UK Technology Spending Goes Old School

There’s a distinctly retro trend emerging in technology, based on the buying habits of UK online shoppers.

Despite the high-quality photography capable with most modern smartphones, there’s been a growth in interest for both standalone digital cameras and video cameras.

Sales of smaller compact cameras and more expensive DSLRs have seen an overall decline in recent years. The introduction of mirrorless cameras hasn’t reversed the trend of typical consumers making do with smartphone photos. But it appears Covid-19 may be starting a new appreciation for photography as a hobby.

Entry-level DSLR cameras are more affordable than ever, and allow you to dive into a world of lenses, shutter speeds and ISO ranges to a deeper level than the settings on your phone. That distraction and enjoyment explains why the confines of lockdown have sparked a greater interest in photography.

The other big change in technology eCommerce trends has been the move from buying new hardware to finding ways to accommodate it more effectively at home. Purchases of TVs, gaming consoles, and webcams have been replaced by entertainment centres and media storage. Office chairs remain in-demand, but as the summer weather starts to impact on working from home, there’s growing interest in Desk & Pedestal Fans and Computer System Cooling Parts.

One area likely to see lower demand over the summer will be video game consoles as the industry begins to focus on the release of the Sony PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X towards Christmas.

These are the biggest increases and drops in demand for Technology products in the UK at the end of May (Week of May 25, 2020).

  Impression Growth % Conversion Growth %
Increasing Demand  
Digital Cameras 92.76 290.14
Media Storage Cabinets & Racks 60.08 211.11
Entertainment Centers & TV Stands 57.07 47.99
Office & Desk Chairs 55.62 73.91
Desk & Pedestal Fans 55.06 -18.8
Video Cameras 48.11 25.63
Camera Lenses 46.32 37.2
Computer Power Supplies 25.06 25.81
Camera Stabilisers & Supports 20.18 39.08
Speakers 15.83 -44.98
Power Adapters & Chargers 9.91 -6.62
Multimedia Projectors 8.82 69.41
Computer System Cooling Parts 7.53 48.84
Decreasing Demand    
Laptops -21.53 0.23
Printers, Photocopiers & Fax Machines -23.54 -20.89
Webcams -23.88 40.14
Televisions -33.88 -67.69
Video Game Consoles -35.07 5.23
Video Game Console Accessories -35.18 -42.11
Toner & Inkjet Cartridges -48.56 -64.92
Audio Mixers -54.14 -76.24



Impressions show week on week % demand growth. The more ad impressions we have, the more demand there is for the product.

Conversions show week on week change % to actual purchases. Conversions also indicate supply, as people are able to buy the products advertised)

“Splurging on new technology made sense at the start of the lockdown, with remote working, closed schools and no proposed end to restrictions across the UK. But as we move into new phases with lesser restrictions, technology spending has switched to potentially smaller investments in long-term lifestyle changes. 

This means improving the home office or study areas for those still primarily working or learning at home. Especially as there’s likely to be a permanent switch to increased flexibility for many employers to spend more time remote working,” said Alastair Campbell, Chief Growth Officer for Redbrain.

“The growth in photography enthusiasts and the need to maintain home equipment means demand for camera and computer parts and accessories is likely to continue for some time.”

About RedBrain Insights

RedBrain is Google’s largest Premium CSS partner. CSS is short for Comparison Shopping Service. Born out of the EU’s near £2bn fine to Google in 2017, Google was forced to open up access to its Google Shopping platform to multiple operators. 

RedBrain now generates over 100 million advert impressions, 3 million clicks and some £5 million in revenue every day for its many thousands of retailer clients. This gives RedBrain unrivalled insight into e-commerce trends.

Notes to Editors: About RedBrain
RedBrain is a digital shopping partner to the world’s biggest e-commerce brands. Unlike other partners we don’t require a retainer, a % of spend or guaranteed CPC. We only make money when you do. Period. We enable your digital marketing to drive the highest incremental sales across Google Shopping, Bing shopping and text ads, with no risk. For over 10 years we have uncovered the white space, the non-obvious, the under-priced and the underutilised across search engines and digital shopping to drive incremental sales and compliment your current activity. We are the marketing strategy with the lowest risk and highest return. We are RedBrain.

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