When today’s digital customers reach first for their keyboards before making a selection, it is surprising that there are still possibilities for some businesses to operate under the radar.
According to an FCA report, only 25% of the 20,000 funeral homes in the US provide pricing information on their sites. On a global scale it´s even smaller.
Whether the funeral home is avoiding listing their pricing online by not having a website or intentionally doing it for fear of competition undercutting their pricing, in today’s age when there is a problem a startup quickly forms to fix it. Which is why we welcome two newcomers to the game.
2019 Death care startups
Founded by two former Nike executives, Keith Crawford and David Odusanya, who had less than ideal experiences in the past when dealing with death care. After years of working in a consumer focused, fast moving, and innovative environment the two quickly found that the traditional funeral business could use some refreshing, and so Solace was born. Solace Cremation provides an affordable direct cremation service with online arrangements to the Portland and Seattle metro areas. The cost of Solace’s cremation services is simple and transparent, leaving no surprises or unexpected costs. It’s an inclusive model of $895 for a cremation, including transportation, storage, cremation, urn and more. While they haven’t re-invented the wheel, they are an indication of where the death care industry is going.
Funeralocity is a website which launched in April, with the aim to make pricing of funeral and cremation providers more transparent. By just entering a zipcode family of the deceased can easily find funeral homes nearby and immediately compare pricing. It is not the first funeral home comparison site in the US or globally, but it is entering the competition strong with great endorsements from the likes of the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), who stated directly to consumers on their site that “With the average funeral costing between $7,000 and $10,000, you need to treat this like any other large purchase. You wouldn’t buy a car from the first dealership you walked into. So don’t buy a funeral without checking with more than one funeral home. You can pay thousands less just by going a few miles down the road.”
Both startups are on the verge of an avalanche movement of creating transparency and giving control back to consumers. They also empower funeral homes to showcase that they are competitive and priced fairly, and gives them the opportunity to finally reap the rewards of the high level of service they provide to help families by being recognized through reviews.