FuneralTech B2B2C Platform with social media features
Funeralocity is the first dynamic online platform with a marketplace that simplifies the process of selecting a funeral home and other supplementary services, bringing a digital experience to offline procedures.
The platform was developed to address consumer demand for increased transparency in the funeral industry. The platform includes a comparison website that allows families to compare the prices and services of all funeral homes and cremation providers throughout the US. Gives an opportunity to ease the process of funeral planning with specialised user profiles with dashboards. Providing public access to the lists and prices of funeral homes, Funeralocity is the only free comparison website in the funeral industry.
20,000 funeral homes and cremation providers in the US are 85 per cent mom and pop opened and are very much rooted in their local communities but not wider areas or networks. It’s a scattered marketplace. Fragmentation and aloofness of the industry created hindrances on the roadmap of the specialized unifying system for the entire country.
The client reached out to us to improve the functionality and to continue the development of the product. It is an ongoing project with the existing users of the system.
Pecularities of implementation
Creation of the compelling design
Due to the redesign being the first request of the client, the main task of the Design team was to analyse the drawbacks of the existing interface. The leading designer has implemented deep research and analysed the preferences of the target users and as a result of this work specialized wireframes and prototypes appeared. The next stage included A/B testing which gave an opportunity to determine the most appropriate design. One of the stumbling points was the mobile version of the website. A deliberate bulk of work was done to make the proper mobile resolution and make UI and UX friendly for mobile users. The designer also had to create a design that would attract both businesses and users. While implementing the design and during the following work on the project, the team has also added the following functionality: 1. Knowledge Center creation; 2. Media Center creation; 3. Mobile version; 4. Memorials Module. Which all found their representation in tested wireframes. Though such solutions were proactive, they found recognition from the target audience and were added to the final product.
Memorials Module development
After the entire service redesign and A\B testing of new functional modules, they were developed and introduced as separate subservices. The first and most major was Memorials. It is a social service for the creation of a page of a dead relative or acquaintance to inform relatives and guests about the date, time and address of the event. The information about the event was available for the registered users only. The service also allows one to choose, buy and deliver flowers for the guests who cannot attend the event. The main competitor of the Memorials is Facebook. So it had to be outstanding, ideally serve the needs of the website visitors, provide the necessary level of protection of private data and stay a calm place for people in grief. The development process included the participation of several back-end and front-end developers to build the social media appropriate for this particular purpose. Due to the sensitiveness of the funeral topic, the final version of the Memoralis was thoroughly tested by target groups.
Transition from the monolithic architecture to microservices
After the long-term development of the project and enhancement of the number of modules, the team decided to transition from the monolithic architecture to microservices. Due to the project specifics, there was constant work with big amounts of data and statistics, thus, monolithic architecture was no longer appropriate for the project. The process of transition was partial since the project did not require the full transition. Moreover, as far as the project was already live, it could not be shut down for the architectural changes. They were implemented in cycles with constant performing of unit tests, control over the stability of the system and with a view on future scalability and growth in visitor load.
The client received a full redesign of the website based on the research and analysis implemented by a team. New design made the business more competitive in the market. Which in result required changes in the monetisation model - from percentage to subscription. That led to the growth of the company's income in the first month and allowed new opportunities in the distribution model within the US market. New design together with the development of Memorial module and other new features gave the client an opportunity to enter totally new market of social media and gain more clients from its functional scope. As far as the design of the social media was planned specifically for the target audience, for example, elderly people, the retention of the website stays at a high level and gets positive feedback.