7 Ways to Use eCommerce to Comfort FamiliesFebruary 4th, 2014
Are you looking for ways to help your community find the perfect gifts to comfort families? E-Commerce may be the tool you’re looking for, and the reason is simple. Through eCommerce, your families can connect with each other and their loved ones faster than ever before. Now, a gift of sympathy and love is literally clicks away.
Today I’m going to talk about some ways you can transform your funeral home into a place for your community to care for one another – even if they’re far away. By implementing these funeral eCommerce tips, your community will come to rely on you to find the perfect flower arrangements or gifts for your families. And more importantly, you’ll be able to play an important role in providing them with the channel for giving the gift of their love, no matter their distance.
So whether you’re just getting started with funeral eCommerce or just looking for better ways to offer flowers or gifts on your website, here are some tips:
1. Make Sending a Gift Simple
It’s a pretty basic concept… the easier it is to purchase flowers or gifts from your website, the more sales you will get. A great user experience can generate up to 2-3 times as many orders for your firm. Here are some tips to simplify the usability and checkout process of your eCommerce store:
Place the price of your items in a prominent location that’s easy for the user to see and make sure the “buy now” button is easy to find and click. French Funerals and Cremations’ Sympathy Store made their “buy now” button orange so it stands out:
Don’t require people to sign up for an account or take any additional steps in order to purchase items. The idea is to make the entire process seamless and simple. With O.H. Pye III’s Sympathy Store, you can order gifts and flowers right on the loved one’s obituary page:
Save your website visitors time by providing them with the funeral home address, service time and other key information as they go through the checkout process:
You can even provide customers with a calendar of events for the loved one’s service:
2. Choose a Solution With Detailed Product Descriptions
Whether you choose an online florist or a Sympathy Store plug-in, make sure the solution you choose provides detailed product descriptions for your products. Remember, your website visitors are looking for comforting gifts to send to your grieving families. Be sure to offer detailed descriptions so they know exactly what they’re sending and why. Include details like the types of flowers or gifts included in the gift, the size and weight, as well as additional information such as suggestions for use, other product recommendations, etc. At the end of the day, it’s all about answering their questions.
Here is an example of a well written product description on Pye III Funeral Home:
Not only does Pye’s Sympathy Store offer a product description, but they also provide product reviews, recommendations for similar products, and delivery information for their customers. It’s providing this type of information that answers your customer’s questions without them having to get your funeral home or florist on the phone.
3. Use High Quality Photos
It’s important to keep in mind that when shopping online, your website visitors don’t get to see, touch, feel or smell the items before they buy them. Help them feel confident with their purchase by providing high-quality images. The more details your website visitors can visualize, the better chance you have of creating a good user experience.
When you hover over product images on Schoedinger’s Sympathy Store, they allow you to take a closer look at the product so you can see every detail of your selection:
4. Offer Top-Notch Customer Care
When shopping online, your website visitors expect to be able to contact a customer service representative by phone, chat, or email any time they have a question or concern —24/7/365. Make sure your customer service is responsive, patient and polite when dealing with issues. They should also be knowledgeable on the products you offer on your eCommerce store. Think about the type of customer service you’d want if you were sending a gift to a grieving family, and make sure your funeral home is providing that level of customer service.
If you have any questions while shopping on the Sympathy Stores I am highlighting, the funeral homes make it easy to call, email or live chat with them, 24/7, in the click of a button. French’s, Pye III, and more even go above and beyond their customer’s expectations to provide a way for them to make a purchase over the phone.
5. Give Customers a Sense of Security
Your customers want to know your eCommerce sympathy store is safe and secure. Display trust certificates, security badges and safety seals on the checkout pages of your eCommerce store. That way, they’ll know they are buying from a secure store that will protect their privacy, personal information and billing information shared during their transaction.
6. Incorporate Social Proof to Establish Trust
When someone is shopping on your website, they want to know their information is safe, but even more than that, they want to know they can trust the quality of your products. The easiest way you can show customers they can trust you is through the use of social proof (check out this article for an in-depth look at social proof). Social proof is basically the idea that if other people had a good experience with your products, you will too. Here’s a few ways the aforementioned Sympathy Stores uses social proof to display trust:
Testimonials let you know how happy their past customers have been with their services:
French, Pye and Schoedinger also incorporate the use of social sharing buttons to help get the word-of-mouth momentum going:
7. Keep Families On Your Site
Don’t be fooled into partnering with an eCommerce provider that will steal your valuable website traffic. If your website visitors are taken to a third-party site, you’re not only losing web traffic, but you’re also disrupting your visitor’s online experience. Find an eCommerce solution that can be seamlessly integrated into your funeral home website, so everything from the colors, logos and images match the look and feel of your brand. Your customers will appreciate the added level of service you provided to make their lives easier.
Summing It Up
The last thing to consider when it comes to offering flowers and gifts on your website is to make sure you have the staff and resources to support your customers emotional needs during this difficult time. And if you choose to partner with an eCommerce provider, make sure they are experienced in dealing with the funeral profession.
At the end of the day, funeral eCommerce is here to help you comfort families. And if you can position yourself as the one-stop-shop to help them do so, you’ll remain an invaluable part of your community for generations to come.
Get your own Sympathy Store
Looking for an effortless way to offer flowers and gifts on your website? Click here or give us a call at 800-798-2575, ext. 5 to learn how you can get funeralOne’s Sympathy Store for free!