New retail research has shown that online sales growth stood at 18 per cent year on year in May.

The National Australia Bank (NAB) Online Retail Sales Index revealed that transactions actually dropped off during the month, although this was due to a very strong April through the Mother’s Day Click Frenzy promotion.

Click Frenzy proved successful for a number of participating brands, the organisation commented, with high street outlets seeing a slight year-on-year boost from 2.4 per cent in April to 3.2 per cent in May.

According to the NAB, while online sales growth eased from 24 per cent annually in April to 18 per cent the following month, it was still a drastic improvement on the “soft trends” of February and March 2013.

“For the year to May 2013, Australians spent around $13.7 billion with online retailers,” the bank stated.

“This level is equivalent to 6.1 per cent of the spending in the traditional bricks and mortar retail sector (excluding cafes, restaurants and takeaway food for a like-to-like comparison) in the year to April 2013.”

Overall, the NAB Online Retail Sales Index pushed forward 17 points in May – jumping from 211 points in April to 228.

The results are likely to be welcomed by online retailers in Australia, following recent comments from the Australian Retailers Association (ARA) that bricks and mortar stores are already feeling the strain of business costs.

Russell Zimmerman, ARA executive director, said these expenses have been compounded by the Reserve Bank of Australia’s decision to maintain interest rates.

“This frustrating rate stay, together with higher operational costs and recent increases to the minimum wage, superannuation levy and penalty rates, means we can only expect further damage to retailers who are struggling to keep their heads above water,” Mr Zimmerman said earlier this month.