Funeral arrangements go online
Last fall I wrote a story about the state of the Catholic cemetery business: 'The Business of Catholic cemeteries.'
The big news is that cremation is having a substantial impact on the business. Now comes a web-based funeral and cremation business that stands a chance of being very disruptive. According to Bloomberg News:Today, [Eric] Vandermeersch is a pioneer in the industry. The 29-year-old is co-founder of Basic Funerals and Cremation Choices, one of the first online upstarts in a business that for centuries has relied on face-to-face meetings in brick-and-mortar parlors to sell its services. Vandermeersch and Dominic Mazzone, 39, launched their company just outside Toronto in 2009, convinced that people would jump at the chance to bypass morbid sales pitches and choose to book funerals over the Web. “Funeral arrangements are a very private thing,” says Nikoleta Panteva, industry analyst for research firm IBISWorld. “So to be able to do it in the convenience of your own home, at your own time, at your own pace is something that’s pretty novel to the industry.”