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Tuesday, May 06, 2014, 04:23 pm PT (07:23 pm ET)

Apple now No. 2 online retailer behind Amazon, report says

While Amazon is far and away the world's largest online sales entity, Apple has been growing over the past three years and is now sitting in second place after unseating office supply company Staples.



According to data from e-commerce research firm Internet Retailer, as reported by The Wall Street Journal, Apple quickly gained ground on competitors over 2013 and took the second place spot with $18.3 billion in total online sales.

With the uptick representing a 24 percent boost to sales compared to the year prior, Apple's growth over 2013 outstripped that of market leader Amazon, which managed to grow sales by 20 percent over the same period. Of course, Amazon's growth is relative considering the company raked in $67.8 billion over 2013, more than its ten closest competitors combined.

As noted by the publication, a portion of Apple's spike is thanks to Internet Retailer's inclusion of hardware sales data in its report. Previously, the research firm only tallied digital sales from iTunes' Music and App Stores, quizzically disregarding the Online Apple Store.

Other retailers also performed well last year keeping with a general upward trend in online sales over the past few years. Big-box retail chain Wal-Mart, known for its brick-and-mortar stores, showed the strongest gains in 2013, jumping 30 percent from the year prior to pick up just over $10 billion in sales.

Longtime No. 2 Staples, which was usurped by Apple, fell to third place on largely flat sales of $10.4 billion, a 1 percent increase year-over-year. Rounding out the top five was Sears, which brought in$4.9 billion in 2013.