The online retailers setting the trend in wine

Each month, we run the scoring for a league table in a particular industry, leveraging our ASK BOSCO® Index to evaluate the performance of various retailers in both organic and paid search. This month, we focused on the market for wine and spirits. 

What does the online wine and spirits sector currently look like? 

The alcohol industry has seen major changes in recent years due to the pandemic, shifts in consumer behaviour, and a growing variety of products. This has led the market to evolve and better cater to consumers. 

The loosening of lockdown restrictions during the pandemic caused a surge in online alcohol sales. In 2020, the value of alcohol sales online went up by more than 40%, while it was only 12% in 2019 and 16% in 2021, across 16 key markets. 

As we continue to navigate the post-pandemic world, the global beverage alcohol market will witness significant changes in the next five years as the world moves beyond the pandemic and faces increasing economic uncertainty. These shifts will have diverse impacts, emphasizing the significance of home-based occasions and a moderation trend driven by the necessity to manage household expenses. The desire to celebrate after Covid-19 restrictions, coupled with a shift in perception towards drinking, means wines and sparkling wines are no longer just for special occasions but are enjoyed more casually and often. 

However, with the shift in consumer behaviour comes another rising trend linked to the booming health and wellness industry, which is that of the low-alcohol and no-alcohol movement. Driven by increasing demand and innovative offerings, this category is on the rise, with volumes projected to increase by 25% from 2022 to 2026. 


What is the ASK BOSCO® Index?

Do you want to know how your brand compares to the competition online? The ASK BOSCO® Index is the perfect tool for measuring your digital presence and assessing the effectiveness of your investments in organic and paid media channels. 

Unlike other metrics that only consider your marketing budget, the ASK BOSCO® Index takes into account your potential in both paid and organic search. It provides an accurate overview of your online performance based on your previous digital interactions by analyzing data from trusted third-party sources. 

What is a good ASK BOSCO® Index score? It ranges from 0 to 1000, with the average score for brands and retailers being around 575. The higher your score, the better your online performance as a retailer. Think of it as the credit score of digital marketing. 

Here’s how we scored the brands

We scored ten leading UK wine retailers for the month of December. Here’s how the top five ranked on the ASK BOSCO® Index league table. Download the league table below to see the full results and see who the remaining five wine retailers are.  

What do these scores mean?

Leading the top of the table this month is Berry Bros & Rudd, Britain’s oldest wine and spirits’ merchant. Currently in its 325th year, Berry Bros & Rudd have witnessed significant success this year, with a double-digit sales growth of 11.1% for the financial year. 

Closely following behind Berry Bros & Rudd on the ASK BOSCO® League Table this month is Majestic Wines who dominate website traffic, averaging around 558.9K monthly visits, more than triple BBR’s 137K. 

While BBR saw a modest rise in organic and direct traffic between September and November 2023, its social and display ads channels declined. In contrast, Majestic Wines experienced a remarkable surge in visits during the same period, notably in organic and direct traffic, and a substantial increase in social traffic to 31K by November. 

The surge in traffic that the likes of Berry Bros & Rudd, Majestic Wines etc are seeing can be attributed to the increasing popularity of e-commerce, as more and more consumers are choosing to purchase wine online. Online wine retailers offer a wide selection of wines from around the world, making it easier for consumers to explore different options and find wines that suit their taste preferences. 

Given these changing trends in consumer’s buying and drinking behaviour, the current state of the industry is – understandably – in a slightly unpredictable condition.  

A recent article written by Forbes highlights the rise and expansion of the “NoLo” movement (no alcohol and low alcohol), with millennials and Gen-Z leading the shift towards non-alcoholic drink options. This shift can be linked to consumers growing consciousness regarding their health and the environment, which has also led to increasing demand for organic and natural wines as well as a growing interest in sustainable and ethically produced products 


While the data and the shift in perception and drinking trends might raise concerns, it’s important to remember that total wine sales are still up, and the market is still expected to grow in the coming years as British consumers continue to explore diverse wine varieties and styles. 


If you’d like to know more about the ASK BOSCO® index and find out where your brand sits on our league table rankings, simply get in touch with us at – we’d love to hear from you. 

Download the full league table