Configuring E-Commerce

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Applies to: Starter, Pro, Plus, & Enterprise Plans

It is possible in any Absorb LMS portal, to sell and receive payment for the training material made available through the catalog. System Administrators can request to enable the E-Commerce 2.0 module which can be easily configured to accept a number of different payment methods, including credit cards.  

E-Commerce 2.0 allows our customers to pick from a wide array of independent payment gateways, any of which will work seamlessly with your LMS. For those not experienced with setting up an E-Commerce business, you can view this document that covers the basics and explains some of the terminology.  

This article will cover the following topics:

Selecting a Payment Gateway Provider

Before you can configure Absorb's E-Commerce Settings, and start selling your LMS inventory, you will first need to choose a payment gateway provider (which operates in conjunction with E-Commerce 2.0) to process all of your credit card transactions.  

Fortunately, E-Commerce 2.0 works with a wide range of E-commerce solutions so you will have plenty of options to choose from. With so many choices available in the marketplace, our clients often ask us to recommend a gateway. While each has their strengths and weaknesses there are a few that stand out above the rest: 

  • Braintree: This gateway is reasonably priced, easy to setup, includes Paypal, and offers support for over 40 counties and 130 currencies.
  • Authorize.net: This is our most popular gateway and is the de facto standard for North American clients. They offer competitive pricing and support, and one of the largest user communities.
  • Realex: It’s tough to find a gateway that covers enough countries to be truly considered European, but Realex comes the closest. 

Configuring Your Payment Gateway

Once you've finished researching the options, and have made your decision on a gateway provider, you will need to create a merchant account. Once you merchant account has been successfully activated, there will be some important tasks that you will need to complete via your gateway, in order to have your portal's E-Commerce business work properly.

  1. While each gateway provider that E-Commerce 2.0 supports has a slightly different process for set up, you will have the option to access your API Login ID and Transaction Key during account creation. The API Login ID and Transaction Key are both important for your store's go-live as they will need to be inputted into their corresponding fields located in the Payment Gateways tab of the E-Commerce Settings. (This is outlined in Step #5 in the 'Configuring Absorb's E-Commerce Settings' section directly below).
  2. We recommend that you conduct your own transaction testing outside of the LMS, as per the recommendations of your chosen payment gateway, before you start selling any of your training inventory. This is to ensure that your portal will be able to process payments successfully as soon as your store goes live. This step is crucial as Absorb has no access to our client's merchant accounts whatsoever. The onus lies upon System Administrators to make sure that the gateway works on your side of the credit card transaction process.
  3. As soon as you have verified that your payment gateway is working properly you can then go ahead and change your gateway's server setting from 'test' to 'live'. This terminology may be different for depending on your provider, so you will need to consult your own specific gateway's documentation on how to do this. Once your gateway is live, you will then complete the remainder of the E-Commerce configuration process as outlined in the next section below. 

Configuring Absorb's E-Commerce Settings

With the payment gateway's account creation and transaction testing successfully complete, you can now move forward with making changes in your portal that will allow you to get selling. This next section can be carried after you contact Absorb, and request that the E-Commerce option be enabled. In doing so, Absorb will also make a few minor configuration changes on our side of the LMS in order to accommodate the update. Once E-Commerce is activated, the remaining steps needed to finish the set up process all can be accomplished within a few minutes. 

Please Note: Besides the configuration work done here, Absorb needs sufficient lead time in order to complete the branding work on your store. It is important that you be in touch with Support as soon as possible ahead of your desired go-live date.

  1. Log into your Admin User Interface and select the Portal Settings button within the Settings drop-down menu. 

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  2. From here select the Manage E-Commerce Settings button located on the right hand side of the page.
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  3. On the Edit E-Commerce Settings page, you will be able to enter your E-Commerce information in the fields that follow, staring with the Settings tab.

    Be advised that you can move back and forth between the E-Commerce tabs, and any data you have entered up to that point will be maintained. However, if you leave this section of the LMS without saving your settings, then the information you have entered here will not be recorded.

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  4. In the Settings tab, you will need to configure the following options:
    • Users Must Be Logged In To Access Shopping Cart - enabling this option requires that an end user in your portal must log in using their sign-on credentials before they can purchase training material from the catalog. In the event that they do not yet have an account, but have accessed the item for sale via an externally available URL, they will have to create a new Learner account before they are permitted to continue.
    • Default Currency - the type of currency chosen from this drop-down list will be the one that your items for sale will be priced in when they are displayed in the catalog
    • Course Delivery Type - enabling this option allows your customers to access their purchase even while their payment is being confirmed, and can be used in conjunction with accepting payment methods that take time to process like checks and purchase orders
    • Default Department - when a Department name is selected from this drop-down list, any new customer making their first purchase will be automatically associated with the chosen Department. If the User already exists, this setting will not affect them.
    • Multi-Seat Purchases - enabling this option allows customers to purchase more than one seat in a Course, ILT, Course Bundle or Curriculum by creating an Enrollment Key. This Enrollment Key can then be shared by the purchaser with any Learners needing to take the training. When this option is disabled, the customer can only purchase and enroll themselves into individual training content.
    • Terms and Conditions - enabling this option requires that a customer accept a set of terms and conditions before their payment will be processed

  5. The next set of items are found under the Cart Settings tab. This section contains the information that E-Commerce 2.0 uses to configure and operate your store.

    Note: Nothing should be required for you to do here, as all the fields in this tab will already be populated with information residing in Absorb the first time you access it. 

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    As mentioned, on the Cart Settings tab the following options will already be pre-configured with information from your portal:

    • Store Name - the information in this field will be the name displayed for the Absorb store as it appears to your customers during their purchase
    • Email - the information in this field will be the point of contact in the event that any transaction issues arise between E-Commerce 2.0 and your payment gateway
    • Postal Code - the information in this field is your postcode, used for calculating shipping which is not applicable to an LMS purchase, but still required by E-Commerce 2.0 and your payment gateway
    • Country - the nation displayed in this drop-down list will be the one used for calculating tax on the LMS purchase
    • State/Province - the region displayed in this drop-down list will also be used for calculating tax on the LMS purchase
    • Currency - the type of currency displayed in this drop-down list will be the one that your items for sale will be sold in when they are shown on your checkout page specifically
    • Time Zone - the geographical region displayed in this drop-down list will be used to represent your local time and date where it is displayed to your customers
    • Language -  the language chosen displayed in drop-down list will be the one used in the written communications displayed to your customers during their purchase
    • Use International Currency Symbol - when enabled, this option will display the currency type chosen on this page as a three-letter abbreviation of the monetary unit used in your country instead of the unit's icon
  6. The next set of items to be configured are found under the Payment Gateways tab. In this section you can choose which forms of payment your LMS will accept as well as configure the payment gateway used for processing credit card transactions.

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    On the Payment Gateways tab you will need to configure the following options:

    • Payment Methods - the drop-down list contains the types of payments your customers can use to pay for their purchase. They include: Credit Card, PayPal, Wire Transfer, Check or Purchase Order
    • Ask For Billing Address - if Wire Transfer, Check and/or Purchase Order payment methods are chosen by you then this option will be automatically displayed. This allows you to require that your customer provides their billing address before their purchase will be processed
    • Available Payment Gateways - the payment gateway provider chosen from this drop-down list will be the one used by Absorb and E-Commerce 2.0 to process your E-Commerce transactions, and corresponds with the one you configured while setting up your merchant account in the Creating a Payment Gateway Merchant Account section above
    • Supported Credit Cards - the drop-down list contains the credit card types you can allow your customers to use when paying for their purchase(s)
    • Live Gateway - enabling this option will allow your LMS (in conjunction with your gateway and E-Commerce 2.0) to start processing actual financial purchase transactions and should be enabled only if you are certain that you are ready to begin to sell your training inventory
    • API ID - the information entered in this field is a complex alphanumeric code that your payment gateway uses to identify your customer's transaction as coming from your specific merchant account. Be advised that the first time you add this code you will be able to see it so that you can verify it is correct. However once it is saved it will become hidden so that no other Admin and/or Absorb employee doing work in your portal can view it.
    • Transaction Key - the information entered in this field is a complex alphanumeric code that your payment gateway uses as an extra layer of security. This ensures that any transaction requests being submitted by your LMS portal actually belong to your merchant account. Please note that the first time you add this code you will be able to see it so that you can verify it is correct. However, once it is saved, it will become hidden so that no other Admin and/or Absorb employee doing work in your portal can view it.


    PayPal Express Settings

    PayPal Express is an additional payment gateway, and the only one that E-Commerce 2.0 allows to operate alongside the primary payment gateway you have chosen. If you want to allow your customers to use their PayPal account to make purchases, then you must make sure to have a merchant account with PayPal Express as well.

    • PayPal Express Checkout - enabling this option will allow your LMS portal to accept PayPal payments for purchases made by your customers
    • Account Email Address - if PayPal Express Checkout is turned on by you in the area directly above then this option will be automatically displayed so that you can enter the email address associated with your PayPal account

    Tax Rates
  7. The next set of items to be configured are found under the Tax Rates tab. In this section you have the option to set up all of the applicable taxes that your government requires you to collect from your E-Commerce customers during their purchase.

    Note: E-Commerce 2.0 actually has a feature that automatically calculates the applicable taxes on purchases made by your LMS customers using their credit card or PayPal. However, if your organization is located outside the European Union or the United States; or if you plan to accept alternate payment methods beyond credit card and/or PayPal, then you will need to do some tax rate configuration. 

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    Setting up your tax rates can be done by completing one or more of the following areas of the Tax Rates tab:

    Automatic Tax Rates

    • Select Tax Location - the drop-down list contains economic zones (Canada, the EU & USA) that E-Commerce 2.0 can automatically calculate tax for when processing a customer purchase made by credit card or PayPal 

      Note: If you have selected an option here then you can skip the next segment and go directly to the final section in this tab

    Tax Rates For Credit Card and PayPal Transactions

    • Type - the type of taxation chosen from this drop-down list will be the tax charged on any items sold from your LMS. The types include: Global, Country, Region, Local, European Union
    • Country - the nation chosen from this drop-down list represents the country that your organization is located in, and will be available if you choose 'Country' as your tax type
    • Province - the region chosen from this drop-down list represents the territorial area that your organization is located in, and will be available if you choose 'Region' or 'Local' as your tax type
    • City - the municipal area chosen from this drop-down list represents the metropolitan area that your organization is located in, and will be available if you choose Local as your tax type
    • Tax Rate - the numerical value added here (in whole number format) is the percentage of taxation that will be charged on any items sold from your LMS
    • Tax Label - the information entered in this field is the taxation label that will be displayed to your customers, next to the amount of a particular tax charged on their purchase

      Note: If you are required to charge additional taxes on a customer's LMS purchase, you can add them by selecting the Add Tax Rate button directly underneath and repeating the process.

    Tax Rates For Wire Transfer, Purchase Orders and Cheques

    • Country - the nation chosen from this drop-down list represents the country that your organization is located in
    • Tax Rate -  the numerical value added here (in whole number format) is the percentage of taxation that will be charged on any items sold from your LMS
    • Tax Label - the information entered in this field is the taxation label that will be displayed to your customers, next to the amount of a particular tax charged on their purchase

      Note: At this point if you are required to charge regional taxes on a customer's LMS purchase you can add them by selecting the Add State or Provincial Tax Rate button directly underneath and repeating the process.

    • State/Province - the region chosen from this drop-down list represents the territorial area that your organization is located in
    • Tax Rate -  the numerical value added here (in whole number format) is the percentage of taxation that will be charged on any items sold from your LMS 
    • Tax Label - the information entered in this field is the taxation label that will be displayed to your customers next to the amount of a particular tax charged on their purchase
    • Includes Country Tax - enabling this option is provided for those taxation situations where a national and regional tax are combined together in one tax charged at the territorial level

      Note: At this point if you are required to additional taxes on a customer's LMS purchase you can add them by either selecting the Add State or Provincial Tax Rate or the Add Tax Rate button directly underneath and repeating the process.
  8. The next set of items to be configured are found under the Messages tab. In this section you can set up any of the available notification types using the built-in text editor, dependent on what you want to display to your customers at various stages during their purchase.
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  9. On the Messages tab you can choose to configure any of the following options:

    • Require First Use Terms & Conditions - to this field, you can input any set of requirements or limitations that your customers must agree to before they can make their first LMS purchase as a new customer
    • Welcome Notes - to this field, you can input a greeting that you provide to your customers
    • Confirmation Notes - the narrative information entered in this field can be a notification that you provide to your customers suggesting that they confirm their purchase choices
    • Checkout Notes - to this field, you can input a notification that you provide to your customers to inform them of anything they should know prior to commencing their checkout
    • Invoice Notes - to this field, you can input any information that your customers need to know as a result of having made their LMS purchase
    • Custom Question - to this field, you can input an optional query that can be added by you in order to obtain direct feedback from your customers about their purchase, or anything else you want
    • Store Response In - the category chosen from this drop-down list will be the LMS location that all of your customer's answers to the Custom Question will be stored

    Note: If you opt to ask your customers Custom Questions, then you should contact Absorb so that they can set up any specific answer category/categories you require.

  10. Once you have completed all of the above in the tabs provided you can select the Save button and your E-Commerce will be ready for live transactions.
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