3. Sign up as a customer

Test how customers use your marketplace by creating a new user profile to use for search and transactions.

Thomas Rocca avatar
Written by Thomas Rocca
Updated over a week ago

After creating your provider account and test listing, we can test how the marketplace works for customers.

We are now exploring the two-sided nature of your marketplace: there is a single platform, but there are at least two different users of this platform. So far, we created a test provider and added their listing. Now we will create a customer account to test searching listings and transacting with providers on the marketplace.

Visit your marketplace in a private window

The best way to experience the two-sided nature of your marketplace during testing is to have a provider session and a customer session open at the same time. You can achieve this either with using a private window in your browser or by using two different browsers.

If you just completed part I of this testing tutorial, you may already have a provider session going. This means that you are logged into your test provider account when you visit your Test marketplace (by pressing “View marketplace” in your Console top bar, for instance).

Keep this provider session open.

To create a customer session, either open your Test marketplace in a private window or in a different browser. We will use the private window approach for this tutorial.

Opening a private window in your browser starts a fresh session in your browser without any connection to your browser history. This is ideal for our testing purposes, as it means you are logged out of your provider account when visiting your Test marketplace in a private window. To open a private window in Chrome, Edge or Safari, press Control+Shift+N on Windows or CMD+Shift+N on Mac. Firefox uses Control+Shift+P on Windows or CMD+Shift+P on Mac.

After opening your private window, copy and paste your Test marketplace URL from the address bar of your provider session. Your URL will end in “mysharetribe-test.com”. Paste this URL into the address bar of your private window.

Test marketplace in a private window, you should be on your marketplace website. No user should be logged in, as indicated by the presence of a “Log in” and “Sign up” call to action button in the top bar. Likely, you’re seeing the starting landing page.

Sign up as a customer

Customers need an account before they check out in your marketplace. Let’s create another test account (this time as a customer).

You will need to fill out the same signup information that you filled out as a provider, namely email and password. Since you cannot use the same email twice, you should either use a different email address or leverage the “+something” trick.

The “+something trick" allows you to create multiple "aliases" that all connect to your own email address. For example, if your email address is your.name@gmail.com, you can create other addresses by using your.name+something@gmail.com. You can replace "something" with any combination of letters and numbers.

For example, you could create the provider account with your.name+provider@gmail.com and the customer account with your.name+customer@gmail.com. Any email sent to either of these accounts will arrive at your your.name@gmail.com inbox.

The “+something” trick works with many services, not just Sharetribe or your marketplace. It works for any email using Google services, but it may not work with every email provider.

Confirm the signup. You can verify your email as the operator from Console or via the confirmation email sent to the signup email.

Next steps

With our customer user in place, we are ready to test the customer experience. In the next tutorial, we will start by searching for the test listing we created to see how search can work in the marketplace. Then, we’ll initiate a transaction and work through checkout, fulfilment, and reviews from the customer and provider perspective.

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