In today’s digital age, we live in a world where convenience has never been more important. One of the biggest changes I’ve noticed over the past few years is the emergence of eCommerce. Technology has made it easier than ever to make payments and transfer money. Like many consumers, I don’t carry much physical cash anymore. Everything is digital now. This morning I paid for a cup of coffee with my cell phone. Yesterday I ordered and paid for groceries online. So that begs the question, how prevalent will funeral home eCommerce become?
I think accepting funeral payments online will eventually explode in popularity. While it may seem unconventional for someone to choose their desired service, casket, and fully pay for arrangements online, if consumers are given this capability there is no doubt, they will jump at the chance to do so. Funeral homes are no different than any other business that deals primarily with consumers. When they visit your website, they want the same functionality and convenience they find on Walmart’s website.
Having online funeral programs that accept payments, will not only benefit families but funeral homes as well. From saving time to improving the buying process, there are many reasons to make sure your funeral home’s website includes eCommerce. We break down the top benefits of funeral home eCommerce in more detail below.
First and foremost, the biggest advantage of eCommerce for funeral homes is convenience. This is true for both you and your families. Funeral eCommerce reduces the number of visits families must make to the funeral home. Instead of visiting the funeral home to see what is offered, they can do this online. Instead of dropping by the funeral home to pay for arrangements, they can do this online. For funeral homes, this means you spend less time worrying about having staff work as salespeople. It also means you do not need to use direct mail to send invoices or drop them off personally. In just a few clicks, the service is paid for and the transaction is complete.
Today’s consumers have different expectations than they did 20, 10, and even 5 years ago. Most people expect to be able to complete a payment online when visiting a website. If they weren’t expecting it, the added convenience is often a welcomed surprise and leads to a better customer experience.
Online shopping is going to continue to grow. 76% of Americans shop online each year. As this trend continues to grow, so will the expectation that every business makes this option available.
You are likely to receive funds faster if you can accept funeral payments online. Rather than waiting for the family to find time to come into the funeral home, they can easily pay after they finalize the arrangements. Making the purchase process easier means families will be more apt to pay immediately then wanting to put it off.
With more and more consumers practicing eCommerce, the traditional buying process has changed. Shopping online provides a more relaxed experience and makes consumers feel more in control. When you decide to purchase something online, it’s easy to select what you want without worrying about being pressured or upsold. Instead, eCommerce respects the consumer’s right to choose and makes the buying process easier.
While most funeral homes don’t try to be overly pushy, consumers still expect it (from any business). Funeral home eCommerce helps avoid this issue altogether and will provide consumers with a better overall experience.
Everyone is busy with their own lives. They don’t necessarily have the time available to stop into a business. With eCommerce, they can make a purchase on their own time. If a death occurs unexpectedly, it can be difficult for some families to make it to the funeral home. Depending on the situation, they may have to find someone to watch children or they may need to help console and comfort other family members.
Your firm can also benefit from saved time. With our new Quote Builder tool, for instance, families can complete the arrangements online selecting from the products and services you have available. Now, instead of meeting with that family to make the arrangements, your staff has more time to focus on serving at funerals and doing other tasks.
With Funeral eCommerce, you can easily create new revenue streams for your firm. You can offer and sell things that you are unable to do with just a brick and mortar operation. For example, you can offer families the ability to buy and send flowers to grieving families when they are visiting online memorials. Flower commissions are not a new concept for funeral homes. It’s a revenue stream that requires you to do very little except provide the consumer with the option to make a purchase. If flowers are sold through your website, you know that funeral eCommerce works.
Life is unpredictable. You can’t always be there to answer a phone call, but your website is always accessible. When your website has the option to complete arrangements or make a payment, families can receive the same service they would when they walk into the funeral home. Having eCommerce available on your website means you can truly serve families 24/7. Instead of having to be on call all the time, let your website take on some of that burden. With proper online funeral programs setup, your website can act as the perfect sales rep; showing families all you have to offer and what makes you unique.
Before making a purchase, 88% of consumers will research the product or service online first. When it’s a major purchase (which a funeral service is) they’ll travel farther than they would for normal purchases. In fact, one study found that consumers will travel more than 20 minutes away for things that aren’t everyday items.
Since most people will travel for major purchases and perform online research before buying; it only makes sense to have eCommerce available on your site. By having that option available, you can reach and sell to more people than if their only option is to come and visit you in the funeral home.
Also, consider that many of the family members responsible for planning the arrangements for their loved one do not live in the same city or town. This makes getting to the local funeral home to set up arrangements much more difficult. Online funeral service software with eCommerce allows people to plan and pay for arrangements from wherever they live.
Recently we released the new version of our quote builder. With this tool, our funeral home clients receive all the benefits we talked about above. It allows the family to plan an arrangement and select the products or services they want to be included. When completed, they have the option to pay for the service online.
It’s a great tool to have on your website because it improves the online experience while saving your staff time. Families can easily research the cost of the service they want and get a quote instantly. Your firm has more ways to serve the community, and you can get paid faster with this funeral home eCommerce feature.
It’s convenient for you and for your families. If you’d like to learn more about the tool or schedule a demo, make sure to contact us and we’d be happy to show you everything it can do for your firm and your families.
Tommy holds a Communications degree from Laurentian University and an Integrated Marketing Communications Graduate Certificate from St. Lawrence College. He is a Content Marketing Specialist at FrontRunner and focuses on producing engaging content that funeral homes can use to connect with families. In addition, Tommy crafts SEO content for clients and specializes in helping the general public connect with the death care industry as a whole.