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I am starting a website consisting of info on local shops, product catalogs, and coupons. now I am in a dilemma over the vendor sign-up process. I want to know which of the following ways should I do it:

  1. just ask for contact info, email and get back to them?
  2. ask for all details like shop name, type, address, website, contact person name, and then after I verify the details, activate the account and let them fill in the remaining details?

In short what is the best way to get maximum sign ups or how to develop a sign-up which doesn't ask for endless details and reduces abandonment?

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Please only ask one question at a time. I've removed the second part (about genuine products), but suggest that you ask it as a separate question. –  JohnGB Mar 30 '13 at 9:54
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2 Answers

First let the vendor create a basic profile by registering their Shop name, email id, and contact info. Then when they signup you can show a bar on the dashboard like LinkedIn's

enter image description here

or some sort of ticker saying "Please complete you profile for best experience" similar to the one shown in image below. This helps us in notifying the vendor in a very polite manner

enter image description here

and of course you can send then a periodic mail for the same purpose

Then the vendor can complete their profiles in a multi-step process. In this way, the vendors can fill up their profile as per their convenience. Example of such form could be like this:

enter image description here

So, when a user's profile is say 90-100% complete, then you can activate his account for transactions.

Check out my answer on Single page or multi-page forms? as it may help you decide.

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This is a good suggestion, but doesn't address the question. Please address the question and give reasoning / justification for your answer. –  JohnGB Mar 30 '13 at 10:08
    
Oh I'm sorry I went little tangentially with my answer... I've edited the answer... –  Ankit Mar 30 '13 at 15:59
    
Nice !very good suggestions, I am definitely considering them! –  Stanford Sequeira Mar 30 '13 at 16:13
    
@AnkitSharma Much better answer now :) –  JohnGB Mar 30 '13 at 17:15
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Start off by asking for the least amount of information necessary to create an account (usually just email address), and then create the account. Then when they log in for the first time, they are presented with a form with the other necessary information that they need to fill in.

Once someone is committed to a decision, they are far less likely to back away from it. Hence, this strategy results in a significantly smaller dropoff rate than asking for all the information upfront.

If you sign up for Gravatar you will get an example of this style of process.

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how about if I break the sign up process in to 3 steps, in step 1 ask only contact and email id, step 2 , address and password, and what they sell and step 3 all other optional info like whether they accepts cards,store timings? , is this a good idea? –  Stanford Sequeira Mar 30 '13 at 10:56
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@StanfordSequeira It's better than one long form, but still not as good as what I explained in my answer. –  JohnGB Mar 30 '13 at 10:59
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