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Naked Wines storms up the table of the best performing UK drinks websites this month while Fortnum & Mason moves in the opposite direction crashing down the rankings, according to tests conducted on the online stores of the top 25 drinks sellers in February by online specialist Sitemorse.

Naked Wines moved up an impressive 20 places into third spot with a score of 4.86 out of 10 compared with 2.34 last month when it was in 23rd spot. In total contrast up-market retailer Fortnum & Mason fell 18 places to 21st spot with a score of 2.40 versus 5.72 last month.

These moves are only two examples of what has been an unprecedented level of change in February. At the top of the table Bargain Booze slipped to fifth spot having been pushed off its perch by The Whisky Shop and Aldi, with the latter now holding second spot having moved up five 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.

It might have fallen this month but Bargain Booze’s parent Conviviality Retail has been very busy – signing a franchise agreement with Jonathan James and purchasing 37 GT News stores that it will convert to the Bargain Booze fascia.

What is noticeable in February is the lower scoring at the top end of the table as The Whiskey Shop grabs top spot with a score of only 5.66 – the same as in January – which compares with the much more impressive 8.28 that Bargain Booze achieved when it hit the top last month. Behind it last time was Budgens with 6.08 but it this month fell seven places to ninth spot with a score of only 4.28.

Other big movers include The Drink Shop that climbed seven places to 12th spot, Selfridges slipped seven places to 18th spot, and Sainsbury’s crashed six places to 20th spot with a score of only 2.94. This placed it just below Virgin Wines that recently reported like-for-like sales over Christmas up a hefty 20%.

Also in the bottom half of the table this month is Majestic Wine that moved up one place – after its climb of two positions in January – with a score of 3.04. This comes amid great change at the retailer that parted company with its chief executive Steve Lewis who had been with the firm for 29 years.

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

Top UK Drinks Retail Websites – February 2015

Company Name                      +/-       Score out of 10

 

  • The Whisky Shop            +3                  5.66
  • Aldi                                      +5                  5.06
  • Naked Wines                    +20                4.86
  • Lidl                                      +4                   4.77
  • Bargain Booze                   -4                   4.68
  • The Wine Society             +4                   4.56
  • Spar (UK)                           -2                    4.49
  • com                                      +1                   4.32
  • Budgens                              -7                   4.28
  • Iceland                                +2                  4.22
  • EH Booth & Co                  -5                   4.20
  • The Drink Shop                 +7                 4.61
  • Marks & Spencer               same            4.40
  • Morrisons                          +1                   4.38
  • Tesco                                   +1                   4.20
  • Slurp.co.uk                         +1                  3.14
  • Majestic Wine                  +1                   3.04
  • Selfridges                           -7                    3.00
  • Virgin Wines                    +2                   2.94
  • Sainsbury’s                        -6                   2.94
  • Fortnum & Mason           -18                 2.40
  • Asda                                    -2                   2.40
  • Laithwaites                        -1                  2.40
  • Sun Times Wine Club     same            2.15
  • Waitrose Cellar                same            2.14

Sitemorse has been advising its clients about how to improve their web presence for more than a dozen years and its technical team have fine-tuned the Sitemorse software engine so that it is capable of doing far more than just helping find problems. The company offers true digital insight to many large and small organisations in public and private sectors, as well as publishing regular unique INDEX benchmarks