Top online drinks retailers revealed

Majestic secured the highest online visibility score of any online drinks retailer during the crucial December trading period, according to a new report.

Search engine strategy firm Salience Search Marketing assigned each site a visibility score for the month and Majestic finished top of the pile with 8635. That represented a 38% increase on December 2018.

Majestic recently split from Naked Wines after operating under the same umbrella for several years. Naked saw its score decrease 48% from 1684 in December 2018 to 883 in December 2019, leaving it 19th in the list.

The score comes from Search Metrics, which compiles several different data points, including information on the search volume of relevant keywords and the ranking positions and frequencies of a domain’s URLs. It was developed to single, universal index for measuring and comparing the online performance of different domains.

Waitrose Cellar was second with a score of 8165, despite a 10% drop compared to the previous December. In December 2018, The Whisky Exchange received the highest score, but it decreased 22% year-on-year to end up third, with 7598, in December 2019.

Fortnum & Mason finished fourth after enjoying a 10% increase, while Master of Malt was up 49% to take fifth place. Virgin Wines saw the strongest growth, as its score shot up 89% to leave it sixth in the chart.

Berry Bros, The Wine Society, Beer Hawk and Drink Supermarket rounded out the top 10 in this metric. Next up was The Drink Shop, followed by Laithwaite’s, Tanners, Whisky Shop, Oddbins, The Champagne Company, Beer Wulf, Sunday Times Wine Club, Naked and then Clos 19.

In a report on the sector, Salience hailed Majestic, Virgin, Master of Malt, Drink Supermarket and The Champagne Company as the five winners during December. “The top five have successfully grown with the market, said sales and marketing director Richard Waters. “In some cases they’ve even exceeded market growth. Nice.”

It branded 31 Dover, Laithwaite’s, The Drink Shop, The Whisky Exchange and Waitrose Cellar as the five losers, saying that “their market share has taken a pounding”.

Salience said The Wine Society, Beer Hawk, Tanners, The Champagne Company and Beer Wulf are all high visibility sites that struggle from low authority.

“These brands could benefit most from a more expansive search marketing campaign,” said Waters. “Things are looking good technically, and a strategic content marketing campaign is likely to yield positive results.”

Malts, Calais Wine, Naked, 31 Dover and Beer Merchants are referred to low visibility, high authority sites that could benefit from resolving their on-site tech and structural issues.

The report also assigns each retailer an “owned social score” relating to its prowess on social media channels. This is combined with the number of brand searches each received during December to yield a list of the top retailers by “brand reach”.

Fortnum & Mason finished top of the pile, although it sells a lot more than just drinks. Master of Malt was second, followed by Naked, Bargain Booze, Waitrose Cellar, The Whisky Exchange and Beer Wulf, with Beer Hawk, Virgin Wines and Malts rounding out the top 10.

Fortnum & Mason received the most brand searches during the month with 135,000, followed by Naked on 74,000 and Bargain Booze with 49,500, although it does not have an ecommerce section to its site. Majestic was next with 49,500 and then Master of Malt received 33,500 searches during the month.

Clos 19 had the best social score, followed by Waitrose Cellar, Master of Malt, Fortnum & Mason and The Whisky Exchange.

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