Top start to the year for Bargain Booze


Brought to you by Retail Insider and Sitemorse

Bargain Booze consolidated its position at the top of the table of the best performing UK drinks websites this month, according to tests conducted on the online stores of the top 25 drinks sellers in January by testing specialist Sitemorse.

The company scored 8.28 out of 10 compared with 7.56 in December, which puts it further ahead of second-placed Budgens that managed only 6.08 in comparison – a slight increase on the 5.72 it achieved last time.

This strong performance from Bargain Booze comes alongside its financial results, which showed half-year profits jumped 47% on the back of sales dipping slightly from £187.7 million to £182.9 million. This reflects the company’s focus on higher quality outlets as it shuttered underperforming units as part of the integration of the acquired Rhythm & Booze chain.

The top five retailers remained in the same positions as last month but just below them the ding-dong battle between rivals Aldi and Lidl continued. The two flip-flopped this month with the former holding its place in seventh spot while the latter slipped two positions to eighth spot. There is now only the slimmest difference between their scores – with Aldi managing 4.78 while Lidl is just behind it with 4.77.

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.

Despite the limited change at the top of the table there was plenty of movement elsewhere. Selfridges was the month’s biggest climber as it moved up from 16th to 11th spot, followed by Sainsbury’s that edged up three places to 14th spot.

Among the fallers The Drink Shop disappointingly reversed its ascent up eight places in December with this month’s crash of seven places to 19th spot, and Waitrose Cellar slipped six places with a score of only 1.88 versus 3.14 previously – that places it in last place in the table.

It replaces Naked Wines that moved up two places in what has been a successful month for the innovative drinks retailer as it reported record trading in the run-up to Christmas. This caps a strong year for the company, which has enjoyed a 40% year-on-year increase in sales – having shipped 13 million bottles of wine in 2013.

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

Top UK Drinks Retail Websites – January 2015

Company Name                      +/-       Score out of 10

  • Bargain Booze          same              8.28
  • Budgens                     same              6.08
  • Fortnum & Mason  same              5.72
  • The Whisky Shop   same              5.66
  • Spar (UK)                 same               5.57
  • EH Booth & Co        +2                   4.92
  • Aldi                            same               4.78
  • Lidl                             -2                    4.77
  • +1                 4.32
  • The Wine Society     -1                   4.30
  • Selfridges                   +5                  3.92
  • Iceland                        -1                   3.86
  • Marks & Spencer     same             3.40
  • Sainsbury’s               +3                  3.38
  • Morrisons                 -1                    3.38
  • Tesco                          -1                    3.20
  •               +1                   3.14
  • Majestic Wine         +2                   3.04
  • The Drink Shop       -7                   2.89
  • Asda                           +2                   2.76
  • Virgin Wines           same              2.44
  • Laithwaites             +1                    2.40
  • Naked Wines          +2                   2,34
  • Sun Times Wine     same             2.15
  • Waitrose Cellar     -6                     1.88


Sitemorse offers digital insight to many large and small organisations in public and private sectors, as well as publishing regular unique Index benchmarks spotlighting the true online leaders. Its finely-tuned software engine enables it to advises clients on how to improve their web presence.