Is this step necessary
Not technically it is, but if an email adress is mandatory you also want to know if the email works in case you need to contact that member.
I think it is a good practice. I know some online shops that accept users without verification but not any forums that do.
So if you were building a website where you are selling online access to content and the ability to post in forums, and you wanted to verify a person’s email, but you were also concerned about “shopping cart abandonment”, how would you approach things?
Originally I was going to do this…
Step 1: Create Account
Step 2: Verify Email
Step 3: Sign Terms-of-Service
Step 4: Make Payment
But from what I have been reading, that approach may lead to a high abandonment rate?
Normally on an ecommerce site you ask for shipping and billing address, get the payment details, and close the deal.
But when you need to create an account for a person, make sure their email is legitimate, and maybe make them sign a TOS, it gets more complicated…