23 November 2020

Jonny McAlister

Head of Sales & Marketing

Do you want to sell e-learning content via your website? There are lots of ways to do this using an LMS for e-commerce and selling directly from your learning platform.

When it comes to selling things online, a handful of major e-commerce platforms have more or less cornered the market. While Shopify, Magento and the rest make perfect sense for your dropshipping empire or your t-shirt side hustle, selling courses online is a bit different.

You see, with most products, the website exists purely to drive the sale. But with e-learning content, that’s only half the battle. Once you’ve sold your course, you then need to deliver it. That means getting your learning content to your customer reliably, cost-effectively and professionally (and in a format that’s not going to result in it being inadvertently given away for free to non-customers).

That’s where the e-commerce giants start to fall down, because at that stage what you really need is a learning management system: a platform that’s designed and built specifically to deliver courses to learners.

You’re left with the prospect of designing, building and maintaining two separate platforms and trying to shift customers between the two as seamlessly as possible or using your LMS as an e-commerce website.

This is easier to do than you might expect, and it’s something that several of our customers already do successfully. As with most things relating to learning management systems, there are several ways of achieving the desired outcome, so it’s about deciding what is best for your requirements.

Here are a few of the tactics we’ve already used to turn an LMS into a fully functioning e-commerce website for courses.


PayPal enrolment plugin

There is a plugin available that integrates PayPal with your Moodle or Totara site. PayPal effectively serves as the enrolment platform for your courses, taking payment as part of that process.


Stripe and other enrolment plugins

There are other plugins that work in a similar way to the PayPal plugin. Probably the best-known of these is for the Stripe payment platform. The advantage in this case is that people just enter their card details on the website in the time-honoured e-commerce routine.

If you’re tied to a particular payment platform for which a plugin doesn’t exist, such as Xero or WorldPay, you can build (or have us build) a plugin that will serve as your integration as a piece of bespoke development.


Course Merchant

Course Merchant is a plugin that serves as a wraparound for your LMS. It effectively acts as a paywall for your learning content. Potential customers land on the Course Merchant site, which will include your course catalogue and full e-commerce functionality. Once they’ve paid, they enter your LMS proper to access the course for which they paid.


CRM integration

Another way of turning your LMS into an e-commerce website is to integrate it with your existing customer relationship management (CRM) platform. For example, we’ve integrated Moodle websites with Salesforce. Salesforce Billing gives you an interface with which to process card payments. This becomes the payment gateway for your courses.



The Edwiser Bridge plugin connects a WordPress site with your LMS via API. Your customers will shop and enrol for your courses on the WordPress site using the WooCommerce plugin, then be directed to your LMS to complete the courses.


What is the best e-commerce payment plugin for Moodle and Totara?

The best way of selling courses through your Moodle or Totara site will depend on your requirements. Feel free to fill out the form below and we’ll call you for a chat about which options are best-suited to your business.

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