10 Marketing Trends That Will Dominate 2019

As we close out 2018 and enter a new year, it’s time to look toward the future.

Many of you might be making some new year’s resolutions such as diet changes, workout routines, and quitting bad habits.

But outside of your personal goals, you also need to keep an eye on your business operations. More specifically, you must focus on your marketing department.

Marketing continues to change over time. Each year we’re seeing new trends.

What worked for your company in 2010 may not work in 2019.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying you need to completely abandon or change your strategy that worked in 2018. But you need to at least recognize the newest trends.

It will be up to you to make any necessary adjustments based on what’s trending.

Here’s the thing. Other marketers are already jumping on board with new trends and technology.

To gain an advantage over your competitors, you want to prepare yourself to adapt to these trends before they have the chance.

I’ve narrowed down the top ten marketing trends you need to look out for in 2019.  [click to continue…]

How to Drive Retail Sales with Beacon Technology

With online shopping growing in popularity, retailers need to come up with new ways to keep their customers engaged to drive sales.

Retail stores are no longer just competing with other neighboring shops. Consumers can shop for virtually anything from the comfort of their own homes or even on the go from ecommerce shops.

If your retail business can’t adapt to new technology and the latest trends, you’ll struggle for survival in the coming years.

Beacon technology is definitely something your business should consider using. While the term may sound futuristic and complex, it’s actually quite simple.

You’ll be using beacons to track your customers, similarly to GPS. Although beacons and GPS are often confused and associated with each other, they’re not the same.

GPS technology needs three major components to work:

  • satellites
  • ground stations
  • receivers

Receivers, such as a cell phone or a car, send signals to satellites that calculate the distance between each one. As a result, these calculations can pinpoint exactly where the receiver is located.

Beacons are far less complex.

These devices are small and not very expensive. They run on battery power.

Instead of broadcasting their locations to multiple satellites, beacons simply share their locations with devices capable of receiving their identities.

It’s easy to install beacons throughout your retail store locations. Implementing this technology in your retail shops will help you increase sales by personalizing the customer experience.

If you have never used beacon technology before, this is the perfect guide for you. I’ll show you how to leverage this technology to drive retail sales.

You’ll even learn how beacons can help generate revenue for ecommerce businesses without physical locations.  [click to continue…]

The Best Web Hosting for WordPress

Quick Sprout recommendations for web hosting services are based on months of research and testing. We’ll never point you to a product or service that we don’t believe in or have first-hand experience with. Our content is reader-supported, which means if you click on one of our links to a recommended web hosting service, we may earn a commission.

Pretty much every single web host out there can run WordPress, and run it just fine. But the very best web hosting for WordPress in terms of service and performance will be from a fully managed WordPress host.

“Managed WordPress” means the infrastructure your site is hosted on was tailor-made for WordPress, and everyone working behind the scenes has WordPress expertise. As a result, your website will be significantly faster, more stable, and more secure than on a typical shared hosting plan. Customer support will be more knowledgeable and more nuanced. And, a lot of the technical aspects of keeping your website up and running is done for you — no web admin know-how necessary. Fair warning: it’s also more expensive.

In this guide, we’ll explain the difference between managed WordPress and shared hosting, the cost differences, and which host you should choose. For regular hosting, we like SiteGround and Dreamhost. For managed WordPress, we recommend WP Engine.

How to Decide Between Managed WordPress Hosting and Shared Hosting

Picking the right web host for you is always going to be an equation of price, performance, and service. You’ll pay more for better performance and service. You’ll pay less if you’re willing to take a hit in either of those areas.

Managed WordPress hosting is significantly more expensive than shared web hosting — we’re talking $30–100/month versus $4–15. It’s designed to deliver superior performance to WordPress sites, no matter how big or complex or heavily trafficked. And because a lot of the backend site and server maintenance is done by the host, it delivers superior support to those sites’ owners, too. For businesses that can’t afford any glitches or downtime, and people who don’t have the resources to update, tinker with, and troubleshoot their sites, the price is absolutely worth it.

Don’t have the time to update and troubleshoot your site yourself?
Managed WordPress hosting is absolutely worth it.

Small, less complex, and low-traffic sites would absolutely still enjoy the benefits of managed WordPress hosting — just like someone who needs a couple of stitches for a cut on their finger would absolutely still enjoy the benefits of an elite plastic surgeon. But if your site is just starting out, or your traffic is small enough that no one’s really going to notice a few minutes of downtime here and there, a great shared hosting provider will be more cost effective initially.

Just starting out and concerned about price?
A great shared hosting provider will do the job.

In fact, two of our favorite hosts, SiteGround and Dreamhost, have a few managed WordPress benefits built right into their basic shared hosting packages, including automatic core updates and daily backups. If the higher price tag for a fully managed WordPress host doesn’t fit into the budget, and you don’t mind a couple of hours a month dedicated to site maintenance, we recommend starting there. You can always transfer your site to a managed WordPress host in the future.

Read more in our review of the overall best web hosting services.

5 Best Managed WordPress Hosts

  1. WP Engine Recommended Pick
  2. FlywheelRunner-Up for Small Websites
  3. Kinsta
  4. Pressable
  5. Liquid Web

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How to Manage and Avoid Ecommerce Chargebacks

Chargebacks have become a growing problem for ecommerce companies. In fact, credit card chargebacks are rising at a rate of 20% each year.

Statistics show 40% of consumers who file chargebacks will do so again within 60 days. And 50% of those people will file another one within 90 days.

Banks and credit card companies make it easy for their customers to dispute charges on their accounts. Ecommerce companies are paying the price for this behavior.

Those of you who have an ecommerce shop know what I’m talking about. I’m willing to bet you’ve had to deal with these situations in the past.

They are a real pain, to say the least. On your end, you thought you did everything right.

A customer placed an order online. You fulfilled the order and got paid.

Only later, you see that the transaction was nullified. You probably weren’t even notified of this chargeback until after the fact.

What happens now? Why are you being punished for fulfilling an order? How far do you need to go to optimize the customer experience?

Chargebacks have become a hot topic lately in my consulting work. And nobody seems to know how to handle them.

That was my inspiration for writing this guide.

First, I’ll explain what you need to do once a chargeback has been filed. Then, I’ll show how you can prevent this from happening again in the future. At the very least, you’ll be able to minimize your chargeback rates moving forward.

Here’s what you need to know.  [click to continue…]

What do these elite brands know about driving visitors and traffic to your site that you don’t?

The Best Domain Registrar

Quick Sprout recommendations for domain registrars, are based on extensive research and testing. We’ll never point you to a product or service that we don’t believe in and have first hand experience with. Our content is reader-supported, which means if you click on one of our links to a recommended domain registrar, we may earn a commission.

There are thousands of accredited domain registrars — literally. How do you choose? Don’t fret. In this review, I’ll walk you through the top 5 and share the pro tips I’ve learned from buying hundreds of domain names.

When I researched and ranked the best domain registrars I looked for those that made it quick to search and buy a great domain name, then easy to configure it and manage it over time. I also checked the level of customer service (both live support and a robust knowledge center) as well as their reputation — you don’t want your domain registrar going out of business. I wasn’t swayed by freebies or pricing, but I kept them in mind as I tested. Registrars with fewer upsells and things like security already included rose to the top because it was quicker and easier to buy what I needed and nothing else.

My favorite registrar is Namecheap. I prefer it over other top registrars NameSilo, Gandi, Google Domains, and Hover. Namecheap has great prices and is really easy to use. It’s the registrar I use, and the one I recommend to my family and friends when they are building websites.

The Top 5 Domain Registrars Ranked

  1. Namecheap
  2. NameSilo
  3. Gandi
  4. Google Domains
  5. Hover

Registrars to Avoid

  • 1&1
  • GoDaddy
  • Your web host (SiteGround, InMotion Hosting, Bluehost, Dreamhost, etc.)

I wholeheartedly do not recommend 1&1 or GoDaddy. And, although you may be tempted to bundle domain registry with your web host, you should keep them separate. These are two different competencies, and it’s best to use expert providers for each. A free domain name for a year is not worth the trade offs!

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