Just over a third of spending in December was carried out online, with two-thirds of overall spending taking place in person, according to new data from Revolut.
The online bank, which has over 1.2 million Irish users, said the re-opening of non-essential retail in December saw customers flocking back to brick and mortar stores for Christmas shopping sprees.
Around 64% of users shopping was carried out physically this December, compared to 46% the month previously and 75% in December last year.
Overall, consumer spending was up 6% on December 2019, with many sectors seeing record levels of expenditure including toy shops (up 45%), sportswear stores (up 53%), home furnishing suppliers (up 81%) jewellers (up 17%) and clothing stores (up 16%).
However, department stores saw spending fall by 12% compared to the same period last year.
Spending in the digital space continues to rise as a result of the pandemic with digital games, apps, movies, music, and streaming services seeing a combined spending increase of 147% in December in comparison to the same month in 2019.
The data also provides some interesting insights into which non-essential businesses suffer most when their doors are shut. A significant 82% of spending in womens clothes shops took place in stores last month while 80% of spending in pet shops and 79% of spending at jewellers in December also took place physically.
For the hospitality sector, however, the curtailed December reopening led to a notable decrease in revenue with spending in hotels down 46%, bars down 47%, and restaurants down 38% when compared to the same period last year.
Revolut’s research does suggest the various campaigns to shop local and buy Irish paid off with almost half (43%) of all online shopping in December undertaken with Irish businesses this year, while 57% went to overseas websites.
This compares to 35% of Irish e-commerce spending taking place with domestic businesses in December 2019, while 65% went abroad.