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According to a new report from the Wall Street Journal (citing e-commerce trade publication Internet Retailer), Apple has managed to overtake Staples and claim the number-two spot in the world of online retail. Apple’s online sales data jumped a significant 24% last year, although this jump is mostly due to the fact that Internet Retailer now includes the company’s online hardware sales along with digital download data from iTunes and the App Store and doesn’t seem to reflect an actual sales increase of that magnitude.

Essentially what that means is that Apple could actually have been sitting in the #2 spot for some time now, but simply wasn’t recognized as such because Internet Retailer previously excluded sales of iPhones, iPads, iPods, Macs, Apple TVs, and other hardware processed through the company’s online store.

Regardless of how you figure up the data, however, Apple still has quite a bit of catching up to do if it plans to conquer Amazon in online sales. Given the fact that Amazon’s entire business model is e-commerce, with sales of $67.8 billion last year, it doesn’t look like anyone is going to be taking the top spot any time soon. According to the WSJ report, retailers #2-11 on the list could combine their online sales figures without touching Amazon’s total.

Even if they never catch up to Amazon, however, Apple’s recent addition of Angela Ahrendts and Bob Kupbens to its retail team as SVP of Retail and VP of Online Retail, respectively, indicate that the company is committed to pushing its physical and online retail efforts forward.

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3 Responses to “Apple passes Staples to become the #2 online retailer behind Amazon”

  1. Only #2 for online retail sales? Apple is doomed! /s

    A more interesting statistic would be net profit generated through online sales. I wonder who would be number one? AMZN with its 0.46% profit margin? Yeah right.


  2. Laughing_Boy48 says:

    Oh, noes! Apple is really in deep trouble. Being #2 in anything is one of the worst positions to be in. You’re either #1 or you’re nothing. Second place simply doesn’t count for anything where Wall Street is concerned. No one ever boasts about being #2. Unfortunately, I don’t think Apple has any intentions of catching up to Amazon as an online E-tailer. Apple will just have to settle for “packed” retail stores. Oh, well. Better luck next time, Apple.


  3. It should be about profits, not the number of sales. It’s like Android, when you think about it, Android is still far behind the iOS. Why? Create a coefficient and you’ll see that. You can’t compare a few devices to 100s of devices that Android is on. Count all iOS devices sold and divide them by number of devices Apple made (iPhone 5s, iPhone 5 etc). Then do the same for Android and then you’ll see the huge difference. Plus, don’t let me start talking about those cheap Android smartphones which are not smart and many times not even a phone.