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The Wine Society was a major faller this month, whereas fellow wine retailer Laithwaites was a serious gainer in the table of the UK’s Top 25 leading drinks retailing websites for April.

They highlight the serious amount of changes in this month’s table, compared with March, which has also seen Spar (UK) regain the top spot and force its rival Aldi into second place.

The Wine Society’s fall of eight places into 18th spot follows on from its decline of three places last month, which means it has fallen from having a score in February of 5.54 out of 10 to the current 3.78, according to the rankings of the top UK drinks retailers’ websites produced exclusively for Retailinsider.com by website testing specialist Sitemorse.

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 fortunes of The Wine Society are in contrast to those of Laithwaites that moves up seven places into 15th spot having been languishing at the bottom end of the table for many months. This is a result of its score increasing from 2.50 in March to 3.38 this month.

Sister site Sunday Times Wine Club has also improved this month as it climbs two places from bottom spot, which has now been taken by Naked Wines that falls three places with a score of 2.14.

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 March online sales jumped 10% compared with (an obviously abstemious) January. However, this was much less than the 38% month-on-month uplift seen in February.

Drinks retailing has also lagged the online market as a whole because whereas year-on-year sales for drinks in March were up 8%, the total market saw a more impressive increase of 16% over this same period.

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 – Apr 2013

Company Name                      +/-       Score out of 10

            Spar (UK)                     +1        7.44

            Aldi                              -1         6.90    

            The Whisky Shop         same   6.74

            Fortnum & Mason       same   6.50

            Bargain Booze             same   6.12

            Budgens                      same   5.86

            EH Booth & Co            +1        5.18

            Londis                          +1        5.10

            Lidl                              -2         5.03

            Iceland                        +1        4.38

            BeerMerchants.com   +1        4.22                

            The Drink Shop            +1        4.03

            Majestic Wine             +2        3.78

            Marks & Spencer        same   3.66

            Laithwaites                  +7        3.38

            Slurp.co.uk                  same   3.30

            Tesco                           same   3.28

            The Wine Society        -8         3.02

            Selfridges                    -1         2.90

            Asda                            -1         2.90

            Waitrose                     -1         2.90

            Sun Times Wine Club  +2        2.30

            Virgin Wines               same   2.40

            Naked Wines               -3         2.14

                         
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