July 25, 2024

Thrive Insider

Exclusive stories of successful entrepreneurs

Analyzing the Market Trends and Future Projections for the Funeral Industry

The funeral industry is undergoing significant changes as it adapts to new technologies and shifting consumer preferences. No longer solely focused on traditional services, the industry is becoming more tech-savvy and innovative in its approach to funeral planning and memorialization. In this article, we’ll explore five key trends transforming the funeral industry and what they mean for the future.

1. Online Funeral Planning and Arrangement Services

One of the most significant trends in the funeral industry is the rise of online planning and arrangement services. Platforms like FuneralFolio allow families to easily create beautiful, personalized funeral programs and memorial materials without the hassle and expense of traditional printing. 

Key benefits of online funeral planning include:

– Convenience – handle arrangements from the comfort of home 

– Customization – templates and designs for all preferences

– Cost savings – avoid high printing and shipping fees

– Environmental friendliness – reduce paper waste

As more consumers embrace the ease and flexibility of online funeral planning, expect to see explosive growth in this area in the coming years. Industry analysts project the online funeral products and services market will reach $3.2 billion by 2028.

2. Livestreaming and Virtual Attendance Options

The pandemic accelerated another major trend: livestreaming and virtual attendance at funeral services. Travel restrictions and gathering size limits forced many families to find alternative ways to include faraway loved ones in memorials and celebrations of life. 

Fortunately, video conferencing tools like Zoom and dedicated funeral livestreaming platforms rose to meet this need. Virtual guests can now view services in real-time, leave condolence messages, and even participate with eulogies or readings. As a result, online funeral attendance has skyrocketed 2000% since 2020.

While in-person services will always be preferred, the convenience and accessibility of remote attendance is here to stay. Over 70% of funeral homes now offer livestreaming options and that figure will only grow.

3. Eco-Friendly and Green Funerals

Sustainability has become a priority across all industries and the funeral business is no exception. An increasing number of consumers are seeking out eco-friendly options for their end-of-life arrangements to minimize environmental impact.

Green funeral trends include:

– Natural and conservation burials – internment without embalming, metal caskets, or concrete vaults to allow natural decomposition

– Biodegradable materials – plant-based and recycled options for urns, caskets and memorial products  

– Cremation carbon offsets – tree planting and sustainability investments to mitigate carbon footprint

– Water cremation – aka “aquamation” or “bio-cremation,” a newer process using water instead of flame

The Green Burial Council has seen a 300% increase in providers offering green services in the last decade alone. As sustainability becomes an increasingly important consumer value, the availability and popularity of these options will continue to rise.

4. Personalization and Celebration of Life

Today’s families want funerals to be less somber and more celebratory – a true reflection of their loved one’s unique life and personality. As a result, formal religious services in funeral homes are declining in favor of highly personalized celebrations of life.

What does a celebration of life entail? That depends on the individual, but increasingly common features include:

– Unique venues – museums, beaches, restaurants, senior centers

– Storytelling – open mic sharing of memories and anecdotes

– Displays – photos, art, collections, awards, hobbies and artifacts 

– Music – performances of favorite songs or by favorite musicians

– Food and drink – signature recipes, food trucks, cocktail hours  

 “The tone is joyful, the setting is personal, the atmosphere feels more like a reunion than a typical funeral. What families are really saying is ‘Let’s celebrate the life versus mourn the death.'” – Amy Cunningham, Funeral Director

There are no rules when it comes to personalized memorials. The only limit is the imagination! As more baby boomers pass on, expect to see this highly individualized approach to honoring a life become the standard.

5. Digital Memorialization and Tributes

Our digital lives are increasingly outliving our physical ones. As a result, a whole new aspect of end-of-life planning has emerged – digital legacy management. Families now have important decisions to make around a loved one’s social media accounts, websites, cloud storage, and other digital assets.

Options for digital memorialization include:

– Turning social media accounts into online memorials 

– Interactive online obituaries with guestbooks and galleries

– Blockchain-based digital monuments and tributes 

– Digital memory boxes and time capsules

– High-tech tombstones with interactive displays

Ultimately, the goal is to create enduring online spaces to celebrate a loved one’s memory and life stories. The digital memorialization market is expected to see a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 22% from 2021 to 2028.

Key Takeaways

The funeral industry is evolving at a rapid pace as it integrates new technologies and adapts to changing consumer values. From online funeral planning with platforms like FuneralFolio to livestreamed services, eco-friendly options, unique celebrations of life, and digital memorialization, there are more choices than ever before when it comes to honoring a loved one.