Apple Making up Ground but Still Trails the Leader

May 08, 2014
By: Ed Silverstein

Amazon still remains number one in online sales. That is hardly a surprise, given the wide range of retail offerings the company offers. But guess who has taken second place? It is none other than Apple.

Internet Retailer reports that last year Apple grabbed the second place spot from Staples (News - Alert). Not only that, but in 2013 Apple saw a 24 percent jump in online sales to total $18.3 billion.

Apple was able to capture second place in part because of a different method of tabulating Apple’s (News - Alert) sales. Internet Retailer considered Apple’s online hardware sales, as well as digital sales from iTunes and the App Store.

Noteworthy, too, is that Horace Dediu, the founder of Asymco, points out in a blog that Apple has more online accounts than Amazon. In the recent quarter, Apple had 800 million iTunes accounts. On the other hand, Amazon had 244 million customer accounts.

“Those could come in handy if Apple, as rumored, is working on a new, iOS-based mobile payment service,” Fortune reported.

Walmart took fourth place on the list, seeing its Internet sales increase by 30 percent to $10 billion – in 2013. By comparison, Amazon saw a 20 percent jump in sales last year.

Consider, however, that Staples’ online sales edged up 1 percent to $10.4 billion – during 2013. Online sales at Office Depot edged up 1 percent to $4.1 billion, last year. And online sales were basically unchanged at Office Max to reach $3.2 billion – during 2013. All three of these chains sell office supplies, according to The Wall Street Journal. That market may be weaker than in the past.

In addition, Costco, the warehouse club chain, broke into the list of 15 online retailers for the first time. It came in at 14th. Internet sales at Costco increased by 48 percent; to $3.1 billion last year. Costco came in higher than Best Buy (News - Alert), the electronics store, however. Best Buy had $3 billion in online sales last year, putting it in15th place on the list.




Edited by Maurice Nagle