As a training provider, you have the expertise and the content, but how do you leverage those to successfully sell your courses online? A quick Google search for “sell online training courses” yields over 5 billion search results! Even just narrowing your search to “Learning Management System (LMS)” on Capterra results in over 1,000 vendors. So, how can you possibly parse all this information and make an informed decision? With the opportunity to take advantage of a global e-learning market that is set to reach $325 billion by 2025, the answer to this question is critical. Let’s look at a few considerations when deciding on a delivery platform for selling online training courses.

Marketplace vs. All-in-One

Many types of delivery platforms are available, such as marketplace, all-in-one, and small business-extended enterprise. Marketplace platforms such as Udemy provide the ability to construct courses out of your pre-existing content, such as PowerPoint slides, PDFs, and videos. You can then promote your course in their marketplace. This makes it easy to get set up, so it can be a great option if you’re just dipping your toes into online course sales. However, you’re locked into the content standards of those systems with little creative flexibility and ownership of your course. It’s also important to consider what percentage of sales these platforms ask for in return.

All-in-one platforms like Thinkific are also great options if you’re delivering training on a small scale. These will typically include a course builder, sales platform, and delivery platform, all wrapped up in one system. Like marketplace platforms, this can make it easy to get started because you only need to invest in one platform, but you’re still locked into its course builder. You also need to determine if these platforms will enable you to efficiently scale your business by offering flexible course creation for multiple audiences or clients at reasonable costs.


The best-of-breed approach means that you select a specific platform for each of your goals. For example, you could select an LMS for professional data security and multi-tenancy, enabling you to deliver training to multiple clients. You can also select a course authoring tool, such as Articulate Rise or iSpring, that lets you keep ownership of your content and gives you the freedom to create the type of courses that are best for your learners. These authoring tools are capable of publishing to SCORM, so they can easily integrate with most LMS. Lastly, you can select an industry-leading ecommerce platform that integrates directly with your LMS. For example, Shopify offers a multitude of applications and marketing capabilities to help you sell more training courses.

Of course, the downside of this approach is that you now require multiple tools to deliver your training. However, you do have the most powerful platform for each of your goals, providing more flexibility, content and data ownership, and creative freedom. LMS vendors that specialize in helping training providers can help advise on the best practices to seamlessly integrate all your tools.


Finding the correct ecommerce platform for selling training courses can mean the difference between a successful and failed online training business. Shopify has a strong network of apps and marketing tools to enhance the sales process. Integrating Shopify with your LMS also fulfills course orders automatically so your customers have immediate access to your content. You can create a branded or themed storefront to provide a fluid customer web experience, while allowing your LMS to handle course delivery to purchasers. You can sell individual courses, course bundles, or combine online courses with physical products. This means you can sell directly to individual consumers and/or to organizations that want to purchase a specific number of course seats for their employees. As course sales volume increases, this strategy results in a lower cost per course seat sold, meaning your training business scales efficiently.

Client Sites

Sometimes referred to as “multi-tenant LMS” or “LMS extended enterprise,” the ability to offer your clients their own branded LMS portals means you can easily deliver training to multiple user groups from a single interface. You might begin with a single site for a single client, where learners are organized and assigned courses by location, department, or job title. Expansion from this stage is simple: create new white-labeled sites as you sign new clients, and grant them access to your course library or specific courses. All the data, content, and users are separate from one client site to the next. Additionally, course or module updates are reflected across your entire ecosystem, saving you time and keeping your courses fresh and up to date.

Data ownership, content control, and scalability considerations are paramount when deciding on a delivery platform for selling online training courses. Whether e-learning is your primary business or you’re looking to digitize and sell your in-person training materials, there is growing market demand for your expertise. The time to start selling online training courses is now.

Firmwater is more than an LMS training provider. We partner with customers, providing them with the tools and expert insight that they need to implement the best in-practice e-learning course development and delivery. Our customers have been trusting us for years to deliver their high-quality training, freeing them up to focus on growing their business.

Ready to use an LMS that’s designed for the way YOU work, with a team dedicated to YOUR needs? Take Firmwater for a free 14-day test drive today!