Slurp (slowly) rises up the table of drinks retail websites

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Independent online drinks specialist Slurp continues to move up the table of the UK’s leading drinks retailing websites, with a climb of four places in November, which marks a major recovery from its lowly position around the time of its administration in June.

The company has languished as low as 20th in the table but since wine merchant SH Jones acquired the assets of the company the performance of its website has continued to improve and it this month moved into 14th spot, according to the rankings of the top UK drinks retailers’ websites produced exclusively for by website testing specialist Sitemorse.

Its four-place jump this month follows moves up one position in both September and October. Although it clearly has a long way to go until it is performing as well as the likes of The Whisky Shop at the top of the table – with a score of 7.20, which moved it up one place above Spar (UK) – its gradual progress is notable.

For Spar (UK), having held top spot last month it has disappointed in November with its score dropping from 7.20 out of 10 to 6.33, which places it just above Fortnum & Mason that retains its third place in the table. The top five places comprise the same retailers as last month – albeit with a juggling of places.

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 other major mover this month along with Slurp is Tesco that also climbed four places – into 13th spot – which reverses the decline it experienced in October. In contrast, the major fallers this month are Morrisons Cellar and Laithwaites that both slip three places.

This is disappointing for Morrisons as it follows a drop of two places in October and pushes it down into 17th spot with a score of only 2.86. However, it is still performing much better than the perennial bottom placed retailer Virgin Wines that managed a score of only 1.62 this month. It was just pipped in the rankings by Naked Wines that slipped two places.

According to the IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index, online sales grew 15% year-on-year in October. For the beers, wines and spirits category its growth levels are behind the overall retail sector, with a lesser 9%, but this still clearly represents a decent increase on the same month last year.

The month-on-month figure was much less impressive, with a fall of 8% – perhaps reflective of consumers having a breather and saving some resources ahead of making their major purchases for the Christmas period.

Both Londis and Sainsbury’s were again excluded from the Sitemorse testing this month because of their reliance on JavaScript.

Top UK Drinks Retail Websites – November 2013

Company Name                      +/-       Score out of 10

The Whisky Shop         +1        7.20

Spar (UK)                     -1         6.33

Fortnum & Mason     same   5.72

Lidl                              +1        5.67

Bargain Booze             -1         5.60

Iceland                       same   5.30

Budgens                      same   4.82

Aldi                              same   4.78

The Wine Society        +1        4.56

EH Booth & Co           -1         4.48   same   4.32

Asda                            same   4.12

Tesco                           +4        3.38                  +4        3.14

Majestic Wine             -2         3.12

Waitrose                     same   2.86

Morrisons Cellar         -3         2.86

Laithwaites                  -3         2.70

Marks & Spencer        +1        2.58

The Drink Shop            -1         2.53

Sun Times Wine Club  +1        2.45

Selfridges                    +1        2.14

Naked Wines               -2         2.14

Virgin Wines               same   1.62

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