Apple Nipping at Target’s Heels for Fourth Most-Visited Site on Black Friday

Apple was the fifth most-trafficked retailer on Black Friday, the only individual product brand to reach the top ranks among the major big-box retailers.

The electronics manufacturer placed behind Target, Best Buy, Wal-Mart and Amazon, according to a comScore report that analyzed online shopping trends the day after Thanksgiving.

“Apple has not historically been in the top five — in fact, this is the first time I can remember,” said Andrew Lipsman, an analyst at comScore, who added that Apple was “nipping at Target’s heels,” registering only a few percentage points lower in overall traffic.

The strong ranking backs up a report today by 9to5Mac that said Apple’s Black Friday sales were “off the charts.” According to its sources, Apple blew away forecasts by 7 pm, and broke records for its biggest sales day ever.

ComScore’s figures include both Apple’s site as well as iTunes, so any resulting sales would encompass both hardware and digital products, such as apps and videos.

Separately, Experian Hitwise ranked Apple as the 12th most-visited retail site on Black Friday. It said the company’s total visits jumped 42 percent compared to 2010.

In both of these circumstances, what’s notable is Apple’s apparent mind share among consumers.

Best Buy, like some other retailers, is trying hard this season to be the go-to source for Apple products, running new TV ads promoting the chain as a place to buy Macs, iPads and iPhones. But Apple was able to rival gigantic big-box retailers, which carry thousands of products, including their own.

That’s impressive, especially since its discounts are generally not.

Lipsman agreed: “Even though Apple does not provide the selection of products that you might find at a big box retailer, it is obviously top of mind when it comes to the most in-demand products, like the iPhone and iPad. Two of the biggest growth sectors right now are tablets and digital content downloads, and obviously Apple is extremely well positioned on both fronts.”

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