The Impact of Coronavirus on Retailers: Client Q&A

The news is overwhelmingly aimed at the negative impacts that Coronavirus has had on a global scale, but little is said about other effects and curiosities that have surfaced as a result of this crisis. ClearSale has made it a top priority to stay in close contact, and constantly monitor the accounts of our clients in order to better understand the effects of this pandemic. We want to know how this crisis is affecting retailers, whether negatively or not, and what we can do to mitigate any negative impact.  

It is in this spirit that we’d like to share a conversation we had with client This event caused a very interesting opportunity for the retailer of bidets. Facing the lack of toilet paper on the market, our client found an opportunity to boost the sale of bidets. Below is a brief interview with Thomas Lotrecchiano, about how he has positioned in the face of the crisis.

Were you expecting such a high increase in sales with this Coronavirus situation?

Sales were steady for the first few months of the year and suddenly they just exploded over the course of 24 hours and we were not expecting it at all. It really came from the TP shortage phenomenon that hit the country mid-March. From pre- to post-TP shortage, sales have increased 1200%. 

Did you invest more in advertising or was this organic demand from people that couldn't find toilet paper?

It was a combination of both increased advertising spend and organic demand that drove traffic to According to Statista the online interest for bidets grew +379% in March so we increased our budget limits for Google ads and increased our social spending as well. We felt like there was a real need for a toilet paper alternative at the time and scaling up ad-spend allowed us to get in front of more people very quickly.

Any tips for merchants that saw their demand increase suddenly? What are the main challenges and advice you might have?

Our advice to merchants is to have your processes in place so that regardless if you have 10 orders or 10,000 orders, you’ll be ready. That means making sure your email flows are up to date, your order processing is automated and built to scale, and your warehouse has the capacity to handle an inflow if the day comes where you need them to step up. 

One challenge we face right now is inventory levels - It’s impossible to foresee an event like this causing such a rapid influx for any brand, and I know we aren’t alone in seeing a stock shortage. While it’s hard to anticipate, we have been working hard to make sure we can provide our products and meet demand.

We would also say, in general, that while it’s true that bidets are having a moment, we would trade that success in a second for this crisis to be over, the country to be safe, and everyone’s lives to go back to normal.

We would like to thank Thomas Lotrecchiano for his contribution, and we couldn't agree more that we would trade our business’s success in a second for this crisis to be over and for the world to be able to return to the sense of safety and security that we hold so dear.