Mobile Commerce Daily is now Retail Dive: Mobile Commerce! Click here to learn more!

IAA drives Apple Watch convenience into car-auction realm

Insurance Auto Auctions is taking smartwatch convenience into the car-auction realm with its launch of an Apple Watch application that lets buyers view the status of vehicles in the bidding process through wrist notifications.

The IAA Buyer Watch App gives buyers a quick graphical view of the status of their vehicles during the Watch and Pre-bid portions of the bidding process without requiring them to use mobile phones. The app will help IAA to match strides with consumers by saving them time amid the digital transformation of the auto auction business.

“Our buyers have a lot to manage, and their time is valuable,” said John Kett, president and CEO of IAA, a salvage auto auction company and unit of KAR Auction Services, based in Westchester, IL. “Buyers have the ability to bid on eight auctions simultaneously.

“This app displays their account preferences to give them a consolidated view of the items at auction that they’re considering, from their first glance at the watch in the morning and throughout the day,” he said.

Registered users
With more than 165 auction facilities throughout North America, IAA provides registered buyers from around the globe with opportunities to bid on and purchase donated and salvaged vehicles.

Preparing for auction day via mobile.

Since 1982, IAA has sold millions of vehicles through its weekly auctions for insurance companies, fleet and rental companies, financing companies, charity organizations and the general public.

IAA also helps United States charities through its One Car One Difference campaign, helping to process donated vehicles.

Users of the IAA Buyer Apple Watch app must be registered IAA Buyers. First, they download the free app from the Apple Watch App Store. Next they log in via iPhone. The account is then paired with the Apple Watch.

The user is able to see his or her Watch List or pre-bid vehicles list to know if any interesting vehicle is set for auction that day.

As long as the user is logged into his or her IAA Buyer account through an iPhone, the watch will display the needed information with just one tap.

The watch interface shows buyers a summary of their Watch/Pre-bid vehicles and the total vehicles on their lists that are at auction on that particular day.

By bringing the most important information to the user’s wearable device, IAA can provide a quick snapshot of the day, helping him or her to budget time and manage an Auction Center account.

Customer service
IAA has aggressively embraced mobile to improve customer service. IAA was the first-to-market three years ago in the mobility space, according to the company.

Getting the auction story at a glance.

“It is important to provide our global customers easy access to auctions so they can search inventory, purchase vehicles and manage their accounts while participating in our live auctions at any time, from anywhere,” Mr. Kett said. “The watch app is a tremendous opportunity to help them save time and personalize their experience.

“No other tool offers its users the same level of convenience and accessibility as the IAA Buyer Watch app,” he said. “Now a user can glance at their watch and instantly be connected to their IAA buyer activities.”

Final Take
Michael Barris is staff reporter on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York.