A new funeral price-comparison and review site reported high consumer demand with a site search every few minutes within its first few months of trading.
About the Funeral, founded by Kim Bird who has a background of working in the funeral industry, says it has been inundated with enquiries in response to the launch of its new platform which allows consumers to compare the service quality and prices of funerals on a like-for-like basis in their area.
About the Funeral is processing a funeral search on the website every few minutes. The site has nearly 270 funeral directors already signed up and that number is expected to rise by a third within the next few weeks.
After a pilot in South Wales and the Midlands, About the Funeral is currently undergoing a national rollout to expand its service across the UK. Within just one month, searches for nearly £3m worth of funerals have been generated online in areas that the firm is branching out in.
Kim Bird, About the Funeral founder and CEO, said: “With nearly £3m worth of funerals being searched for in our new areas, we need funeral directors on board as soon as possible in order to service this demand and help bereaved families.
“We have been completely overwhelmed by the demand from people searching for our service which demonstrates just how needed it is. Traditionally we’re in an industry which doesn’t publish its prices openly or fully and, as each funeral is different, it’s incredibly difficult for the bereaved to access the information they need. But we want to change that. We want to help people make an informed decision and a choice which is best for them – and enable funeral directors to be compared accurately and fairly.”
According to the 2016 YouGov poll ‘Funerals Matter’ commissioned by the National Association of Funeral Directors and Cruse Bereavement Care, 85 percent of Britons want funeral directors to publish their pricing online. Sixty-three per cent expect to be able to check and compare before selecting their funeral director.
Kim added: “The industry needs to respond to the demand if it is to move forward. We recognise it’s not easy for funeral directors to change the way they have always run their businesses when what they have always done has worked for them. But as Darwin said: ‘It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is most adaptable to change’.”
About the Funeral is the price comparison and review site with an ethical revenue model, meaning that funeral directors will have full cost control through a choice of either an affordable and easy to budget monthly or annual subscription.
There are no other charges – regardless of how many funerals you arrange. This also complies with the NAFD Code of Practice. About the Funeral is currently offering funeral directors the opportunity to be listed on the site free of charge until their first funeral is arranged as a result of being on the site.
Kim continued: “I think what makes About the Funeral different is my background. This site may be new to market but I’m certainly not new to the funeral industry. I had the idea for the site 18 years ago while I was working as a funeral arranger and bereavement support visitor. And on a personal side, I’ve sadly lost several family members through suicide and have had to be counselled for it. Having seen the industry from both sides, I have a deep understanding of it. I have witnessed first hand people struggling between wanting the best for their loved one and reconciling the financial cost.
“Yes, I’ve started a business but it is an ethical business, and first and foremost my goal is to help others. I truly believe this platform and our innate compassion is the missing link between the bereaved and funeral directors.”
About the Funeral has been backed by the founders of price comparison website GoCompare as part of the business consortium InspireWales which believes the platform will make a positive change in the industry and for bereaved families.
James Henderson, InspireWales fund manager, said: “To modernise the industry, a sympathetic understanding of current practices needs to be combined with entrepreneurial insight and a platform capable of delivering a better experience. Kim’s passion for improving the industry was clear and, with increasing government and regulatory scrutiny around the lack of cost transparency, it is a space that is ripe for change.”
Investor Kevin Hughes, the founding member and former finance and marketing director of GoCompare who is a director of About the Funeral, said: “Kim’s vision for About the Funeral is inspiring. People now expect to be able to compare prices and arrange all kinds of services over the internet, so this is the next step in making this happen for funerals. I believe we can really change the face of this very traditional industry for the better.”