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Spar (UK) fends off competition in the table of the Top UK drinks websites in May, according to analysis undertaken exclusively for Retail Insider by online specialist Sitemorse, as it holds the top spot with the best performing website this month.

It’s score of 6.36 out of 10 – the same as in April – helped it defend its premier position from second-placed British Airways Wine Club that lost a little ground with its score of 6.04 compared with 6.30 last month.

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.

Budgens and Aldi took the third and fourth positions as they both moved up one place – pushing out The Whisky Shop that is now in fifth spot. The fortunes of rival value retailers Aldi and Lidl further diverged online this month as Lidl slipped one place and now stands in 13th spot. They were only two places apart last September but Aldi has forged ahead at a time when they are both pushing their drinks credentials strongly.

It has been a month of much fewer changes compared with April, with the major climber Selfridges, which moved up five places to 12th spot with a score of 3.68. It was followed by Oddbins that ascended four places to seventh spot, Virgin Wines, up four to 11th, Laithwaites, up four to 19th, and Naked Wines, also up four to 22nd spot. The latter’s move takes it off the bottom spot that is now held by Tesco that has been reducing its lines of beers, wines and spirits.

In terms of fallers, Marks & Spencer declined the most, with a slide of six places to 20th spot and  The Wine Society, which moved down five places to 15th spot.

Such moves come amid a disappointing month for online sales of beers, wines and spirits with the category experiencing a 13% year-on-year decline in April, according to the IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index. This compares with sales across the whole of the online market increasing in April by 11% year-on-year, although this was the lowest year-on-year growth rate so far this year.

Top UK Drinks Retail Websites – May 2016

 Company Name                                  +/-       Score out of 10

  • Spar (UK)                                   same                  6.36
  • British Airways Wine Club same                  6.04
  • Budgens                                       +1                       5.76
  • Aldi                                                +1                       5.70
  • The Whisky Shop                    -2                        5.58
  • Londis                                          same                 4.84
  • Oddbins                                       +4                      4.42
  • The Drink Shop                        same                3.98
  • Bargain Booze                           -2                       3.94
  • EH Booth & Co                         -1                        3.94
  • Virgin Wines                             +4                      3.76
  • Selfridges                                    +5                      3.68
  • Lidl                                                 -1                        3.59
  • Fortnum & Mason                  -1                        3.50
  • The Wine Society                    -5                        3.40
  • Morrisons                                   +2                      3.20
  • Slurp.co.uk                                 +2                      3.08
  • Majestic Wine                           -2                        3.04
  • Laithwaites                                +4                       2.96
  • Marks & Spencer                     -6                        2.94
  • Sun Times Wine Club           +1                        2.70
  • Naked Wines                            +4                        2.60
  • BEERmerchants.com           -3                         2.60
  • Asda                                              -3                         2.14
  • Waitrose Cellar                        same                   2.14
  • Tesco                                             -2                        1.82

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