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It has been a very lively December for drinks retailers with significant movement in the table of the Top 25 UK’s leading drinks retailing websites compared with the very subdued November.

Six businesses held the same positions in the table this month compared with a hefty 12 last time, with Spar (UK) returning to the top spot after dislodging Aldi, according to the rankingsof the top UK drinks retailers’ websites, produced exclusively for Retailinsider.com by website testing specialist Sitemorse.

The convenience stores group improved on its score of 6.88 out of 10 last month to record a table-topping 7.44 whereas Aldi could only manage 7.08 versus the 7.62 it achieved in November. This resulted in its dropping two places into third spot, with The Whisky Shop also coming ahead of it as it scored 7.10.

This represents a strong performance at the head of the table with three retailers scoring more than seven out of 10 compared with only one in November. This is a score that Sitemorse believes should be the target for all retailers.

To produce the rankings Sitemorse runs automated software that page-by-page reads the first 125 pages of each website and analyses on the basis of six key criteria – function, code quality, user experience, accessibility, performance and SEO capability.

The one newcomer to the top five is Budgens with a creditable 6.22 that pushes Bargain Booze down into sixth spot, despite it scoring the same as last month – 6.12. Another strong performance came from this month’s biggest climber Marks & Spencer that recorded a score of 4.02 compared with 3.66 in November.

This puts it above some of the biggest food and drink retailers in the country, including Tesco in 17th spot, Asda one place below it in 18th position, and Waitrose in 20thspot. This puts the latter only one place above this month’s biggest faller Selfridges, which slid four places into 21st spot with a score of 2.30.

The three operators below it all remained in the same positions as last month, with Laithwaites, Sunday Times Wine Club and Naked Wines propping up the table with lowly scores. This is disappointing as all three are largely online-only operators.

Only one retailer was excluded from the Sitemorse testing this month, with Sainsbury’s not included in the Top 25 table because of its reliance on JavaScript. In contrast, as discussed, Budgens re-joined the table.

Top 25 Drinks Retail Websites – Dec 2012

Company Name                      +/-       Score out of 10

            Spar (UK)                     +1        7.44

            The Whisky Shop         +1        7.10

            Aldi                              -2         7.08    

            Fortnum & Mason       same   6.50

            Budgens                      new     6.22

            Bargain Booze             -1         6.12

            The Wine Society        -1         5.90

            Lidl                              -1         5.19

            Londis                          -1         4.90

            EH Booth & Co             -1         4.64

            Iceland                         -1         4.38

            Majestic Wine             +1        4.04

            Marks & Spencer        +2        4.02

            The Drink Shop            same   3.77

            BeerMerchants.com   -3         3.70                

            Slurp.co.uk                  +3        3.30

            Tesco                           -1         3.10

            Asda                            same   2.90

            Virgin Wines               +1        2.76

            Waitrose                     +1        2.64

            Selfridges                    -4         2.30

            Laithwaites                  same   2.14

            Sun Times Wine Club  same   1.78

            Naked Wines               same   1.52


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