It’s been two years since the first lockdown forced us all to stay at home to save lives.
And our homes became our everything, the places we ate, slept, worked, socialised and shopped.
Indeed, online shopping sales soared during the pandemic, but what were people buying and why?
As we entered and left lockdowns in 2020 and 2021, Zoom quizzes just weren’t cutting the mustard anymore and people started looking for other ways to entertain themselves that didn’t include awkward interruptions.
According to research by online retail giant OnBuy, Stoke-on-Trent residents were one of the biggest contributors to buying gaming-related items, such as gaming chairs, with 19% of sales on OnBuy coming from the city.
In fact sales of gaming chairs rocketed during the pandemic, along with gaming mouse mats and computer desks.
Chairs attributed to more than 30% of total sales for OnBuy.
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, said: “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 first, second and third respectively, with Animal Crossing: New Horizons breaking through the market to rank fourth.
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).