The implementation of VirtuaLane, which launched in February 2019, was partly driven by commercial consignor demand.
Mike Caggiano, eastern Region EVP for ADESA, said that the company had several commercial consignors ask for a selling solution to eliminate vehicles' physical presence from the lanes.
"It was entirely introduced to create a safer environment for our customers and employees," Caggiano said. "We haven't received negative feedback. Overall it has been very positive."
ADESA selected the initial 20 locations for VirtuaLane's rollout due to them having the largest commercial consignor demand for the technology.
The 20 locations with the initial rollout included ADESA's locations in Atlanta; Cincinnati/Dayto; Kansas City; Nashville; Sarasota; Boston; Concord; Las Vegas; New Jersey; Syracuse; Brasher's; Dallas; Minneapolis; Northwest; Vancouver; Charlotte; Golden State; Montreal; Orlando; Washington, D.C.
In a five-year period ADESA has roughly doubled its online sales. Currently over 50% of the business' vehicles are sold through a digital platform and the company expects that number to grow.
Caggiano said that although the company forecasts growing digital sales, he doesn't expect that the company will get to a point where brick and mortar locations will be eliminated. Their purpose, however, will evolve.
VirtuaLane technology provides a live in-lane auction experience that allows buyers to participate in the same bidding process as in a traditional in-lane auction but without the cars physically driving through the lanes.
Instead of the vehicles physically driving through lanes, bidders are provided with big-screen monitors showcasing the vehicle and its features during bidding.
The vehicles are still staged in the same areas as they were prior to introducing VirtuaLane. Before bidding begins, people still have access to the vehicles, they can still go outside to kick the tires and inspect the vehicle in-person. The only difference at these VirtuaLane auctions is that the vehicles aren't rolling across the block.