One of this year’s Emerging 8 honorees updated one of its tools that generated some of the reasons why the firm earned the accolade.

Darwin Automotive this week announced that the most recent update to its digital retailing application ensures “truly integrated” chat for the entire dealership website journey.

According to a news release, dealers now can offer customers guided digital retailing through deep integration between Darwin and ActivEngage. The companies said this combination can provide “unparalleled” functionality for dealers utilizing both digital retailing application and customer engagement tools.

“Darwin’s top priority is to help dealers move their customers further down the sales funnel in a profitable manner. Our partnership with ActivEngage gets us one step closer to that goal,” Darwin Automotive chief strategy and success officer Chris Grimes said in the news release. “Sometimes, it’s as simple as a single question that needs to be answered before they proceed.

“The experts at ActivEngage have proven time and again they can handle these effectively and help convert shoppers into buyers. Combining the power of the Darwin digital retailing platform with the skilled communication of ActivEngage truly takes digital retailing to the next level,” Grimes continued.

ActivEngage chief executive officer and founder Ted Rubin also commented about the integration.

“Dealers can organically move customers from an intro or research conversation to a guided retailing experience. This is a massive game-changer for the industry,” Rubin said. “Our highly skilled customer engagement experts have customer service backgrounds and are trained to fully understand automotive buying processes. So, shoppers never miss out on a highly personalized experience.

“We work side-by-side with the shoppers to help them through the processes as far as they want to go. We can even collaborate on forms and send hard financing approvals from within the chat window,” he continued.

Darwin reiterated that its digital retailing can allow online consumers to interact anywhere, any time with the dealership, just as if they were with a dealership employee.

“The entire process is swift and user-friendly for the customer. With Darwin’s digital retailing, the dealership provides customers with the option to handle more of the process online, putting them in the driver’s seat,” the company said.

The Darwin digital retailing platform also is designed to mimic all areas of the deal, including F&I.

In this year, potential buyers can select tailored offerings such as maintenance, vehicle service contracts and tire & wheel.

“If at any point the shopper needs assistance in these areas, they can quickly turn to the customer engagement expert who’s standing by,” Darwin said. “During the deal creation process, the customer can share the deal with their significant other, a parent, or friend, anywhere in the world.

“Then, they can choose to transact online or schedule an appointment at the dealership, test drive the vehicle, sign the paperwork, and can drive away in as little as 15 to 30 minutes,” the company added.

Darwin Automotive currently operates in all 50 states with more than 9,000 active sites subscribed to its programs and is on track to deliver 8.5 million units on the platform. It’s that trajectory that prompted the company to collaborate with ActivEngage since technology oftentimes still need people to use it.

“Unlike other solutions, Darwin integrated with ActivEngage mainly for their powerful and heavily trained human team,” Grimes said. “Their customer engagement experts have all the training and intelligence necessary to analyze and interpret a shopper’s needs.

“This ability means dealers capture more leads that already have a jump-start on the purchase process,” Grimes went on to say.

For more information or to schedule a product demonstration, call (732) 781-9010 or visit