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Bargain Booze takes number one spot as UK’s top retail website in Q2

Drinks retailer Bargain Booze has upped its online game as its website has become the UK’s best performing online retail site in Q1 2014. By Glynn Davis


Bargain Booze takes number one spot as UK’s top retail website in Q2

Drinks retailer Bargain Booze has upped its online game as its website has become the UK’s best performing online retail site in Q1 2014. By Glynn Davis

The results are from the latest quarterly testing of the Retail 500 of top UK online stores.

Bargain Booze’s move up 44 places since last time, with its score of 8.28 out of 10, places it at the top of the table above W Boyes & Co and Pownall Carpets. Last quarter’s leading site Anoushka London slips into sixth spot having scored 7.56 compared with its stellar 9.37 in Q1.

Bargain Booze is among a number of newcomers in the top 20 with Courtesy Shoes, Russell Hobbs, Mexx, Walter Smith (Birmingham) and QS Group entering this upper echelon for the first time.

The testing of the 500 sites is undertaken by Sitemorse using automated software that, page-by-page reads the first 125 pages of each retailer’s sites to generate a ranked table based on checks to Quality, User Experience, Accessibility, Performance and SEO capability of each of the websites.

Lawrence Shaw, chief executive of Sitemorse, says: “Bargain Booze is yet another retailer that is very much price-focused but where this value-conscious ethos has not affected its conviction to deliver a high performing website. It is another example of the fact that the best sites are not just in the hands of the most highly marketed – and highest margin - retailers. In fact, it can be quite the opposite.”

As well as Bargain Booze there have been a large number of strong climbers this quarter, led by Blue Inc that jumped a massive 331 places into 116th spot with a score of 4.38. This still puts it a long way off the pace of the leaders of the pack but it is remarkable turnaround from Q1 when it was the bottom placed retailer in the table with a score of only 0.33 out of 10.

Other big climbers include: Cloggs, which has moved up 311 places to 57th spot; W&G Foyle, up 279 to 135th spot; Early Learning Centre, up 221 to 102nd spot; and Bloomsbury, up 217 to 217th spot.

Fat Face also performed strongly, with a climb of 172 places into 117th spot, which will no doubt please its shareholders as it is currently in the process of listing on the UK stock market and its website is naturally a core aspect of its future growth story to new investors.

In contrast to these high fliers there have inevitably been some poorer performing sites in Q1, with the biggest faller award going to Jewellery Catalogue that declined a substantial 323 places into 433rd spot, leaving only three retailers below it in the table. One of these is bottom placed Halfords that fell 10 places with a score of 1.10.

The final ranked table for Q2 includes only 436 retailers because merchants were excluded from the testing if they used assistive technology such as JavaScript, which breaks the general “rules of accessibility” of internet sites, according to Sitemorse. This represents a significant deterioration on Q1 when a healthier 447 were included.

For the full results, click here.

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