eCommerce sales rose 7.4% in the month of December as customers chose to purchase Christmas gifts and essentials online, while in-store sales fell 0.1%.

Visa Europe research, compiled by Markit, also noted that consumer spending increased across all channels in December, at 2.3% year-on-year, making 2015 the second strongest year since 2008.

Kevin Jenkins, UK & Ireland managing director at Visa Europe, said: "Despite concerns about Black Friday limiting growth in December, consumer spending rose solidly last month as retailers benefited from the traditional spending surges in the days just before and after Christmas.

"Much of the stampede took place online though as shoppers took to mobiles, laptops and computers to buy Christmas presents. Evidence also suggests people were spending more online closer to Christmas, perhaps as a result of shorter delivery time and click & collect options. In contrast, high street spend remained broadly flat," he added. “Overall, December rounded off a very strong year for consumer spending, with average monthly growth of 2.3%, as a mix of rising wages, near-zero inflation and a retail price war put more money into consumer pockets. This is the second strongest performance since 2008, only slightly below 2014 when growth hit a post crisis high.”

For more information, click below:

Visa Europe