Funeral eCommerce: How to Spot the Next Big Industry Trend


Everyone wants to come up with the next big idea that will bring their funeral firm growth, but very few are adept at knowing how.

Take eCommerce for example, how many of you thought of it as a passing fad when you first heard about it—claiming your families don’t shop online?

Well, with statistics showing 71% of adults shop online, clearly that’s not the case. And even more to the point, with $240 million being spent on sympathy gifts and flowers online each year, I think it’s safe to say that funeral eCommerce is no passing fad—it’s here to stay.

I can tell you that funeral eCommerce is the next big industry trend, but at the end of the day, you need to see it to believe it.

Here are some tips to help you spot the next big industry trend:

Separate Trends from Fads

First things first, you need to learn how to identify the difference between a trend and a passing fad. Some people believe the biggest difference is that trends affect a larger amount of people and industries than fads. Others think trends are long-term changes, whereas fads are short-lived. But whichever way you look at it, eCommerce is definitely no passing fad. It currently accounts for more than $200 billion in annual spending in the US and is projected to reach $327 billion in the next 4 years.

Know Your Trendsetters

In order to spot a trend, you must know who the trendsetters are. In fashion, that might have been the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis’ of the 1960s or the Kate Middletons of today. But in the funeral profession, the trendsetters are your families and your community. If you want to know if eCommerce is here to stay, look to the Baby Boomers. The generational cohort of 78 million strong will be passing through the funeral industry over the next 20 years. You need to find out what offerings they are looking for, that you’re currently not providing.

Read the Signs

As a funeral director or a funeral owner, analyzing industry trends is part of your job—at least when it comes to developing a business strategy. So how do you determine if a trend is just a passing fad or if it’s right for your firm? You open your eyes and read the signs. Sign 1: Your community, along with 93% of consumers, support grieving families with gifts and flowers. Sign 2: There are more than 200,000 searches on Google for sympathy gifts and flowers each month—and that number is constantly growing. It seems the signs are all pointing to funeral eCommerce.

Influence the Trends

All innovation starts somewhere…why not have it be with you? Spend time observing other industries and figuring out what’s working for them and what that might mean to your business. It will inspire new ideas for your funeral firm and give you a leg up on the competition. Don’t think your community shops for sympathy gifts or flowers online? Add it to your funeral home website and see what happens. By successfully identifying the behaviors of your community, you have the ability to determine which innovations are viable for the funeral profession, and therefore influence what becomes a trend in your industry.

Whether your goal is to serve as a trendsetter in the industry or to simply be able to spot future trends, one thing is for sure—you need to be willing to not only adapt to change, but anticipate change.

What are some ways you try to stay abreast of current trends in the funeral profession? Please share your comments below! 🙂

Kelly Murad


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  1. Kim Stacey

    You know, I never thought of myself as a “trend setter” – but without a doubt, I’m a “Boomer” – so…if what you say is true, I’m now among those who will help to shape the future of funeral service. That’s a sobering thought! 

    Without a doubt, I (we?) want adequate information from trustworthy sources; support in making difficult decisions, and of course, value for my hard-earned dollars.  Above all, I know I want meaning in the choices I make. That means the funeral professional I work with needs to do far more than simply dispose – he or she needs to be adept at crafting a uniquely personal ceremony that meets with my expectations and desires.