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A Guide to Establishing an Online Learning and Teaching Marketplace

The online education and eLearning marketplace is soaring to new heights and is expected to be worth $325 billion by the year 2025. With education shifting from traditional classrooms to the virtual classroom, it is one of the profitable industries.

Whether it is an online classroom for teaching web design skills or teaching how to master golf club or, online courses have become a popular way for people across the globe to advance in life in their careers without spending a fortune on it.

As eLearning is in its full bloom, many businesses are persuaded to build eLearning market places to allow people to create and sell courses.

What are eLearning marketplaces?

Given that university-level higher education is getting more expensive, online marketplaces are gaining momentum. You might probably have heard about eLearning marketplaces like Udemy or Coursera where millions of users enroll in different courses to gain knowledge and acquire new skills.

An eLearning marketplace allows users to create, promote, and sell eLearning courses and reach the right target. It also allows learners to search and enroll in the best online courses and process the course payments through the platform.

The peculiarity of online marketplaces is that it offers different value propositions like the accessibility of courses, customization, convenience, best price, and branding.

Online learning marketplaces allow customers to enroll in courses that might not easily available or are too expensive in both channels.  The fact that the courses are available in different languages and there is a wide variety of content, including higher education subjects to skill topics is another good thing.

These platforms handle all customer service and payment processing and allow users to view the courses in the devices of their choice including smartphones, computers, tablets, etc. anything either online or offline.

How to build an online eLearning marketplace?

Here is a comprehensive guide on how to establish an online learning and teaching marketplace.

1. Define your niche

Before you start building an eLearning marketplace. Define the courses that you will offer. Will they constitute different subjects or will your eLearning marketplace be an industry-specific education marketplace. It is recommended to focus on the most common niches when you start out as it will make your platform increasingly profitable.

Here are some of the common niches you can choose.

  • Businesses and entrepreneurship
  • Education
  • Health and fitness
  • Computer technologies
  • Arts and crafts
  • Personal development

2. Get to know your users

Do you know that over 70% of new businesses fail due to premature scaling and lack of understanding about the target market? Defining your users at the very beginning is crucial when it comes to the scalability of your eLearning website.

You need to understand the market demand for your eLearning marketplace and predict its future growth to create suitable architecture and choose the right technologies.

3. Choose the best business model

When it comes to monetizing your eLearning platform, there are several different ways and the most popular solution is to charge your users for individual courses as Udemy does. Udemy has both free and paid courses and maintains the high retention rate with its smart sales strategy based on offering huge discounts on almost all courses.

i. Subscription model

Another popular revenue model you can follow is the subscription model where you allow your users to access your course library for a monthly or yearly subscription fee.

A Guide to Establishing an Online Learning and Teaching Marketplace
A good elearning marketplace must have functionality for subscription based learning.

For example, Udemy has its corporate platform called “Udemy for business” which is purely subscription-based where clients can access the eLearning platform for monthly subscriptions.

ii. Paid certificates

The paid certification model is a common revenue model used by different online learning providers. These solutions offer free courses with the idea of easy access to education for all. But when students want to obtain professional course completion certificates, they need to pay for it.

iii. Sponsorship and advertising

This is another common business model used by eLearning platforms where you collaborate with brands to promote their services. For instance, you can partner with a popular brand specializing in optics and imaging to sponsor the photography courses uploaded to your online learning platform.

4. Choose functionalities

Let’s talk about the basic functionalities of eLearning marketplaces that make the eLearning experience alive.

i. Search: This feature allows users to find the desired courses. Add filters to allow your users to choose their favorite courses based on criteria like the topic, language, level price ratings, and duration.

Good eLearning marketplace lets you search for courses
A user friendly and interactive eLearning marketplace will have an option that lets user you search for courses with different search features.

For example, Udemy features several search filters to make it easy for its users to find desired courses.

ii. Recommendations: This is another feature that lists trending and best-selling courses based on the interest of users.

iii. Categories: It is recommended to feature an extensive system of categories to allow your users to quickly find the desired classes. Udemy offers its users with a great number of categories which are shown below.

Search for course using Categories

iv. Dashboard: The dashboard displays analytical data including the total number of students, course ratings, incoming traffic, and conversions.

v. Course creation: This specific feature allows educators to create online courses. Allow them to define the structure of classes, upload course materials in different formats, etc.

vi. Secure payment integration: Offer convenient and secure payment gateways for the student to pay for their courses and certificates.

vii. Easy account creation and login: Allow users to both teachers and students to log in and create their profiles.

viii. Admin panel: This feature is essential for managing both users. Admin can add or delete users, product statistics reports, assign user roles, managing commissions, etc.

5. Build your platform

To build your eLearning platform, you need to choose the best development method that suits your business requirements and budget. The very first option is to create your eLearning platform from scratch, but it is not a viable solution as it is the most expensive and elaborate development method.

Another good alternative is to use a white label solution or online tutoring software to build an online eLearning marketplace easily. These ready-made solutions come with essential features that help you to customize the script if you need to modify it to add unique functionalities according to your unique needs.

Pinlearn is an online learning software built for starting your own online learning management platform like Udemy with the readymade script.


Considering the fact that eLearning has become a great alternative to traditional education, creating an online eLearning marketplace seems a lucrative business idea. There is still a lot of space in the eLearning market for the platforms that will bring online education to another height. We hope that the guide will help you create an outstanding and successful online learning platform.

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