Boomers are definitely a highly-targeted audience for funeral planning – after all, they did contribute to 28 percent of all Homesteaders preneed arrangements in 2019. However, with the upheaval of market predictions due to COVID-19, Generation X (born 1965-1980) is looking to be the up-and-coming preneed purchasers.
Gen X’s Buying Power
Gen X produces 31 percent of the total U.S. income, despite only making up 25 percent of the population. They were also the first to adopt online shopping habits in the early-mid 90’s when ecommerce giants launched. Today, 60 percent use their smartphone and 67 percent use laptops/computers, daily.
Even with such a heavy amount of time spent online, Gen Xers aren’t just going to buy something without thorough research – they use online reviews and social media to research products before purchasing. They also rely on honest brand equity and good customer service to align their purchases to companies which they trust.
What does this mean for the pre-planning industry?
Pre-planning a funeral is obviously a large task and expense, so the buying habits of Gen X tell us that they need a system which allows them to research, shop, select and purchase online, at their own pace.
Whether they are looking for a pre-planning tool for themselves or a loved one, we also need to look at how COVID-19 has changed the industry. Gen Xers are becoming “sandwich caregivers” – those who take care of their children, as well as often their parents (while still juggling work). With their increasing responsibilities, there has been an increase of Gen Xers planning pre-needs. In 2020, 26 percent of eFuneral pre-needs purchased were by Gen Xers – up 15 percent from 2019’s Gen X sales. This opens doors for a potentially larger buying market as we enter 2021. Upping Your Marketing Efforts As mentioned before, Gen X is known for their attention to detail when buying online. They won’t be fooled by flashy marketing campaigns and tend to drift towards genuine marketing efforts which make an attempt to connect with the intended customer.
Focusing on social media, testimonials and your funeral home’s online presence is key in putting out the best image. Even the top pre-planning sources suggest that customers talk with friends, research on social media and look at online reviews when selecting a funeral provider.
In the end, showing your values of caring as a funeral provider and marketing that image online could go a long way with a Gen X person searching for a funeral home.