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Conviviality Retail-owned Bargain Booze has hit the top spot in the table of the UK’s best performing drinks retail websites, pushing top-end merchant Fortnum & Mason into second place, according to tests conducted on the top 25 UK drinks retailers for April.

Bargain Booze delivered a dramatically improved score this month of 7.56 out of 10 compared with 5.60 in March that pushed it up three places. It usurped F&M, which again scored 6.80 in the ranked table of the top UK drinks retailers’ websites produced exclusively for Retail Insider by website testing specialist Sitemorse.

The Whisky Shop was also pushed down the table – by one place into third spot with a score of 6.38 versus 6.64 last month – in a top five that consists of the same, but re-ordered, names as in March.

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.

Notable movers this month are Laithwaites and the Sunday Times Wine Club – both owned by Direct Wines – with each climbing three places as the former moved into 14th spot and the latter into 18th spot.

The major supermarkets had a weak month, with Asda slipping six places – after its fall of two last month – with a score of 2.50 compared with 3.21 in March. Rival Sainsbury’s fell four places to 22nd spot and Morrisons Cellar moved one place down to 23rd spot.

At the bottom of the table there was a rare bit of movement as long-standing bottom-placed Virgin Wines climbed one place to leave the laggard’s position to Naked Wines.

Such lowly-placed online-only retailers run the risk of missing out on business in what continues to be a very buoyant online marketplace. IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index recorded internet-based sales up a healthy 16% year-on-year in March and 8% month-on-month.

The Beers, wines and spirits sector dramatically out-performed the overall index as it delivered a month-on-month growth rate for March of a hefty 31%.

Londis was yet again excluded from the Sitemorse testing this month because of its reliance on JavaScript.

Top UK Drinks Retail Websites – April 2014

Company Name                      +/-       Score out of 10

Bargain Booze             +3        7.56

Fortnum & Mason       -1         6.80

The Whisky Shop         -1         6.38

Spar (UK)                     +1        5.59

Lidl                              -2         5.13

Budgens                      +2        4.82

Aldi                              same   4.78

Iceland                        -2         4.78

EH Booth & Co          same   4.48

BeerMerchants.com   same   4.32

The Wine Society        same   3.84

The Drink Shop            same   3.61

Majestic Wine             +3        3.30

Laithwaites                  +3        3.22

Tesco                           -2         3.20

Waitrose                     -1         3.12

Marks & Spencer        +2        3.00

Sun Times Wine Club  +3        2.97

Slurp.co.uk                  +1        2.88

Asda                            -6         2.50

Selfridges                    +2        2.40

Sainsbury’s                  -4         2.28

Morrisons Cellar         -1         1.88

Virgin Wines               +1        1.62

Naked Wines               -1         1.62

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