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Are You Blockbuster or Netflix?

You may have seen the story on the news recently: former video megachain Blockbuster is down to their final store. The familiar blue and yellow signage that once graced over 9000 stores worldwide* is now on display at the last remaining vestige of the former giant in Bend, Oregon.

While others have taken this opportunity to detail the swan song of the once-beloved home of VHS tapes galore, the team at uncommn feels strongly that this is, instead, a teaching moment — a business cautionary tale about Blockbuster’s legendary blunder that contributed to their downfall.

In the early 2000’s, Blockbuster had the opportunity to purchase Netflix for $50 million.

They passed.

Netflix is now reportedly worth over $32 billion.**

To be fair, at the time of the sale negotiations, Netflix was a DVD-by-mail service that was consistently losing money. But the real problem was the lack of vision from the Blockbuster team. They couldn’t see the potential for the little red envelope to ultimately shut down the brick and mortar retail video rental space. There were other factors at play but the decision not to move forward with the purchase ultimately boiled down to Blockbuster execs failing to anticipate the overwhelming opportunity they were given to “future-proof” their company. In the meantime, Netflix made the move from DVDs to internet streaming and we all know how that’s working out for them.

Now it’s time to ask yourself a tough question: are you Blockbuster or Netflix?

Here are three questions to ask yourself if you aren’t sure:

If the answer to any of these questions is ‘no” or “I don’t know” you may want to book your ticket to Bend, Oregon to be with other like-minded individuals. Okay, that may be harsh but it simply can’t be overstated that an updated web presence is crucial to your business. Simply having a website may have been enough in the Blockbuster heyday of the 1990’s and early 2000’s. You may have even been ahead of your competitors. But in 2018 and beyond, consumers expect more.

Let’s look closer at our questions:

1) Is my website more than three years old?

This question is important because a lot has changed in this short time frame. Google announced/confirmed that we’re living in a mobile first world. If your site was designed without thinking about smartphone and tablet users, odds are you are providing a large percentage of visitors with a less than stellar experience on your site. Your search engine results may also be lower than they could be as Google has started indexing websites by mobile experience first. Have separate mobile and desktop sites? Your results are suffering.

2) Is my website responsive and optimized for conversions, especially on mobile devices?

This is technically a continuation of question one but that’s how important the point is. Responsive websites are designed to automatically resize for optimum experience on all screen sizes. Remember when we all had to pinch and scroll through tiny text and double tap on mini-versions of desktop sites? If you want to keep people on your site, that should be a thing of the past. In addition, make sure any forms on your site are quick and clean so they are simple for mobile users.

3) Is my website an https site, providing visitors the security of an SSL certificate?

You have probably heard or read the warnings, never enter your personal data or payment information into a site that doesn’t have the padlock in the browser bar and an https:// prefix on the site. The S for security actually represented an SSL certificate that was used to provide extra protection to users. While the technology behind SSL certificates is more than most people need to understand, there is a vital update that has just happened. After months of rumors and even downright warnings, Google announced last week that with the release of Chrome 68 on July 24th, they will now officially mark http sites – those without the SSL — as non-secure in their browser.†† Whether you take online payments or personal data or not, visitors’ will feel more comfortable browsing on a site they know is secure.

Blockbuster was at one time the go-to spot to prepare for slumber parties, family nights on the couch, and romantic dates. They had the opportunity to recognize new trends and turn them into huge wins for their company but they failed to appreciate their importance.

Don’t let this happen to your brand.

Now is the time to turn your out-of-date Blockbuster website into a sleek Netflix experience. Simply fill out the quick form to take your first step.

Published
July 24, 2018
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