Thursday, October 28, 2021

Bridging the gap between digital retail and digital finance for car buyers – Pete MacInnis & Atul Patel

eLEND Solutions and Orbee are partnering to transition more car dealership shoppers, to buyers. On today’s show, we’re pleased to welcome Pete MacInnis, Founder and CEO of eLEND Solutions and we’re also joined by Atul Patel, CEO of Orbee.

Atul begins the conversation by stating that he’s not surprised by the numbers regarding online car purchases, especially with the expectations consumers have today. Consumers are looking for a streamlined lifestyle, and they expect the same from the auto industry. However, MacInnis says the car buying process is much more complex because structured financing is heavily involved. MacInnis believes the auto industry hasn’t quite connected the front-end sales process and the back-end process digitally yet.

Atul says when it comes to moving the digital retail space forward, analytics and first-party data are vitally important. It’s crucial for car dealers to incorporate digital processes as part of a comprehensive buying experience. He believes that the partnership between eLEND Solutions and Orbee is powerful, as they will be able to remarket to consumers and communicate effectively. MacInnis adds that they are also focused on the finance component of digital retailing. 90% of consumers are payment shoppers. Their app allows instant gratification for the customer, letting them know they’re pre-qualified and helps the customer get to an actual payment.

MacInnis says car dealers can expect high conversions from leads with this new partnership. Patel says that because of the pandemic, the pair wanted to figure out a way for car dealers to capture more information. The pandemic drove a lot of traffic to car dealers, but they also saw a lot of missed conversions. So, naturally the next step was to figure out how to recapture customers’ attention. The inventory shortage has given car dealers a refined focus to spend more time with consumers and collect the necessary data for automation purposes.

MacInnis says in terms of digital retailing and digital finance, car dealers have to figure out how to connect the two. Digital finance is the core concept that needs to move forward in the process. Car dealers have to learn how to engage with sales and finance.

Patel explains that car dealers need digital awareness in order to be forward-thinking. Marketing is the entire communication process for potential shoppers. He also says, it’s time for dealerships to move forward digitally, but having the right staff to give that full digital experience is crucial.

MacInnis ends the conversation by stating why financing is important. He says companies like CarMax own their finance platforms. He says, what car dealers can do is figure out how to own their finances and make those connections. It’s not about one company trying to provide end-to-end solutions. It’s about integrations and partnerships so car dealers are able to connect the dots seamlessly.


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CBT Automotive Network is a multimedia broadcast platform serving automotive professionals. With interviews featuring the biggest names in the industry, daily newscasts following top stories, up-to-date market data, and exclusive articles covering the latest industry trends, CBT is the leading voice of the retail automotive industry.

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