In today’s top retail news, Sotheby’s is finding a way to reach consumers who don’t want to wait for an auction, and Walmart says it will stop paying quarterly bonuses to store associates as it raises base pay. Also, oral care sales still primarily come from traditional retail channels despite a direct-to-consumer (D2C) push, and Perfect Corp. is launching a new makeup tutorial platform that uses augmented reality (AR).
When COVID-19 caused the physical world to shut down, Sotheby’s saw a 600% increase in the value of online auctions, a “radical shift” in the company’s business, according to Josh Pullan, managing director of the multinational auction house’s global luxury division. And through that digital shift, Sotheby’s realized a new way of reaching consumers — by selling directly to them through a “Buy Now” feature, fulfilling consumers’ demand for fast service on their own timeline.
Hundreds of thousands of Walmart store workers won’t get their “MyShare” quarterly bonuses after Jan. 31, instead earning hourly wage increases from the world’s largest private employer, according to a company memo sent to staff. MyShare quarterly bonuses have been a staple of Walmart employees’ compensation for decades. The company opted for the quarterly bonus structure in 2007 after they were originally based on store performance.
Simon Enever, CEO of oral care brand quip, told PYMNTS that an increased focus on wellness, and oral health in particular, lead to an uptick in consumers interested in improving their smiles and helped quip become profitable amidst the pandemic. Still, 84% of oral care purchases are still made at traditional retailers, suggesting that perhaps some products don’t fit as neatly into D2C channels as others.
Beauty tech company Perfect Corp. is launching a new digital makeup tutorial solution, giving brands the ability to present step-by-step lessons using artificial intelligence (AI) and AR. YouCam Tutorial provides brushstroke overlay animation, which virtually educates consumers on the correct makeup application techniques, “providing a one-of-a-kind makeup tutorial experience,” the company said in its announcement.