Keeping up with online pricing
New SAIF member requirements mark an important move to greater transparency
Following October’s announcement that SAIF is to make online pricing a requirement of membership, efforts are now under way to support independent funeral directors to implement and benefit from the revised Code of Practice framework.
SAIF has amended clauses 4 and 5 of its Code of Practice to require members to display digitally prices for simple funerals and unattended burials and cremations.
Members who have websites are expected to display prices on these platforms, however, those without a site have the option to use third-party digital tools such as Facebook, localfuneral.co.uk, funeralguide.co.uk, or any open-source, publicly accessible website.
In terms of compliance with SAIF’s revised Code of Practice, members have until 31 March and are urged to start taking steps towards online publication of prices by at least 1 January.
SAIF is keen to take a supportive approach throughout this process and will announce further resources and expertise, particularly to help those who may face any technical challenges. However, members who refuse to comply may have their membership suspended until compliance is achieved.
Part of our work to assist SAIF members includes a recent webinar on how to present prices online from the marketing perspective.
Delivered by SAIF’s public relations and policy advisor, Mark Binnersley, the webinar was broadcast on 5 November and it discussed seven steps towards a successful online pricing strategy. The strategy forms a key part of a new online pricing toolkit, available on the SAIF website in the members’ area within ‘members resources’.
Alongside this activity, SAIF is awaiting the Competition and Markets Authority’s Final Decision Report (due in December), which may include recommendations about a statutory approach to online pricing.
It is hoped, however, that by taking the initiative, SAIF will have helped to influence the process and prevented the implementation of an online pricing regime which benefits large chains. One way or another, online pricing for funeral directors is becoming a part and parcel of running a funeral business.
SAIF understands there are risks associated with going online, such as the potential for consumers to focus on price over quality and personal care. But with the right tools and approach, this needn’t be the case and SAIF members who differentiate their services and brand from other businesses will be able to compete on several fronts.
If you have any questions about implementing online pricing for your business, contact the SAIF Business Centre via email. SAIF is here to assist.
Full details of the revisions to the Code can be found here.Tags: code of practice, digital, funeralguide, LocalFuneral, online, price, pricing, regulation, SAIF, transparency