Waitrose and M&S big fallers among top UK drinks retailers websites

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Two of the country’s biggest food and drink retailers, Waitrose and Marks & Spencer, have fallen furthest in the table of the UK’s leading drinks retailing websites for August.

A fall of seven places by Waitrose to 22nd spot and a decline of five places by M&S to 18th spot pushed both big names into the bottom third of the table, 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.

In contrast, Budgens and Laithwaite’s were the best performers this month with both climbing five places – to sixth and 14th spots respectively. This pushed Budgens to the edge of the top five that was penetrated for the first time by Iceland, with the remainder of this upper echelon consisting of the same names as last month.

However, the order has changed as Spar (UK) reclaimed the top spot shoving The Whisky Shop into second place. These two are some way in front of third-placed Fortnum & Mason that managed to score 5.98 out of 10 compared with 7.10 for The Whisky Shop and 7.26 for Spar (UK).

This month also saw the appearance of Sainsbury’s for the first time as it had previously been excluded due to its long-term reliance on JavaScript, which makes it difficult for the site to be picked up in organic searches.

It hit the table in 20th spot ahead of high street rivals Waitrose and Selfridges and the bottom pairing of Sunday Times Wine Club and Virgin Wines that both continue to prop up the table with their scores of less than two out of 10.

These Sitemorse results come against the online drinks retailers showing a year-on-year growth of 16.1% in July, according to the IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index, which compares with the 18% year-on-year gains enjoyed by the retail sector as a whole for this same period.

Despite this slip to below the industry average the online drinks retailers continue to enjoy superior average basket sizes, with August seeing a figure of £117.06 compared with a mere £77 for the sector as a whole.

One retailer was excluded from the Sitemorse testing this month, with Londis again not included in the table because of its continued reliance on JavaScript.


Top UK Drinks Retail Websites – September 2013

Company Name                      +/-       Score out of 10

Spar (UK)                     +1        7.26

The Whisky Shop         -1         7.10

Fortnum & Mason       same   5.98

Bargain Booze             same   5.76

Iceland                                    +2        5.20

Budgens                      +5        4.72

Aldi                              -1         4.68

Lidl                              -3         4.67

The Wine Society        same   4.46

EH Booth & Co                        -2         4.38

BeerMerchants.com   -1         4.22

Morrisons Cellar         same   3.12

Tesco                           +1        3.08

Laithwaites                  +5        2.96

Majestic Wine             +2        2.94

The Drink Shop            same   2.79

Asda                            +1        2.70

Marks & Spencer        -5         2.68

Slurp.co.uk                  +1        2.52

J Sainsbury                  new     2.38

Naked Wines               same   2.14

Waitrose                     -7         2.12

Selfridges                    -1         2.04

Sun Times Wine Club  -1         1.88

Virgin Wines               -1         1.78


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