Black Friday 2020 Winners Predictions

Who is going to win Black Friday 2020?

Predictions main 1

Here at WePC, if we were masters of the understatement, we would say that 2020 has been a turbulent year where nobody should ever try to predict anything ever again.

So, because we like to live on the edge, we took the WePC team and sat around a socially-distanced table to predict the outcome of one of the year’s biggest retail events – Black Friday.

With a combination of botched hardware launches, global stock shortages and financial insecurity, one train of thought could be that Black Friday 2020 will turn out to be a massive damp squid.

Retailers like Amazon and Newegg have been desperate to take advantage of the enforced increase in online shopping and have been pushing massive events that will culminate in a virtual, discounted free-for-all at the end of this week.

The other possibility is that people, fed up of lockdown and possibly having a little extra cash in the account, could be ready to go on a record-breaking Black Friday spending-spree.

So how will it all pan out? Will the things consumers want to buy actually be available? How will it affect  sales of other items – if somebody can’t get the graphics card they want for their new PC build, will they bother buying the motherboard and ram they also need? Will the spend go elsewhere? Will they keep the cash for a rainy day?

We ran a series of Twitter polls over the last few days to gauge people’s mood and, par for the course these days, they indicated insecurity in the consumer market

Key Findings

The key things we took from our polls were:

  • 20% of people who normally splash the cash on Black Friday said they won’t be doing so this year and a majority 41% have a budget of just $250 to spend on PC gaming tech.
  • The good news for brands is that some gamers appear to still be planning a major splurge, with 15% saying they had budgeted to spend over $1000.
  • The rise in gaming during lockdown could fair well for gaming brands this Black Friday, with 13% of gamers stating they plan to treat themselves for the first time.

The good news for brands is that some gamers appear to still be planning a major splurge, with 15% saying they had budgeted to spend over $1000

With the online retail battleground being more active than ever this year, many stores have started discounting earlier to lure customers in with a little bit of FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) fever.

Our poll however suggests that that tactic may have been largely ineffective, with 40% of gamers insisting they will hold out until the weekend to make their purchase, with 25% of these waiting until Black Friday and a massive 39% looking to grab the best deals on Cyber Monday.

It seems there is an element of distrust out there that something you may buy today, could possibly see heavier discounting over Black Friday weekend itself.

WePC took these key indicators into account and also delved deep into our own data from affiliate sales in 2019 to try to work out who the big winners are going to be this weekend when the credit cards come out.

GPU: 2020s Big Black Friday winner?

Last Black Friday we saw a phenomenal interest in the GPU market. In fact, 24% of WePC’s affiliate revenue was generated in the month of November alone.

Armed with that information we took to Twitter with another poll and found that 67% of gamers were hunting for Nvidia GPUs and the remaining 33% were on the lookout for an AMD graphics card.

With stock of the newly released models simply not available for the foreseeable future, we think some of these buyers in the market for a new graphics card may well get tempted into taking the plunge on a GPU from the last generation.

Does this mean third-party card manufacturers such as EVGA, MSI, ASUS and XFX could come out on top this year and manage to relieve themselves of any existing stock they might have with a well-placed discount or two?

We certainly think so. With realism hitting home that stock of the next generation of cards is not only hard to come by, but actually hasn’t even been manufactured – for people looking to boost their system, it may be their only option is pick up a cheaper, older model, at least in the interim.

Monitors: What are you looking at?

So, you can’t get the GPU or CPU you want but still have that cash burning a hole in your pocket? Well you could keep it in the bank nice and safe, or you could drop it on another big-ticket item that you are in the market for upgrading.

We have a gut feeling at WePC that monitors are going to be huge this Black Friday. It’s partly based on the fact that they always do well, but the time just feels right for them in 2020.

People have been staring at the same old screen all year and may well be tempted to upgrade when the prices are slashed on Black Friday. Couple this with the fact that the new Xbox and PlayStation look great on a 4K monitor, and that with the arrival of the 30 series GPUS from Nvidia (if you can get hold of one), 4K gaming is within the reach of many more gamers than ever before.

Along with this, as 4K tech has matured now the price has dropped sharply, and you can enter the marketplace very reasonably and see an instant difference in your gaming setup.

WePC believes 2020/21 will see the beginning of the transition to 4K displays for the masses.

We asked our readers in our poll who they thought would have the best monitor deals this Black Friday. Over 50% of them agreed that they would expect the best deals to come from Amazon, with Walmart and Ebuyer trailing in the distance.

Over 50% of them agreed that they would expect the best deals to come from Amazon, with Walmart and Ebuyer trailing in the distance.

Gaming Chair: Are you sitting comfortably?

2020 was the year we very definitely found out that all chairs are not made equal. As we all headed to work from home in our various lockdowns it became apparent inside 10 minutes that that cheap office chair we bought three years ago in IKEA was not going to cut any extended period of time working from home.

Those of us forced to work on kitchen chairs had it even tougher; and so the rise of the Gaming Chair – a piece of furniture more than the sum of its name. People found out, regardless of whether they were gaming or not, that gaming chairs are really, really comfortable for long periods of time.

Gaming chairs aren’t cheap but neither is a good mattress and both are essential to long-term comfort. We have seen a huge rise in sales of gaming chairs via WePC in the last 12 months and we firmly believe that many people have been holding out to see what offers appear on Black Friday before taking the plunge.

It’s a serious furniture upgrade that has possibly had a limit on its audience because of the name, market positioning and, let’s face it the gaudiness of designs, but we are now seeing many different styles as the market adapts to suit all tastes, sizes, and preferences. You are no longer stuck with the prospect of a lime green and red racing style chair and we have even started to see game-specific designs for massive titles such as World of Warcraft start to hit the market.

Alongside GPUs and monitors, the WePC crew unanimously agreed that Gaming Chairs are set for a mammoth Black Friday. This has already been born out with the pre-sales we are seeing from our partners at Secretlab, who recently launched their own Black Friday sale.

WePC Top pick

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  • Gaming Chair
Transparent SecretLab Logoblack fontpadded
Secretlab OMEGA 2020 Gaming Chair

Chair Type

Racer

Maximum Load

110kg

Gross Weight

30kg

Sitting Height

460mm – 555mm

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Pre-built PCs: The great pre-built PC dilemma

We have already established that you can’t get a new GPU or even CPU for love nor money, but what if you might be able to get one if it came inside a pre-built PC?

The WePC team has a sneaky suspicion that pre-built PC brands may well have secured stock of new GPUs and CPUs to be able to push out new machines. This could turn out to be the only way to get your hands on the new technology for the next few months!

PC gamers will be pushed towards buying these full systems which they could then potentially sell some of the other parts, keeping just the rare components for themselves.

Of course, if we are wrong (and that rarely happens!) pre-built manufacturers could have a real issue on their hands this Black Friday with people having to make decisions as to whether to drop a whole lot of money on a system that could well be, in gaming terms, obsolete in a matter of weeks or months. That’s a slightly different proposition to maybe risking a couple of hundred on an older spec GPU.

This is an area where we will be keeping a close eye on it. Pre-built PCs accounted for a lot of a Black Friday revenue in 2019 and this will either be replicated or drop completely. This is an interesting category to watch for sure.

Monitors: Peripheral vision

So far we have spoken about the expensive big-ticket items but a lot of Black Friday purchases focus on essential peripherals. It’s a great time of year to see decent discounts on headsets, keyboards and mice – especially the more expensive gaming variety.

How headsets in particular perform on Friday were of interest to our panel.

Thanks to the pandemic, having a headset with a mic attached is not just considered for those in a call centre, busy receptions or gamers. This piece of equipment has become a vital and integral component to ensuring productivity during video and voice calls; no one is judging you for wearing a gaming headset anymore.

There is a lot of research suggesting the same thing: homeworking will increase. In fact, nine out of 10 want to continue to WFH estimating that 25-30% of the total workforce will choose to do so for multiple days by the end of 2021, and the fact you can pick up a headset that not only works for work, but sounds great in games as well is a bonus – especially when you add in a Black Friday discount.

We went to our poll once more and we found that many readers were split on their favourite brands that they would be looking to purchase, with just a 4% difference in preference between Razer (31%), Logitech (30%) and Steelseries (28%).

Surprisingly perhaps, Corsair was left in the wake with just 12% saying they were hunting for their peripherals this Black Friday.

Pie Chart

Laptops: Going mobile

Alongside monitors, laptops are another traditional area that sees big price cuts. In recent years the gaming laptop market has been a bit of a niche, with the cost to entry being prohibitive for many gamers.

While many people prefer to build their own PCs, does the lack of availability of key components this year potentially push people towards a gaming option they may never considered before? We think it just might.

The need to be flexible and mobile has become more apparent in 2020, which has meant that laptops for gamers have become quite popular. However, unlike gamers, new people entering this market aren’t as savvy as to what they need to look for when buying the perfect multi-dimensional laptop. With 64% of casual gamers playing up to 10 hours a week and over 82% stating that gaming had a positive effect on mental health, there is an obvious correlation of workers seeking gaming laptops to support their growing hobbies and new lifestyles.

In 2019, Gaming laptops were a hugely popular search on WePC on Black Friday and we think they will be even more popular this year. A couple of well-priced reductions could see them do really well.

CPUs

With a new raft of CPUs from AMD storming the market, but again, being difficult to get hold of, we do expect to see some heavy reductions on prices of AMD’s Zen 2 chips will still remain popular with gamers the world over.

Having said that, our Twitter poll revealed some 54% of readers were looking to pick up an Intel CPU on Black Friday, compared to 46% hunting for an AMD component.

This is another interesting one as older CPU stock has already been discounted well before the Black Friday period, so further price drops could bring in some very decent bargains if you are looking for an upgrade rather than building a new monster PC gaming rig with all the top drawer components.

CPU: AMD Vs Intel Preference

Final thoughts

Black Friday 2020 is sure going to be an interesting one. Once the dust has settled we will dig out all the data from this crazy year and report back on who the big winners and losers turned out to be.

Feel free to tell us who you think will have a good Black Friday, alongside those brands that will suffer, in the comments below.

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