Delivering learning to the extended enterprise, or learning audiences that are external to the organization is becoming increasingly important for many companies. The extended enterprise also presents a unique opportunity for Learning & Development teams, as it is often a source of revenue generation. Being able to sell training to customers, resellers, or other audiences through eCommerce adds a revenue-generating facet to learning, which is typically seen as a cost center.
Nearly half (46%) of companies in Brandon Hall Group’s Extended Enterprise Learning Study charge at least some of their audiences for training. Typically, it is customers that are being billed in some way for the training they receive. In some instances, such as with training organizations or associations, the training is the product. In many others, the training is on how to use and make the most of the products or services the company sells.
There are multiple ways to charge external learning audiences for training, the most common being a sort of course/content a la carte model, where learners can purchase each training element separately. Almost half of companies use this model. Another 13% provide a subscription model where users pay for a period of access, and 21% bundle their courses and content into packages that can be purchased. For 19% of companies, the price of the training is included in the cost of the products and services they sell. In any case, eCommerce becomes a large part of the extended enterprise equation. Organizations need to have the right tools in place to manage a complex array of eCommerce needs.
Some of the key things to look for in an eCommerce solution are:
• Support for multiple payment options
• Support for multiple fee structures
• Tax/currency management for different geographies
• Promotion and discount support
• License management
• Secure transactions
Meridian Knowledge Solutions has a dynamic eCommerce solution integrated into its platform for extended enterprise training. This eliminates the need to plug in a third-party solution that may or may not line up precisely with the organization’s extended enterprise environment. Meridian LMS allows companies to create a storefront that delivers an experience that matches the rest of the learner’s experience while adapting to any combination of payment, discount, or tax requirements. The eCommerce experience is a critical part of the overall customer experience. Frustrations with payment can lead to negative perceptions of the training itself. Meridian’s eCommerce solution makes it as easy as possible for both organizations and customers alike.