I'm working on a marketplace site where a user can be a buyer, a seller, or both. Right now I'm focusing on onboarding from a seller's perspective. Think about sites like AirBnB, Ebay, or Etsy, where the the homepage is primarily targeting buyers, but there's still a link or CTA aimed at sellers to "become a seller" or "list your item." That's the flow I'm questioning right now.

Should the onboarding flow for an owner start with A. creating their listing and then signing up, or B. creating an account and then creating their listing.

My gut instinct is that option A is the better flow, as it keeps them focused on the task they want to accomplish, which is selling something. And then only after they've already invested time in creating their listing (which the are personally motivated to do because they want to earn money) do we hit them with the sign up form. At which point, they've already come so far and how could they say no.

However, looking at some other marketplace sites, a lot of them go with option B. Their seller CTA starts by asking the user to create an account first, and then lets them create their listing. I could assume the positives here are getting the user to create an account and grab their contact information ASAP. And if the user falls off at any point during the listing process, they can log in and continue where they left off.

Some sites that use option A: kickstarter.com fatlama.com ebay.com

Some sites that use option B: airbnb.com etsy.com

Does anyone here have an opinion on one flow over the other? Of course this would be such a great thing to A/B test, but creating two entirely different flows seems like a heavy lift and I'm not sure if I'd be able to sell my managers on it.

  • @DesignerAnalyst While certainly relevant, I'm not sure it's a duplicate. For one thing this question is from the seller perspective rather than the buyer. Also, that question specifically references mobile. So, yes, answers may be the same, but there are some key differences here that may result in different answers.
    – JonW
    Jan 19, 2018 at 14:00
  • @JonW I see your point and I tend to agree, it is not the same question. Removed close vote, but I will leave the comment because it can be used as a relevant content. Jan 22, 2018 at 5:55

3 Answers 3


The point of onboarding is to give users the tools they need to benefit from your website. This may require one or all of the listed approaches, depending on your product.

1. Spell it out

Figure out what approach works for you. If you are introducing the user to a whole new concept, spell it out as much as is needed while still being succinct. The longer the onboarding process, the more necessary it is to show that the end is in sight.

2. Be opportunistic

This is your shot to get things right with your users right out of the gate, so capitalize on that first impression. After that, think about any future opportunities to more deeply engage your user.

3. Make it fun

Think back to that first date metaphor. You want users to say yes when you call them in 2 days and ask them for a second date. To delightfully tell their friends what a good time they had.

Reference :

  1. Link 1
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  3. Link 3

Hope This Helps !!


Option A is a good way to make your users invest time before you ask them to register. Your website should be friendly enough for users if you would like to go with Option A.

It's fine to let them do the listing before signing up BUT, if the sign up process of your website will take a little longer because you're asking a lot of details from them (specially payment method), that could cause a negative experience and they might not come back. So with Option A, your main goal is to make the registration process be on its simplest form.


In addition to what Vincente said, you could split up the listing flow and the signing up flow if both take longer than users might find ok and give them an positive feedback early in the process. Thinking of a listing you might want to firstly ask only the minimal set of information you really need to publish it, then publish it and afterwards asking the user step by step to finalize his or her listing. Same goes for the signing up flow.

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