Spar (UK) moves into top three best performing online drinks retailers in October


Brought to you by Retail Insider and Sitemorse

Spar (UK) improved its online performance in October to climb into third place in the table of the Top UK drinks websites this month, according to analysis undertaken exclusively for Retail Insider by online specialist Sitemorse.

It moves up six places in the table with a score of 4.85 out of 10 compared with 3.59 in September, which coincides with it placing a greater focus being on wines and beers in its stores that has won it a number of awards.

It is beaten only by Budgens, which maintained its position at the head of the table with a score of 5.54, and by The Whisky Shop that holds onto second spot with a score of 5.40.

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 big climber this month, along with Spar (UK), is The Drink Shop that ascends eight places to 10th spot, which helps it recover somewhat from a disastrous September performance that dragged it down 10 places.

In contrast, this month also involved a couple of serious fallers, with Selfridges dropping six places into 18th spot and Sainsbury’s down eight places to 19th spot. The supermarket is beaten this month by rival Tesco, in 14th spot, which is undergoing a cull in the number of drinks lines it stocks (by as much as 30% it is understood). Sitting just above Tesco is Majestic Wine, in 12th spot, which has just announced its decision to end its six-bottle minimum purchase rule.

These in-store actions come at a time when online wine sales are predicted to grow by nearly 12% each year over the next four years (according to Rabobank’s latest Wine Quarterly report). In the first quarter of 2015 it measured online wine sales increasing 11% compared with a rise of just 3.5% in total wine sales by value.

The Sitemorse results come alongside online sales for the overall market (across all sectors) recording year-on-year growth of 12% in September, according to the IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index. The month-on-month figures were also strong, with growth of 8%.

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

Top UK Drinks Retail Websites – October 2015 

Company Name                      +/-       Score out of 10

  • Budgens                            same              5.54
  • The Whisky Shop          same              5.40
  • Spar (UK)                         +6                   4.85
  • Bargain Booze                -1                     4.60
  • BEERMerchants,com -1                    4.56
  • Aldi                                     same             4.04
  • Fortnum & Mason       +1                   4.02
  • Lidl                                      -1                     3.77
  • Oddbins                            -4                    3.76
  • The Drink Shop            +8                   3.61
  • Morrisons                        -1                    3.38
  • Majestic Wine                +1                   3.30
  • EH Booth & Co              +1                   3.22
  • Tesco                                 +1                   3.20
  • Marks & Spencer         +1                   3.20
  • Asda                                   +1                   3.20
  •                     +2                  3.14
  • Selfridges                        -6                    2.98
  • Sainsbury’s                     -8                   2.95
  • Naked Wines                 new              2.70
  • Virgin Wines                  -1                   2.58
  • The Wine Society         -1                   2.58
  • Laithwaites                     -1                   2.40
  • Sun Times Wine Club same          2.15
  • Waitrose Cellar             +2                1.88


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