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The 30 most popular online drinks retailers revealed
Published:  03 January, 2018

Naked Wines is the most popular online drinks retailer when it comes to monthly searches, according to research from search engine strategy firm Inside Online.

The retailer, which is now part of the Majestic group, receives 165,000 searches a month. That puts it top of the pile along with Fortnum & Mason, although it is safe to assume that this retailer receives searches for other products and not just drinks.

Next up is Majestic (90,500 searches), followed by Berry Bros & Rudd (74,000) and then Bargain Booze (49,500).

Meanwhile, The Whisky Exchange, 31 Dover, Bargain Booze and Naked Wines are leading the way when it comes to social media, according to Inside Online.

It gave every BWS retailers a social score based on followers and engaged conversations created through content and product campaigns.

Inside Online crunched the numbers and put brand searches and social scores into an algorithm that created a top 30 online BWS retailers in the UK as part of a market performance report.

Fortnum & Mason is number one, followed by Naked, Bargain Booze, The Whisky Exchange, Majestic, BBR, Virgin Wines, Laithwaites, Master of Malt and Beer Hawk.

The Wine Society is number 11, followed by Whisky Shop, Flavourly, 31 Dover, Honest Brew, Waitrose Cellar, Slurp, Drink Supermarket, Oddbins and Wine Direct.

Compass Box whisky’s direct to consumer site is number 21 on the list, followed by Tanners, The Drink Shop, Loch Fyne Whiskies, Roberson, VIP Bottles, Calais Wine, Corks Out and Drink Finder at number 30.

When it comes to link authority, The Whisky Exchange leads the way from Master of Malt. “Links are still one of the most important ranking factors in 2017, so consistently gaining new high-quality links can be great for business,” said Inside Online. “But don’t lose focus on the high-quality part, as high link volumes without the quality could spell trouble ahead.”

When it comes to year-on-year visibility increases, urban-drinks.co.uk has grown by 2073%, albeit from a small base, while Beer Hawk is up 103%.

In terms of growing in line with the market, Inside Online crowned The Whisky Exchange, Fortnum & Mason, Master of Malt, Beer Hawk and Urban Drinks the winners.

It said the losers are The Drink Shop, The Champagne Company, BBR, Oddbins and Drink Finder. “Even if the bottom five have increased visibility year-on-year, their market share has taken a pounding,” said Inside Online. “Blame the top five.”

It added that The Drink Shop, Drink Supermarket, Beer Hawk, Bargain Booze and Urban Drinks are high visibility, low authority sites that could benefit from a more expansive search marketing campaign.

Meanwhile, it believes that Master of Malt, BBR, Naked, Whisky Shop and Tanners are low visibility, high authority sites that could benefit from resolving on-site tech issues.

The most popular drinks categories when it comes to UK searches online are whisky (150,000 per month), wine (150,000), Champagne (100,000), bourbon (45,000) and craft beer (20,100).

Keywords that have low competition but high search volumes are “red wine”, “wine shop near me”, “Champagne brands” and “case of wine”, highlighting an opportunity for online retailers to expand their keyword strategies around these terms.

Richard Waters, sales and marketing director at Inside Online, told DRN: “If you’re a drinks retailer looking to amplify your online reach, having an excellent keyword strategy is the way forward.

“Competition keywords are very generic while opportunity keywords are more specific. There are quick wins to be made for optimising for specific drinks like ‘red wine’ rather than just ‘wine’.

“Again, altering your keywords just slightly will have you ranking for less competitive but still worthwhile key phrases.

“For example, ‘wine shop near me’ is less competitive than ‘wine store near me’. ‘Alcohol shop near me’ is only half as competitive, meaning you stand a much better chance of ranking well for it.”