West Australians are defying a slowdown in online purchases, a new survey shows, as the mining boom delivers cash to internet shoppers.

The NAB's online retail sales index showed online sales grew by 15.5 per cent over the 12 months to April.

While strong, it was down on 19 per cent in the 12 months to March and well short of the 40 per cent growth rates of last year.

However, online sales by West Australians grew by 32 per cent over the past 12 months, falling only slightly over recent weeks.

NAB chief economist Alan Oster said there had been a drop-off in online sales last year when the problems of Greece destabilised international financial markets.

This had occurred again, suggesting that even online shoppers were worried by the events playing out across Europe.

While growth in online sales through department stores, of cosmetics, toys, hobbies and food held up, sales of home goods such as furniture and electronic appliances fell by five per cent over the past year.

Mr Oster said the figures also showed total online sales now amounted to $11.1 billion with domestic online retailers shading their overseas counterparts.

"Overall, growth rates for online retail still outstrip traditional retail growth, demonstrating a gradual but steady shift in buying behaviour," he said.

Domestic online sales grew by 16.2 per cent through the year compared to international online sales which were up by 13.4 per cent.

Online retailing remains dominated by shoppers in their 30s and 40s.

The West Australian

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