A real game changer - How the pandemic made gaming furniture an essential item

Dorset, UK, April 1st 2022 - March 2020 and the UK was told to stay home to save lives. We ate, slept, worked, socialised, and shopped from home.

With nowhere else to go (and little else to spend money on), shoppers took to the net to search for a bargain that could enhance their new living situation. But what were they buying, and why?

Online retail giant OnBuy has conducted research into not only the type of products people were buying during the pandemic, but also the locations that invested the most in their new setup. The results?

  • Gaming chairs soared in popularity
  • Buyers in the south were the keenest shoppers in 2020
  • Buyers in the north followed suit and invested heavily in 2021
  • Corner computer desks soared in popularity along with gaming mouse mats

As we entered and left lockdowns in 2020 and 2021, Zoom quizzes just weren’t cutting the mustard anymore (did they ever, really?) and people started looking for other ways to entertain themselves that didn’t include awkward interruptions or the words that will haunt a generation: ‘you’re on mute.’

The popularity of gaming increased dramatically during the pandemic

Gaming chairs were the most popular investment for OnBuy shoppers and attributed to more than 30% of total sales. In addition to gaming chairs, the demand for corner computer desks and gaming mouse mats also soared, suggesting a rise in popularity of PC gaming. The PC gaming experience has become ever more immersive and compelling in recent years as creators compete with consoles and smartphones in a highly competitive market.

The closure of physical stores and popular gaming console stock shortages contributed to the popularity of PC gaming. In fact, Ofcom reports a whopping 70% increase in sales of PC games hardware in 2020 as work and entertainment spaces merged into one.

OnBuy Gaming Category Manager, Liam Tickner, isn’t surprised by the findings, especially given the working from home guidelines, the 88% increase in new start-ups when comparing 2019 to 2020 and the surge in gaming as a social activity.

‘The combination of lockdowns, redundancies and social isolation drastically changed behaviour and therefore, the online shopping landscape. Gaming chairs and other gaming related furniture soared in popularity throughout the 2020/2021 peak of the pandemic, and we can see that this trend filtered from the south up to north over the period measured, as trends often do.

‘Given that gaming chairs offer such superior comfort and durability, I would be surprised if they weren’t being used for working during the day and gaming during the night.’

But what were they playing to keep the boredom of lockdowns and isolation at bay?

Perhaps unsurprisingly, FIFA 21, Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, and Grand Theft Auto 5 ranked 1st, 2nd, and 3rd respectively, with Animal Crossing: New Horizons breaking through the market to rank 4th.

These games were followed by Assassin’s Creed Valhalla (5th), The Last of Us Part II (6th), NBA 2K20 (7th), and Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege (8th).

But who are the biggest players and was your local area geeking out over gaming?

OnBuy 2020 Gaming Furniture Sales

Location

Percentage of Gaming Furniture Sales in Location

Cheltenham

18%

London

16%

Brighton

9% 

Portsmouth

6%

Ware

5%

Southampton

3%

OnBuy 2021 Gaming Furniture Sales

Location

Percentage of Gaming Furniture Sales in Location

Stoke-on-Trent

19.27%

Livingston (Scotland)

4.31%

Coventry

3.77%

Manchester

3.40%

Leeds

3.27%

Spalding

2.01%

Blackburn

1.73%

Whitehaven

1.71%

Smethwick

1.49%

Liverpool

1.49%

Haverfordwest (Wales)

1.34%

Towcester

1.32%

Glengormley (Northern Irelnad)

1.17%

Newcastle upon Tyne

1.11%

Birmingham

1.07%

Perth

0.96%

Wakefield

0.92%

Uttoxeter

0.92%

Bolton

0.90%

Northampton

0.88%

Telford

0.86%

Motherwell

0.86%

Scunthorpe

0.85%

Bradford

0.83%

Bury

0.81%

Kilmarnock

0.70%

Bristol

0.54%

Cardiff (Wales)

0.38%

Wigan

0.33%

Gateshead

0.05%

Fast forward to 2022, Freedom Day has been and gone, but will the gaming trend continue to grow? Or will social behaviours shift once more and entice gaming enthusiasts from the fantasy world and back to reality? 

Invest in a gaming chair or check out the furniture at OnBuy.

About OnBuy

Founded in the UK in 2016 by Cas Paton, OnBuy has a simple vision: to be the best choice for every customer, everywhere. The brand has established itself in the ecommerce sector as a pure online marketplace that doesn’t compete with retailers. This fair and transparent approach provides an exceptional experience for buyers by levelling the playing field for sellers.

Offering 36 million products, OnBuy gives thousands of verified online retailers the platform to provide competitive prices and exceptional value to customers. From household names to independent sellers, buyers can shop securely for products from a wide range of categories, such as electricals, beauty, home and garden, toys, and baby supplies.

Trusted by millions of consumers and world leading brands, OnBuy’s mission is clear; it doesn’t compete, it partners with retailers. By understanding customers, OnBuy continues to deliver the shopping experience that they want again and again.

Website www.onbuy.com| LinkedIn - OnBuy.com | Instagram - @onbuy_gb | Facebook - @OnBuyGB | Twitter - @OnBuy

Keep up with the top stories from Reader’s Digest by subscribing to our weekly newsletter.