Retailer Web Performance Report Card: Nike and Blockbuster
In this month's edition of SmartBear Software's Retailer Web Performance Report Card, the website performances of Nike and Blockbuster are examined. The idea behind this column is to help retailers deliver a great online user experience for the purpose of positively impacting business performance. I hope that retailers are continuously monitoring quality in terms of website availability, performance and user experience. With the help of SmartBear's AlertSite, I've looked at website response times and availability percentages from April 1 to April 16. For better or worse, Nike and Blockbuster are our featured retailers this month.
First, the benchmark average for response time among the top 50 retailers was 4.4393 seconds. As I like to tout, it's important to be below the three-second mark, as that's the magic tolerance number for many online visitors. Consistency of performance is a meaningful metric worth mentioning as well. I'd rather it take a tenth of a second slower (on average) for my site to load if it meant a more consistent experience for each user. The benchmark average for availability was 99.56 percent. If you aren't striving for 24/7, 365-day availability, as is expected today, you're missing the boat — or in this case, opportunity for revenue.
With Netflix's DVD-by-mail service and other online video streaming services (e.g., iTunes), Blockbuster, a subsidiary of DISH Network and DreamWorks Animation, has had its share of challenges and troubles in recent years. The movie rental retailer closed 300 stores earlier this year. As these brick-and-mortar stores disappear, the brand's website becomes more important than ever. In fact, it's essential to Blockbuster's efforts at drawing customers to download movies to computers and entertainment devices.
On April 7, Blockbuster was having website availability issues that contributed to its slip from the No. 7 spot in availability last month to No. 50 this month (95.73 percent availability). Availability problems were reported in Phoenix, Boston, Houston and Dallas, indicating there was a website issue rather than a local internet outage. Blockbuster's response time was 5.5753 seconds, which was a slight decrease over last month.