerceSetting Discounts in Courses - eFrontPro for eCommerce

Check The Books

At some point or another, you might want to see how your sales are doing. If not for anything else, to know if you can finally afford the downpayment for that yacht.

That’s what the Transactions and Balance pages are for, and you can find them, once again, in the eCommerce section of your administration pages.

In the Transactions page, you’ll see a listing of all of your sales, along with information such as Issuer, Branch, Amount paid and Status.

eFrontPro for eCommerce - Transactions Page

The Balance section, on the other hand, shows you the remaining balance of your students, which is a useful method to guesstimate future sales (as your users will, sooner or later, use their balance to buy new courses).

Balance page - eFrontPro for eCommerce

Get Foxy

If eFrontPro’s native commerce capabilities are not enough for you, or you rather use a third party commerce platform and let it concentrate on its Talent Management and eLearning roles, then you might be interested in FoxyCart.

As of its latest update, eFrontPro integrates with this popular shopping cart platform and gives you a full-featured sales solution that allows for unlimited products, downloads, subscriptions, coupons, bandwidth, store administrators and shipping options, and all with low transaction fees.

Build A Nice Storefront

While eFrontPro for eCommerce already has a nice, responsive default theme, and several additional ones, that are great for enterprise use, for your own commercial learning portal, you’ll probably want to customize the branding and spice things up a little.

Fortunately, eFrontPro makes it easy to create your own custom theme and have custom CSS and JS files loaded along with your eFrontPro webpage. And, of course, adding a custom domain name, title, and logo to your portal is a one-click affair (assuming you already have that domain registered). You can even select some courses to be presented as "featured" on the front page.

If you’re even more ambitious, you can integrate eFrontPro with WordPress (and thus have a full blown CMS at your disposal), or leverage its Custom Pages feature to build additional web pages for all visitors or just for your logged-in users.

eFrontPro For eCommerce: The Gist

In this post, we had a look at the eCommerce-related options and features provided by eFrontPro.

Stay tuned for future posts in this series, to see how eFrontPro tackles any Talent Development and eLearning use case you can throw at it.

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