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Aldi managed to hold on to its position at the head of the table of the UK’s Top 25 leading drinks retailing websites for March despite losing ground to second-placed Spar (UK) that is working hard on boosting its wine and beer offer.

The German supermarket scored 7.26 out of 10 compared with its much better performance  last month of 8.34, but it still held off Spar (UK) with its score of 7.08. They both came under pressure from third-placed The Whisky Shop that scored 6.74 versus 6.54 in February.

What sets the March results apart from previous months is the level of consistency in the positions of retailers in the table, according to the rankings of the top UK drinks retailers’ websites produced exclusively for Retailinsider.com by website testing specialist Sitemorse.

However, there is still a lot of difference in the individual scores achieved compared with those of last month. The one key positional change involved The Wine Society falling three places into 10th spot with a score of 4.82 compared with 5.54 last month and an even more healthy 5.90 in January.

This helped Londis to move up one place to ninth spot and Lidl climb two places to seventh spot, despite both scoring the same as last month – 5.10 and 5.19 respectively.

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.

These results come against the backdrop of an improved level of trading for online drinks retailing. According to the IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index for February online sales jumped 38% compared with January.

Year-on-year comparatives were less impressive, with a jump of only 6%, which compares with a 13% jump for the online marketplace as a whole. Looking to counter the lacklustre year-on-year increase Spar (UK) is in the midst of a big push on drinks.

Not only has it recently begun a World Beers Festival in its stores but it has also launched four exclusive wine ranges, which is aimed at broadening its appeal to a wider customer base that would take it beyond the less affluent shoppers with which it is most associated.

Yet again one retailer was excluded from the Sitemorse testing this month, with Sainsbury’s not included in the Top 25 table because of its continued reliance on JavaScript.

Top 25 Drinks Retail Websites – Mar 2013

Company Name +/- Score out of 10

Aldi         same 7.26
Spar (UK) same 7.08
The Whisky Shop same 6.74
Fortnum & Mason same 6.50
Bargain Booze same 6.12
Budgens         same 5.86
Lidl         +2 5.19
EH Booth & Co same 5.18
Londis +1 5.10
The Wine Society -3 4.82
Iceland same 4.38
BeerMerchants.com same 3.96
The Drink Shop same 3.77
Marks & Spencer same 3.66
Majestic Wine same 3.40
Slurp.co.uk same 3.30
Tesco same 3.28
Selfridges         same 2.90
Asda same 2.90
Waitrose         same 2.64
Naked Wines same 2.60
Laithwaites same 2.50
Virgin Wines same 2.40
Sun Times Wine Club same 2.04

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