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Spar (UK) has reclaimed its crown as the best performing retailer in the table of the Top UK drinks websites in December, according to analysis undertaken exclusively for Retail Insider by online specialist Sitemorse.

The supermarket moved up four places with a score of 6.79 out of 10, which compares favourably with the 4.31 it achieved in October. This puts it well ahead of second-placed British Airways Wine Club that moved up one place, which follows its entry into the table last month. Both these retailers combined to edge out Budgens that has held the top spot for the last seven months.

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 major movers this month are Fortnum & Mason that climbed eight places to eighth spot after its decline of nine places in November, while Naked Wines moved up five places to 15th spot, and Oddbins and Virgin Wines both ascended three places to sixth and 20th spots respectively.

It has been a good month overall with few fallers. The biggest decliner was Bargain Booze, which fell three places to fifth spot after it was knocking on the door of the top spot in November. Majestic Wine was the only other retailer to fall more than one place as it descended seventh to ninth spot.

The Sitemorse results come alongside online sales for the overall market (across all sectors) recording impressive month-on-month growth of 40% in November, according to the IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index. This is the highest annual month-on-month growth achieved since the index began 15 years ago.

Londis and Sainsbury’s were both excluded from the Sitemorse testing this month because of their sites’ reliance on JavaScript.

Top UK Drinks Retail Websites – December 2015

 Company Name                                  +/-       Score out of 10

  • Spar (UK)                                       +4                6.79
  • British Airways Wine Club     +1                 5.74
  • Budgens                                          -2                  5.54
  • The Whisky Shop                       same            5.38
  • Bargain Booze                             -3                   4.86
  • Oddbins                                         +3                  4.12
  • Aldi                                                   -1                   4.04
  • Fortnum & Mason                    +8                 4.02
  • Majestic Wine                            -2                    4.02
  • Lidl                                                  same             3.45
  • Morrisons                                    same             3.38
  • EH Booth & Co                          same             3.22
  • Tesco                                             same              3.20
  • Marks & Spencer                     same              3.20
  • Naked Wines                             +5                   2.96
  • Slurp.co.uk                                 -1                     2.88
  • Selfridges                                     +1                   2.80
  • The Drink Shop                         -1                    2.71
  • BEERmerchants.com            same             2.58
  • Virgin Wines                              +3                  2.58
  • The Wine Society                    same              2.58
  • Laithwaites                                same              2.40
  • Asda                                              +1                    2.14
  • Waitrose Cellar                       +1                     2.14
  • Sun Times Wine Club           +1                    1.89

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