Majority of over 50s would research online before buying a funeral plan

11 June 2021

The results of our 2020 survey reveal that the majority of over 50s would choose to research funeral plans online before buying, but less keen to complete their purchase online.

Five things to know before purchasing a funeral plan

A total of 1,000 UK residents aged 50 and over were asked to choose, from the following options, where they would be more likely to conduct research of pre-paid funeral plans:

  • Online 
  • Inside a funeral home (face-to-face) 
  • No preference 
  • Other

The majority of respondents (58%) said they would be most likely to research funeral plans online. This figure is consistent with findings from Think with Google, that 63% of all shopping journeys begin online2. 19% revealed that they would prefer to do their research face-to-face in a funeral home and just one person favoured the good old-fashioned telephone. The remaining 22% did not have a preference.

According to Statista, 80% of people aged 55 – 65 personally use a smartphone3, so it’s no surprise that the over 50s feel comfortable researching products and services online. When it comes to actually buying a funeral plan however, just 11% of over 50s said they would do so online. There was a fairly even split between those preferring to purchase from a corporate funeral directing chain compared and their local independent funeral director.

Research by the University of Lancaster suggests that a sense of social responsibility is an important factor in many older people’s rejection of digital technology, as they worry that online shopping takes business away from the high street and threatens local jobs4. Perhaps this has even been heightened by the ongoing Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis, with more people vowing to shop locally in a bid to save small businesses.

Marketing Manager, Emma Simpson, said: “The results of this research show that the majority of over 50s are comfortable using the internet, but there is obviously still work to be done to make digital technologies more appealing to older adults.

“We fully understand peoples’ wishes to shop small and support their local economies in these challenging times and our new buy-online facility offers the best of both worlds. It enables funeral plan customers to support their local funeral directors from the comfort of their homes.”

1. OnePoll research of 1,000 UK residents aged 50 and above on behalf of Ecclesiastical Planning Services, December 2020.
2. Think with Google "How search enables people to create a unique path to purchase", December 2020.
3. Statista, “Do you personally use a smartphone? – by age”, as seen at December 2020.
4. Lancaster University "Why some older people are rejecting digital technologies", ScienceDaily, March 2018.