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Specialist whisky retailer The Whisky Shop has delivered the most improved performance in the table of the Top UK drinks websites in June, according to analysis undertaken exclusively for Retail Insider by online specialist Sitemorse, and shares the top spot with Budgens this month.

It climbs four places with a score of 5.58 out of 10 to stand alongside Budgens at the head of the table in June. It takes the premier spot following a decline of seven places by Spar (UK), which scores only 4.20 compared with 6.36 last month. Third place is taken by British Airways Wine Club that slips one place to stand just above Aldi and Londis.

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 besides The Whisky Shop and Spar (UK) are Selfridges that falls six places to 18th spot and Naked Wines that slips four places to 26th spot. It stands just above Tesco in 24th spot, which moved up two places from bottom position, at a time of great activity for the UK’s largest supermarket.

In the last couple of weeks it has stopped producing its Tesco Simply and Vineyards budget ranges as part of its re-launch of the wine category. Instead it will be launching a new look own label collection – priced from £3.50 to £8. It is to also open a pop-up Wine Bar in central London to showcase its ‘Finest’ range.

Such moves come amid a disappointing month for online sales of beers, wines and spirits with the category experiencing a 3% year-on-year decline in May, according to the IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index. This compares with sales across the whole of the online market increasing in May by 17% year-on-year, which is the highest rate of growth in the past 11 months.

Top UK Drinks Retail Websites – June 2016 

Company Name                                  +/-       Score out of 10

  • The Whisky Shop                     +4                       5.58
  • Budgens                                       +1                        5.58
  • British Airways Wine Club  -1                         5.42
  • Aldi                                                same                  4.98
  • Londis                                          +1                        4.84
  • The Drink Shop                       +2                        4.44
  • Bargain Booze                          +2                        4.22
  • Spar (UK)                                   -7                          4.20
  • Oddbins                                      -2                          4.06
  • EH Booth & Co                         same                   3.94
  • Fortnum & Mason                  +3                        3.68
  • Lidl                                                 +1                        3.59
  • Virgin Wines                             -2                          3.50
  • The Wine Society                    +1                         3.40
  • Slurp.co.uk                                +2                         3.34
  • Laithwaites                                +3                         3.32
  • Marks & Spencer                     +3                        3.30
  • Selfridges                                    -6                          3.22
  • Morrisons                                   -3                          3.20
  • Majestic Wine                           -2                          3.04
  • Sun Times Wine Club           same                    2.70
  • BEERmerchants.com            +1                        2.60
  • Waitrose Cellar                         +2                        2.34
  • Tesco                                             +2                        2.28
  • Asda                                               -1                          2.24
  • Naked Wines                             -4                          2.08

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