WESTCHESTER, Ill. –
John Kett says IAA has a long history of running a digital auction in companion with a live open auction.
But Kett, who is chief executive officer and president for IAA, says the company over time conducted research and saw that customers increased their reliance on the company through digital means to bid on and buy cars.
“So we made the move to an entirely digital platform,” Kett said in an interview with Auto Remarketing.
He continued, “We completed that the first part of April, which was something we had planned to do in the first half of 2020. But then we had begun the rollout. And when COVID hit, with our teams, we got together and then rapidly accelerated the deployment to get it done. So we’re really excited about many aspects of it.”
IAA on Tuesday introduced IAA Interact, a merchandising platform that combines imagery, information and personalization. Kett said the platform has been under development for a couple of years.
The company said the platform provides detailed vehicle information to engage buyers. For sellers, it brings a more competitive bidding environment and higher proceeds.
In designing IAA Interact, the company used e-commerce merchandising research to bring increased online bidding and buying.
IAA says the platform engages buyers with a vehicle digitally through touch points that provide details to bring buyers confidence in their online bidding and buying decisions. With the Interact tools and features, IAA says buyers see a strong research process, improved purchasing guidance and higher level of trust.
“High resolution images, panoramic video, and in-depth product information are fundamental to a successful ecommerce strategy,” said Justin Mahlik, IAA senior vice president of buyer development and innovation, in a news release.
Mahlik continued, “As a technology company, we understand that offering limited static images and basic vehicle information is an extremely outdated way to market a vehicle. IAA Interact provides online buyers with an immersive experience that mimics being physically present with the vehicle, resulting in increased trust, bidding and buying activity.”
The IAA Interact merchandising platform includes three elements and several value-added tools at no cost to the buyer:
— Imagery: IAA says each vehicle asset is unique. Because of that, online buyers depend upon images and video allowing them to inspect vehicle parts, components and damage. The Interact platform consists of IAA 360 View, IAA High Resolution images, and IAA Key Images.
— Information: The company says that with vehicle details such as OEM specifications and part interchange numbers, buyers can make more-informed bidding and purchasing decisions. The Interact platform includes information tools such as SpinCar Feature Tour, IAA Engine Start video, Chrome Equipment Details, and Hollander Part Interchange numbers.
— Personalization: In the purchasing process, digital buyers currently have “heightened expectations,” IAA said. The company uses researching, bidding and buying behavioral data to provide a personalized experience for buyers. Personalization tools in the Interact platform include IAA Buyer Recommendations, which are available through the buyer’s dashboard.
Kett elaborated on the personalization aspect, telling Auto Remarketing that IAA’s buyers have higher expectations in the buying process.
IAA, Kett said, has conducted a great deal of research about what buyers want.
And they want to be able to identify the vehicles that are important to them quickly and be able to get the information they need to make an educated decision on how much they want to pay for that vehicle, he said.
“So, we have personalized it through some of our data science so we can understand what buyers are bidding on and what they’re interested in and even what they’re looking at,” Kett said.
He continued, “And then we can customize and feed to them vehicles that we believe would be important to them. So we have what we call an IAA buyer recommendation that is a sort of a bespoke list of vehicles that the buyer is interested in based on what we know about them.”
Buyers like that feature, because IAA sells millions of vehicles a year, and buyers are not interested in many of those, Kett said.
“So the faster we can get in front of them the vehicles they are interested in, the more engaged they’re going to be with IAA and the more they’re going to want to come back and use our platform,” Kett said.
The IAA Interact merchandising platform follows the company’s recent announcement of its expanded partnership with digital merchandising company, SpinCar, to offer Feature Tour.