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It has been a good month for high street retailers Budgens and Majestic Wine as they delivered the most improved website performances among top drinks retailers, according to tests conducted on the online stores of the top 25 UK drinks sellers for September.

Budgens moved up three places into third spot in the table with a score of 5.90 out of 10 pushing Lidl into fourth spot. It was only beaten by Majestic Wine as the top climber this month, which shot up five places into 13th spot.

Despite their improvements they still have some way to go to beat Bargain Booze that again held on to top spot with a score of 6.84 – a slight disappointment on the 7.56 it scored last month – which was again followed by The Whisky Shop that retained its second place.

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.

Elsewhere in the table there was only a modest amount of movement as most retailers held their positions or only moved up or down a single notch. Waitrose Cellar was among them, with a fall of one place to 18th spot.

This comes at a time when the company has reported a surge in online sales following the creation of its wine-focused website. Waitrose revealed that wine revenues had increased by nearly 25% in the first three months since it came on stream.

Booths might also have benefited from the re-launch of it Booths Cellar site had the company not decided to delay it from this month until January after the vital festive period.

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

Top UK Drinks Retail Websites – September 2014

Company Name                      +/-       Score out of 10

Bargain Booze             same   6.84

The Whisky Shop         same   6.64

Budgens                      +3        5.90

Lidl                              -1         5.13

Fortnum & Mason       -1         5.00

Spar (UK)                     -1         4.85

EH Booth & Co           same   4.74

The Wine Society       same   4.56

BeerMerchants.com   same   4.32

Iceland                          same   3.86

The Drink Shop          same   3.61

Aldi                              same   3.60

Majestic Wine             +5        3.40

Morrisons                    -1         3.38

Tesco                           -1         3.20

Marks & Spencer        -1         3.20

Slurp.co.uk                  -1         3.14

Waitrose Cellar           -1         2.88

Asda                            +1        2.86

Sainsbury’s                  -1         2.74

Laithwaites                  +1        2.14

Selfridges                    -1         1.88

Sun Times Wine Club  same   1.63

Naked Wines               +1        1.62

Virgin Wines               -1         1.36

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