Online pricing. It’s been a topic of debate amongst funeral professionals for years. Should you show funeral service pricing on your website? Depending on who you talk to, you could get very different answers. If you ask consumers, they’ll say yes because it makes researching their options that much more convenient. But, if you put pricing on your website, are you making it easy for competitors to beat your prices?
In recent months, this has been becoming an even bigger topic thanks to the coronavirus pandemic. With people staying home, going in to meet with a funeral director to talk about service options isn’t possible for some. In June, the New York Times published an article that explored if funeral homes should be required to put their pricing online.
The FTC’s Funeral Rule states that consumers have the right to get a general price list from a funeral provider when they ask about funeral arrangements. But, that doesn’t mean you have to have it on your website. Currently, California is the only state that requires pricing to be disclosed online.
That might be changing soon though. The Federal Trade Commission is currently reviewing its Funeral Rule. In March, the deadline for consumers to submit comments was extended until June 15. Now the agency is in a review process.
For many consumers, the problem with the funeral rule is its age. Written in 1984, the FTC’s funeral rule was meant to protect consumers from unfair and deceptive practices. Today, many of the critics argue that the rule must be modernized to include the internet . Joshua Slocum, executive director of the Funeral Consumers Alliance has said “Had it been written in the internet era, online pricing would have been mandated”.
Generally speaking, most consumers want pricing to be shown online. In the digital age we now live in, it’s somewhat expected by consumers to be able to see pricing for products and services. In fact, a recent study by the ForeSight Companies found that 52% of consumers surveyed said they wouldn’t work with a company that didn’t display pricing on their website.
From a consumer stand point, being able to see the cost of service options just makes things easier. If someone is serious about finding the best price in their area, they will. Just because pricing isn’t published online doesn’t mean they can’t call or visit different firms to get pricing that way.
Now you could argue that may only happen in a handful of instances. But think about it this way. Say you don’t show your pricing online but your competitor does. As it turns out, you actually have lower prices than the guy down the road.
John Smith has just lost someone and is in immediate need. He goes to your website first but can’t find any pricing. So he returns to his Google search and clicks the next link for your competitor down the road. When he get’s to their site, he can see the different service packages, merchandise and additional options he can add-on to the service. So, he picks up the phone and calls them right away to set an appointment.
Here’s the problem, you just lost a sale you could’ve got.
Remember, there’s two things to know about people today. Our attention spans are shorter and we want things to be convenient. John couldn’t get what he wanted on your site, so he left. Now he’s found what he’s looking for, and he’s not thinking about going back to your site to find your phone number and call for a quote. He’s found what he was searching for when he went to Google.
If there’s one firm who can attest to the success of online pricing, it’s Aaron’s Low Cost Cremation in Fort Lauderdale FL. Their FrontRunner website went live in January 2020 with a tool called Quote Builder. It lets website visitors compare options and pricing, select merchandise, and generate a quote right on your website. This year alone, they’re on pace to generate more than 700 leads from having the tool and pricing on their website.
Other firms are seeing success too. Check out this clip below from a recent Wednesdays With FrontRunner webinar with Mike and Sheila from Central Funeral Homes. During the webinar, the topic of online pricing came up and we talked about their hesitations towards it but also the benefits that can come from it.
Guess what happened this week? Mike and Sheila gave it a try and it worked. They had first family build a complete quote online which turned into a complete arrangement. Now the family is coming this week for the visitation and to meet them for the first time. Adding their pricing to their website worked. They were once hesitant but after trying it, they’re now believers.
If you’d like to add Quote Builder to your website, contact our team today. We’d love to show you how this powerful tool can supercharge your lead generation and get more families walking through your doors.
If you’d like to learn more about Aaron’s Low Cost Cremation’s success with Quote Builder, click here to download a case study our team put together with them.
To get started with Quote Builder or any of our other web-based tools, click here to schedule a demo.
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.