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Case Study

Palo Alto University integrates Shopify, Thinkific, and HubSpot to achieve systems orchestration bliss

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Enhanced user experience

Increased access to data

Saved time
How Palo Alto optimized processes through systems integration
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The Client


A private university in Palo Alto, California, Palo Alto University was founded in 1975 as the Pacific Graduate School of Psychology. To this day, Palo Alto University’s academic programs focus exclusively on Psychology, offering students the opportunity to earn bachelor’s degrees, master’s degrees, and doctoral degrees.

The university also provides a not-for-profit continuing education program called CONCEPT, which is accessible online.

The Problem:

  • Palo Alto sells on-demand & live courses to students and professionals so their CRM needed to integrate seamlessly with its marketing automation platform.
  • In its prior state, CONCEPT at Palo Alto University had a disjointed website experience, with users facing difficulties in engagement and frequent redirection to other sites.
  • Users had limitations in purchasing courses and accessing content due to single-course purchases and multiple checkout processes.
  • The marketing website was hosted at, but users were often redirected to Thinkific landing pages at to browse courses and make purchases.
  • Additionally, live events were handled outside of the Thinkific learning management system (LMS) and were purchased separately through Infusionsoft forms.
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The Solution

  • Built custom objects for Courses and Instructors to dynamically create a course index and course pages
  • Built a filterable course index with search functionality
  • Added a headless Shopify configuration for direct course purchases in HubSpot CMS Hub - only payment processing was completed through Shopify's domain
  • Included the ability to purchase courses for multiple students at once and to buy enrollments on behalf of others. 
  • Included serverless functions to pass LMS data to HubSpot, coded actions used to pass HubSpot data to the LMS, and the deployment of a royalty payments solution.
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The Outcome

Palo Alto University gained an all-in-one technology stack containing multiple systems, including HubSpot CRM, Sales, Marketing, CMS, and Service, as well as integrations with 3rd party systems like Thinkific and Shopify.

The university’s CONCEPT website became much more efficient and user-friendly, making it easy for students to purchase courses without having to wade through multiple websites. It became much easier for users to search for their desired course without having to manage tabs and search results pages as well. Additionally, the compelling new website design provided opportunities to feature instructors and partners associated with each online learning course.

The client and their users also gained new capabilities thanks to Aptitude 8’s solutions. 

Enhanced user experience
These changes allowed students to view instructors and partners and made it easier to search for and purchase courses. 
Increased access to data
With a fully integrated tech stack, the team had more access to data directly in their CRM, including purchases, enrollments, and user info. 
Saved time
The course, instructor and partner details on the website are dynamically controlled by CRM objects, automating page creation and saving time for the CONCEPT team. 

The Tools

Palo Alto - Logos Sales Hub CMS Hub Service Hub (1) Marketing Hub


Why Aptitude 8?


Palo Alto chose Aptitude 8 because we demonstrated the possibilities of what can be done in a full HubSpot stack implementation. We take disparate systems and integrate them or replace them with better solutions, creating a central location of all our clients’ data.

This was a large, multi-system project. Aptitude 8’s CMS Hub and RevOps expertise brought the project together. Whether you need a small custom integration or a complete overhaul of your website, LMS, or CRM, Aptitude 8 has the HubSpot and RevOps experience to overcome any challenge.

Want to learn more? 

About Aptitude 8

Implement. Integrate. Optimize.

Aptitude 8 is a technical consulting firm that helps companies make their business process, and the tools they use to deliver it, a competitive advantage. In today's business environment, the experience your customers have when buying from you is just as important as what you're selling. We build it better.


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