Experian data services Christmas 2014 Retail Report says 2014 "marked the emergence of the pre-sales dates into the awareness of the British shopper" in the form of Black Friday - sales on the last Friday of November.
Garden centre sales aso peaked in November before a slower increase in December.
The information servcies company said: "Much of the smart marketing employed this festive season revolved around tailoring communications to suit the individual in order to provide them with a better and more relevant experience. This is a theme which will continue into 2015 and beyond. The level and sophistication of the insights available and understanding required are only going to increase and brands that stay standing still will quickly get left behind. Deeper and faster insights will be required in order to more efficiently and effectively market to the relevant people."
Experian added that 2015 will see more convergence of offline and online as brands continue to experiment with attribution and the issue of 'showrooming'.
The company added that the coming year "may see a backlash against discounts as many brands see it as a sub-optimal way of attracting new customers – customers that may only be there to get a cheap deal - rather than developing loyal customers who return often. This may affect the performance of Black Friday 2015".
• Invest in sophisticated online intelligence to understand trends, patterns and search behaviour
• Understand your customers in order to market to them more effectively
• Tailor your communications to suit each customer
• Use your understanding of the landscape and your customers to drive content and marketing efforts
• Expect continued convergence of online and the high street