Unless you’ve been living without the internet, news, radio, or friends, you’ve no doubt heard about the Coronavirus–probably more than you’d care to talk about at this point.
As a new pandemic sweeps across the world, people have already begun buying up the inventory of local grocery stores or caused shortages in online stores. Many stores have resorted to limiting purchase quantities as shortages continue to use while most are open with empty shelves.
And as everyone continues buying up all the available product, those of us still shopping in a non-emergency manner get burned with empty shelves of products we’d normally buy.
That’s where the toilet paper shortage has been burning the most.
But a long-existing product has stepped in to save those who missed the supply of toilet paper. A product often looked over here in America, but amid a new crisis has potentially proven it should be a more commonly used item.
That product is the bidet.
Yes, the bidet has gone from a luxury that few folks ever consider to an emergency solution in a time of need.
How do we know?
We’re sharing our analysis of the toilet paper shortage so that the next time a global pandemic is on the horizon, you’ll be comforted knowing you’ve got that bidet in the spare bathroom if toilet paper is at a premium.
Early US Cases of Coronavirus Spark Toilet Paper Panic-buying
Late last week, many major retailers began running out of toilet paper.
Running out, like, even buying up that inexpensive single-ply stuff you begrudgingly use at the gas station or air port (and also during emergencies).
From Costco to the smaller local shops, retailers have been bombarded by people looking to stock up on the depleting toilet paper supply. One shopper, Marlon Chavarria, told reporters, “It’s like the end of the world out here. You can’t find anything” as he was walking to his local convenience store.
But it’s not like buying toilet paper in bulk and at this quantity is somehow completely irrational.
As many major tech firms start pushing their employees to all work from home, many smaller companies have been doing the same. More time at home means more toilet paper consumption–many of us aren’t ready to bear the brunt of that toilet paper usage all of a sudden.
But that said, and with shortages being pretty irregular and based on location, shoppers have begun turning to alternative options to solve their lack of toilet paper.
As news of toilet paper selling out in stores, so began the panic-buying. When the toilet paper became a hot commodity, people began seeking out the next best alternative to no toilet paper:
As you can see, things have been pretty quiet for searches related to bidets over the last years.
For those unfamiliar with the above chart, Google explains interest over time:
Numbers represent search interest relative to the highest point on the chart for the given region and time. A value of 100 is the peak popularity for the term. A value of 50 means that the term is half as popular. A score of 0 means there was not enough data for this term.
Basically, searches for bidets haven’t been more popular than right now.
Again, over the last few years things have been fairly quiet and consistent until recently.
With proof of trending searches from Google, it’s easy to see that the recent Coronavirus pandemic has turned toilet paper, and now the bidet, into an essential quarantine item.
Toiletops Google Analytics Insights
To further show the impact of the toilet paper shortage, and the rise of bidet interest over the last few days, we look here at a shot of Toiletops organic searches over the last few weeks:
While our traffic is consistent and trending upward, there are clear anomalies in our organic traffic over the last few days. The current spike of traffic is a staggering 160 percent higher over the previous period.
Our page covering hand held bidets has had a traffic increase of over 300 percent!
How Can You Be Prepared Next Time?
The obvious answer here is, “have a bidet before the next global pandemic“. But perhaps that’s a little bit rare in terms of timing and frequency.
How about, “have a bidet before the next emergency” instead?
In seriousness, the bidet is awesome for hygiene and an awesomely underappreciated bathroom product. Many of us know they are popular in other parts of the world but still lag behind in popularity in the United States.
After the Coronavirus outbreak, and the subsequent run on toilet paper, some Americans are learning more about bidets than they ever thought they would.
Call it a silver lining, but some might even be a fan now.
So the next time you’re stocking your reserves for emergencies or stockpiling fuel and weapons for the ever-approaching apocalypse, perhaps consider adding a bidet to that decision.
Learn more about bidets: