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Funeral Home Shopping On Mother’s Day Via Smartphone

Article Contributed by: Brian Young

Sitting in the hospital’s Intensive Care Unit on Mother’s Day, I became another “mobile” statistic that deathcare providers should be courting. My grandmother had suffered a severe heart attack the night before, though she would defy all odds and live another seven unaided weeks. But that Mother’s Day I sat with my parents examining local funeral homes online with my Smartphone – something about 50% of American’s can do as over 50% of American cell phones are smartphones (Nielsen 03/12).

As a deathcare provider, what concerns you more: that no local funeral home reached out to us with an easy-to-use Mobile website? Or, that we were deciding what funeral homes to call based on the attractiveness and helpfulness of their websites, even though we have lived in our city for 23 years and are aware of the funeral homes?

Industry analysts like Alan Creedy recognized around the start of 2009 that “the majority of American families now get their first impression of a funeral home from its website.” While almost no one was searching for funeral home websites with mobile devices in 2009, analytics show that number to now be about 15% and growing at about 2.5% per quarter (FuneralNet Study 7/2012). Surveys show it’s no longer uncommon to do all one’s research and shopping via a Smartphone.

Why do websites matter to winning calls? Websites are regularly cited as a reason families call to learn more or get a feel for a funeral home (Surveys 2009). But for a cremation society or low cost provider, their website can often be the reason a family chooses that business. The Web is where “undetermined” families examine their options and providers.

So, why does having a mobile website now matter? Because it is not easy to navigate a full size website when using a mid to lower end smart phone, which the majority of Smartphone owners use. However, even many iPhone shoppers prefer using the simple and clean mobile sites, though the iPhone can easily handle full size websites.

Effective websites create opportunity! If your websites properly highlight important considerations and satisfy concerns; if they engages visitors, demonstrate your business’s strengths and generate hope that your firm is the right solution for them, then how much greater are your chances of a phone call from online shoppers? I could cite all the studies, but thinking back to that Mother’s Day I’ll just say “far greater.”

 

About Brian
Brian Young is a Web Communications Strategist and former Marketing Director at FuneralNet. Since coming to the deathcare industry Brian has become a leading expert and presenter on website-based deathcare marketing and eCommerce topics. He has presented at National and State FDA conventions, and written for various deathcare trade journals. He regularly consults with leading deathcare firms.

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  • http://www.eFuneral.com/ Mike Belsito

    Great post. We’ve helped so many families that didn’t have any idea which funeral home they’d work with. Having a great website (and a great *mobile* website) is certainly something that’s important and should be a solid component to a funeral home’s overall plan. The reality is that so many families are undecided and aren’t going to work with a funeral home “just because” — even if that’s what the funeral home has relied upon for years (scratch that, decades).

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