Purchase Flow Updates: May 3rd, 2021

by Becca Davis
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Note: For the most up-to-date information about the current payment flow experience, please view the Skilljar Purchase Flow Experience article. The below information is for a historical understanding of the change that occurred on May 3, 2021.

 

On May 3rd, Skilljar rolled out an update to the purchase experience. Among other enhancements, this update improves support for event reservations before purchase and allows purchasers to easily purchase a course, path, or plan for someone else.

What are the benefits of this updated purchase experience?

  • Students can easily purchase a single course, path, or plan for someone else

  • Students can purchase multiple licenses for a path

  • We improved support for accessibility tools such as screen readers and tab navigation to provide an effortless purchase experience for everyone

If you enforce event registration for your courses:

  • Purchasers can see scheduled events and the number of available seats before purchasing for someone else to ensure that events are available and fit into the schedule of the person they purchase for

  • Students can reserve the right event(s) before they purchase a course for themselves

What is changing?

Currently, the ability to purchase on behalf of another student is a backend setting that needs to be enabled by your CSM or support@skilljar.com. Once enabled, following the purchase of a priced course (regardless of quantity), the purchaser is presented with the option to share the link (allowing someone else to register) or to register for the course themselves.

Events are selected after the purchase of a course, which makes it difficult to enforce event registration on purchase and limits a student's ability to plan for events before they make a purchase.

With the new flow, we offer students the ability to choose if they purchase for themselves or for someone else. They are also able to select their events before they purchase an offer for themselves or browse events when they purchase for others:

Selecting Quantity, Promo Code, Purchasing for someone else

With this new experience, the student can indicate that they are purchasing for someone else. They are also able to purchase multiple quantities of paths with this update. 

Event Registration - Student purchases a single quantity for themselves

If a student purchases a single quantity for themselves and event registration is enforced, Skilljar now asks the student to select an event for each live training lesson before they purchase the course. A student cannot proceed to the purchase step unless they have selected the events. This ensures that Skilljar fully enforces event registration before the student has made a payment. Skilljar reserves the selected events for about 30 minutes. Students are enrolled in the events after the purchase was successfully processed.

 

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Browsing Events - User purchases for someone else or multiple quantities

When a user purchases multiple quantities or they purchase for someone else and event registration is enforced, we now allow the purchaser to browse the available events in a read-only mode. They are not able to register for or reserve an event. This allows purchasers to ensure that suitable events are available for the person they are purchasing for before they make a payment.

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Two-step purchasing with Stripe and Merchant-E

Stripe and Merchant-E payments happen on a new, second step. Skilljar displays a summary of the purchase and allows purchasers to enter their payment information on this page that looks and feels similar to our old purchase page.

This is how the page looks whey you use Stripe:

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If you use PayPal, Merchant-E, or an external payment processor, students won't see this second page. Instead, Skilljar redirects the student to a separate page outside of Skilljar where they complete their purchase.

Sharing a purchase with someone else

When a student purchases a single quantity for themselves, they are immediately directed to the purchased offer (course, plan, path) and Skilljar automatically enrolls them into the purchased offer and events (if applicable).

With the new flow, users can indicate that they purchase an offer for someone else. When a user selected this option or if they purchase multiple quantities, we display our existing ‘Thank you!’ page. This allows the purchaser to register themselves or to share the bought licenses with another student.

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If a student uses a license code or link to enroll in a course and event registration is enforced, they are asked to select an event for each live training lesson on the course.

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Frequently asked questions

How can you explore the new purchase flow?

  1. Log in or sign up as a student for your training domain. This will ensure a smooth checkout experience.

  2. Navigate to the offer page you want to test (e.g. a specific course, path, or plan).

  3. On the offer page, right-click on the purchase button and copy the URL (“Copy link address”).Screen_Shot_2021-03-24_at_12.20.23_PM.png

  4. Log into the Skilljar Dashboard, go to https://dashboard.skilljar.com/test-purchase-flow, and paste the URL into the “Offer URL” field. Click “Generate Test Link” and open the generated link to test the new purchase flow.

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Please note:

  • Skilljar remembers that this user used ?new_flow=1 on a specific course. If you exit this purchase and open the purchase flow with the same user and for the same course, we will display the new purchase flow even when you don’t manually add ?new_flow=1.
  • If you purchase a different course, you will see the current purchase experience.
  • During the exploration phase, we will never display the new experience to any students unless you share the URL with ?new_flow=1 explicitly added.
  • The purchase flow experience for domains is identical to courses, paths, plans.
  • While it is not possible to test domain purchases prior to release, you can utilize paid courses, paths, or plans to test the new flow. Please reach out to our support team if you only sell domain access.
  • Purchasing multiple paths will be available once the experience is turned on for your organization. The function cannot be tested with the steps outlined above.
  • When you test with an external payment processor, please test only up to the point where you need to make a purchase. The testing opportunity we built for you cannot properly process payments made with an external payment processor and thus the results and experience after payment do not reflect the student experience you will see after the release of this update. If you want to test the thank you page, please use a 100% promo code to bypass payment.

To ensure that you see the same experience students will see when the updates are released, we recommend going through the whole flow. To avoid incurring costs, you can create promo codes that are 100% off (no actual purchase) or that reduce the offer price to USD 0.51 (experience with actual purchase).

How can I make sure that the new purchase experience works with my customizations?

All customers will be able to test the new purchase experience on their domains to identify if there are any issues with theming or customization. We designed the new experience around existing UI elements and tried to keep the overall look and feel of the experience as similar as possible to the existing purchase flow. This should minimize potential effects on customer themes. You will have until May 3rd to test the new experience before the release. If you find any issues, please reach out to your CSM or support@skilljar.com so that we can allocate an appropriate timeframe for you to remedy any issues before the new experience is launched on your domain.

Are there any changes to the email behavior?

When we send a registration email:

  • Students will receive a registration email when they use a license code or link that was generated on the “Thank You” page (see above) to register for an offer (plan, path, course) and registration emails are enabled on the offer. This is the case when someone else purchased the offer for them. The purchaser will receive a purchase confirmation for their purchase (see below).

  • Students receive a registration email when they register for a free offer (plan, path, course) if registration emails are enabled on the offer.

  • This is existing, unchanged behavior.

When we send a purchase confirmation:

With the new flow, we send a purchase confirmation even when a purchaser uses a promo code that reduces the price to $0. Such a promo code can be generated through API or through the dashboard and is different from a license code that is generated on the “Thank You” page when a user purchases an offer for someone else. For plans, purchase emails have a separate setting for registration emails and purchase emails. For all other offers, enabling registration emails will also turn on the purchase confirmation email.

How can I update my help documentation for students before the new experience is launched?

All customers will be able to test the new purchase experience on their domains before the release. This will allow you to take screenshots and update any help documentation based on your purchase theming. 

How can I test through the experience on my own domain without incurring costs?

To ensure that you see the same experience students will see, we recommend going through the whole flow. To avoid significant costs, you can create promo codes that are 100% off (no purchase) or that reduce the offer price to USD 0.51 (experience with actual purchase).

If a purchaser purchases for someone else (single or multiple quantities), can they reserve specific events during the purchase?

No, Skilljar needs to know which user will attend an event before we can make a reservation for a specific event. If you restrict the purchasable quantity of a course by the available event seats, Skilljar will account for the purchased licenses to ensure that the users will be available to register for an event once they sign up.

With the new flow, purchasers will be able to see the list of events including available seats before they purchase a course. This will allow them to coordinate with the students and ensure that the students will be available to attend the offered events. Once a student uses the license link to sign up for the course, Skilljar will ask them to register for an event to ensure that they have an event registration.

When a student purchases a path, are they asked to select events during purchase?

No, when a student purchases a path, they can’t select events before purchase. Students can open the live training lessons of the included courses after purchase to register for events.

I only sell domains. How can I test that my custom theming will work with the new flow?

We can’t offer testing for domain purchases, but the purchase flow for domain purchases is identical to course, path, or plan purchases. To test the purchase flow, you can create and publish a paid course to a sandbox domain or make the course only visible to a new student group with your student test user as the only member. You can then test the course purchase and review your theming, make screenshots for help documentation, or train your team.

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