The old cliché resonates
“Nothing is certain but death and taxes” and I have heard many talk about
the ‘death’ industry as a “recession-proof” business. Yet the Funeral
Industry is now feeling its own pinch as the current troubling economic
This once very traditional
industry has to move out of the dark ages and embrace modern technology
if it is to succeed as “recession-proof”! An $11 billion a year industry,
with over 21, 000 Funeral Homes, employing some 105,000 people, divided
between a couple of large corporations, small independent businesses and
individual family-owned Funeral Homes. Many of the independent and
family run Funeral Homes do not even consider a web site as a fundamental
tool to market their services in today’s modern ‘online’ world.
When money is tight, people
look for options to save money, luxuries are reduced, and any extravagances
are limited. In today’s economic climate arranging a funeral, especially
if it has come as an unexpected task, is treated much like any other expenditure…..and
Reports from the industry
suggest that more and more people are choosing cremation as a preferred
alternative to a traditional burial. Why? Simpy…the cost!!
An average traditional burial costs between $6,000 and $7,000. The
average basic cremation can cost from as little as $700. On average
a family can save at least $4,000 to $5,000 by opting for a simple cremation.
Some Funeral Homes are reporting cremation rates increasing by as much
as 20 percent year-on-year. The Cremation Association of North America
reports that the practice has been rising annually nationwide, with nearly
40 percent of all deaths in the United States expected to result in cremation
by 2010. The No. 1 reason for this pattern, according to the association,
is cost -- 30 percent of people surveyed said that cremation saves money.
Even those still choosing
a more traditional funeral are opting for ways to save money on that expensive
‘all costs’ tab. Funeral Homes report that families are purchasing
funeral items such as caskets and urns at a discount utilizing the Internet.
The recession is hitting all areas of the Funeral Industry, but especially
those ‘extravagances’ that cause a family to dig deeper into their coffers,
but may seem superfluous to real necessity. Sympathy flowers sales
are down, grave-markers and headstones are getting smaller and less ornate.
The price conscious public
are now quite savvy that the Internet can afford them the luxury of comparing
prices, products and services…..and all from the comfort of their home.
An industry that typically avoided quoting prices is having to adapt to
the demands of this modern consumer. And the Funeral Homes that will
benefit from this market place are those that have not only embraced all
that the Internet can offer in attracting them business; but also those
that are choosing to be transparent in their pricing and offer the ‘affordable’
option. As with any industry if sales revenue falls then the volume
of sales must increase.
Flowers | Caskets | Funeral
Homes | Cremation Costs |
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