- Outer Burial Containers
- Burial Garments
- Cremation containers
- Rental Caskets
- Cremation jewelry
- Register books/ Memorial and Thank you cards
- Religious items
- Memorial videos
- Monuments and memorials
Based on evaluation of sales history, availability of products, recommendation of suppliers, and the amount of profit a director wishes the firm to generate.
- Should be profit oriented and take into consideration the normal cost of living increase and legitimate profit increase each year.
- Purchase of display items should be coordinated with profit objectives, as well as merchandise.
- Value must be readily apparent, easily explained and understood by the customer.
Any merchandising plan is only as good as the director’s knowledge of the products being sold and his or her ability to convey this knowledge to the buyer.
- A family can quickly distinguish knowledgable directors from one who isn’t by the presentation given and the manner in which questions are answered.
The Human Factor- Product Knowledge
- Can they provide goods
- Do they have good available
- Are they reliable?
- Do they supply good service?
- Do they make appropriate provisions?
- Do they employ representatives?
- Do they provide discounts?
- Cash discount
- Quantity discount
Discounts and Other Incentives:
A reduction of the price given for payment of an account within the tie limits established by the sales contract.
Reduction in the amount of a bill when a minimum quantity of merchandise has been ordered.
A return of a portion of payment.
The funeral director does not have to pay for the merchandise that will be displayed until it is sold.
- Not enough- problems in trying to meet the request of the family.
- Too much- having money tied up that could be used for other needs.
- Smaller firms can keep track with minimum record keeping.
- Lager firms- computer programs that keep track continually and can automatically make orders when demand is needed.
Those goods or stock of goods which are held for resale.
The number of times the average inventory has been sold or used up during a period.
The quantity to be purchased which minimizes total costs.
Economic Order Quantity (EOQ)
- Generally should be located in the same building as the funeral home.
- May be in another building
- Should be located on the main floor
- If not on main level - psychologically upstairs is better than downstairs (elevator should be available)
- Elevator should be made for the purpose for carrying people and not be a freight elevator.
Casket Display Room
Types of Casket Selection Rooms
Features sections of a casket such as 1/4 or 1/8 panels or end sections, on a wall display. May also have a limited number of full caskets displayed.
Fractional Display Room
Features a selection of full size caskets.
Traditional Display Room
- Indirect, recessed incandescent lights
- Ninety to one hundred foot candles of illumination measured at approximate pillow height on a displayed casket
- Spotlights used to show off better caskets
Best Lighting for a Casket Display Room
The amount of illumination produced by a source of one candle at a distance of one foot.
The illumination produced by a tubular electric discharge lamp; the fluorescence of phosphors coating the inside of a tube.
The illumination resulting from the flowing of a heated filament.
Illumination directly shining on an object.
Reflected illumination of an object.
- Casket rack
- Casket stand (casket standard)
- Church truck
A device upon which two or three caskets are placed, one on top of the other for display.
The stand or support upon which a casket rests in the selection room. It should be:
- Sturdy- be able to support weight and movement of a casket. It should give the appearance of strength.
- Attractive- Clean, dust free, with no scratches, dents, or broken parts.
Casket Stand (Casket Standard)
A wheeled collaspible support for the casket, used in the funeral home, church, or other location when moving a casket.
- The “given” is no one really enjoys a casket selection room.
- Designed and decorated to be as comfortable as possible.
- Light pastel paint or wall covering (makes the room more open)
- Colors not clashing with casket interiors or exteriors.
- Focal Points- statues, flower arrangements, objects of art, and furniture groupings.
- Signage should be attractive, easy to read and understand.
Selection Room Enhancements (Decor)
- Required state and federal disclosures
- Quantity of merchandise displayed
- Types of merchandise displayed
- Possible presentation of price lists
- The amount of money they have spent before the purchase of merchandise
- Merchandising aids
Pre Selection Room Introduction
- All of the lights on
- The funeral director enter the room first
- The demonstration group near the door.
To Reduce the Shock of Entering the Room:
Generally considered that 12 is the minimum and 30 is the maximum number.
Number of Caskets in Display Room
40 to 60 Square Feet allotted per casket.
- Caskets crowded together detract from the eye appeal of the overall display.
- Varying the amount of display space makes it easier for the public to understand the value differences in the caskets that are displayed.
Amount of Space Per Casket
Should be in easy view of where the family enters. Common grouping is a table, lamp, and two chairs. The purpose is:
- To give families something familar to relate to as a way to relieve tension.
- have something available to sit on in case people feel it necessary to get off their feet.
Three or four caskets that are utilized to educate the selecting party regarding the elements of casket construction, differences in caskets, features that affect price and where prices are to be found.
Demonstration (Educational) Group
- Consecutive method
- Alternate Pricing
- Traffic Flow
Caskets are arranged in order of increasing or decreasing price.
Like materials are grouped together (woods, steels, coppers, bronzes).
Each group would have a low, medium, and high cost casket.
Caskets can be open or closed. If the casket is closed and the family requests to see the interior, the funeral director opens the casket or may open selected caskets as part of the presentation.
All half couch caskets may be in one area and full couch caskets in another, or they may be mixed. In many parys of the country funeral homes will only show one style, usually half-couch caskets.
The casket display is usually arranged in such a way that the family moves through the room in a manner that makes it obvious to them the differences in the quality of the caskets.
- Direct Selection Room Procedure
- Indirect Selection Room Procedure
Methods of Presentation by the Director
Presenting caskets whereby the funeral director remains in the selection room throughout the entire selection process.
Direct Selection Room Procedure
- Some families prefer the support given by funeral directors.
- The funeral director is better able to meet the needs of the family.
Advantages- Direct Selection Room Procedure
- No privacy for family to discuss matters relating to their decision when the funeral director is present.
- The presence of the funeral director may influence the client’s selection.
- Non-verbal communication which occurs can both be negative and positive
- The funeral director may misinterpret the needs of the family.
Disadvantages- Direct Selection Room Procedure
The method of selling caskets whereby the funeral director does not stay in the selection room during the selection process, but instead leaves after his introductory presentation. This option requires that the family be given adequate pre-counseling and a clear description of the casket, that the price be visible in each casket, and that the display easily show comparative values.
Indirect Selection Room Procedure
- Privacy exists for the family
- Elimination of funeral director’s influence
- Nonverbal communications do not occur
- The opportunity for the funeral director to misinterpret the needs of the family does not exist.
- Written information about each casket may be analyzed more carefully.
Advantages- Indirect Selection Room Procedure
- Some families prefer the support of the funeral director.
- The funeral director is not present to answer any questions which may arise.
- Written information could be ignored or misinterpreted.
Disadvantages- Indirect Selection Room Procedure
- Burial Vaults
- Register books, religious or fraternal symbols, memorial cards
Merchandise Other than Caskets
Some funeral homes use full-size vaults while others use a scale model display or photographs.
- Should be as informative as casket information
Should be prominently and attractively displayed either in the selection room or a separate cremation room.
Displayed on a stand or in a case, not standing next to caskets.
- Shoes and undergarments usually not displayed
- Place in casket for the family to see for matching
Some funeral directors prefer to display these in the arrangement office rather than the selection room.
Register Books, Religious or Fraternal Symbols, Memorial Cards
- Catalogue or computer
- 25% of funeral homes nationally do not have a display room.
- Ability to show more caskets
- Inventory costs decrease
- Families appreciate not going into a room full of caskets.
- Families appreciate being able to make arrangements in their home
- People select better caskets
- The casket room can be put to better use as another chapel or reception room.
Options to a Casket Display Room
The percentage derived by dividing the wholesale amount of the merchandise by the retail price of the merchandise.
- Measures the value received for each dollar spent by the consumer.
- Ensures value progession- if buyers spend more, they should get more.
Consumer Value Intex (CVI)
Retail price minus the wholesale cost.
- Measures profit of each casket to the funeral director/firm.
Gross Casket Profit (Margin)
The relationship between the wholesale cost of the merchandise and the total cost of both service and merchandise to the consumer.
Merchandise Value Ratio
A price determination method whereby the mark-up is multiplied by a constant factor. The same mark up is applied to all caskets.
- Easy to use and provides quality
- No improvement in CVI and no incentive to buy up.
Fixed Multiple (Times Factor)
A pricing method where the mark up varies. Higher priced caskets are given a higher mark up.
- Makes available lower cost
- CVI decreases with higher priced funerals at low end merchandise.
- Applies negative pressure to the assortment
- Low margin at lower end
- Best value at lower end assortment
- Lose-lose situation
Graduated Recovery Method
A pricing method where there is an inverse relationship between the markup and the price of the casket. Higher priced caskets given a lower markup.
- CVI improves with higher priced caskets
- Encourages consumer to buy better merchandise
- Win-win situation
- Low end markup may be too aggressive in some markets.
Declining Price Structure
Similar to declining method except the lowest priced casket is less expensive.
- CVI improves with higher priced caskets
- Encourages consumers to buy better merchandise
- Provides for families who require lower-priced caskets.
- Low margin on low-end caskets
- Attractive option for families who can, but don’t want to spend.
Modified Declining Price
The sum of a group of numbers divided by the number of units.
A value in an ordered set of values which represents the midpoint, whereby there are an equal number of values above and below the midpoint value.
The number that appears most frequently in a listing of numbers.
A division of the total into four intervals, each one representing one-forth of the total.
The caskets sold in the 2nd and 3rd quartile.
An out-of-date term used to describe having the correct number of caskets in a quartile. The number of caskets displayed in each quartile is determined by the individual funeral home’s pricing system.
The number of times sales in a given price bracket occur over a fixed period of time.
A chart on which all sales are listed showing the number of sales in any sales bracket.
Sales Frequency Chart
A method of pricing by which each unit of service and merchandise is priced seprately.
- FTC requires funeral homes to use this
A method of price quotation which creates one total price package for both services and merchandise.
A method of price quotation showing seprately the price of the services and the price of the casket.
A method of price quotation by which the charges are broken down into several component parts, such as professional service, facilities, automobile, and merchandise.
A method of pricing where certain items of service and merchandise are grouped together and sold at a specific price.
- Should be fair
- Allow for profit
- Adjust casket cost to keep up with inflation
- Profit and consistency go hand in hand
- Competition’s price policies
- Legislation- fair trade laws
- Production costs
- Distribution costs
- Economic fluctuations
- Type of merchandise
- Marketing strategy
- Purchasing practices
- Selling costs
Factors Which Influence Pricing
Difference between merchandise cost and selling price.
Reduction of selling price.