Ecomm with impact: introducing Legacy’s sympathy platform

Sep 14, 2021


This morning, your readers – your neighbors, your UPS driver, your kid’s teacher – woke up, scrolled through their daily obituaries, and found the name of someone they knew.

Their first thought? “How can I help?”

The need to do something concrete after receiving sad or tragic news is as automatic as breathing. It’s a feeling your obituary readers experience every single day. But there’s a gap between good intentions and fulfilling them. Legacy has designed our ecommerce platform to serve as the bridge that helps your readers make the kind of meaningful gesture that lingers. And every Legacy partner reaps the long-term benefits of those positive interactions.


We’ve spent 20+ years learning the unique needs of memorial consumers. They want to do something, they want to do it now, and the results will either tangibly communicate their deepest feelings to or about someone who matters to them… or send an entirely different message if anything goes awry.

“No one who calls us is buying a coffee or a car. They’re vulnerable people doing something important to them,” says Vice President of Marketing Operations Emily Stivison.

To meet these high stakes, Legacy has designed an ecommerce platform focused solely on sympathy gifts and service. From easy-to-find funeral information to sympathy orders they can place right from the obituary page, we spare no detail to make it easier for your readers to honor their loved ones.

For those who need more support, Legacy’s department of live sympathy sales agents are answering the call, seven days a week. The team tailors Legacy’s awarding-winning customer support program to the needs of the sympathy purchaser, making the kinds of fast-response order updates – and the solace of a personal, caring touch – that other floral storefronts struggle to match.

The result is a system designed to help your readers easily find the information and help they need to make a commemorative purchase.

And they do. A lot. 

Legacy’s platform incorporates national networks like FTD, but it performs up to 2X better than such networks on their own. And Legacy’s live support agents convert phone calls into floral orders 15-20% more often. When a major corporate partner switched to Legacy’s ecommerce platform, their sympathy ecommerce grew 97% over two years.


One of the perks of a dedicated sympathy storefront: choices, and a lot of them. “These gifts are expressing important things: I remember you. I miss you. I’m here when you need me,” says Pete Matarangas, Legacy’s Vice President of Ecommerce. “We want your readers to have as many unique ways to say that as possible.”

All visitors to the sympathy store can make multiple locally-focused memorial gift choices. They can send flowers from a local florist, plant a memorial tree in a regional natural space or make a donation to almost any local charity. No other vendor offers this breadth of options.

You don’t need a calculator to see the potential. More choices=more purchases=more reader interactions and long-term revenue opportunities for you.


Your readers care about who they spend with and how they feel when they do it. That’s a relationship. And relationships need connection to thrive.

Welcome to our wheelhouse. As the global leaders in online memorialization, we’ve become experts at creating new touchpoints between you and today’s readers. The result: an obituary ecosystem designed to expand your relationship with your readers, long after the memorial services are over.

Opt-in alerts remind your readers to attend a service, send a gift, remember their loved one on the anniversary of their passing, or discover more about who died today… and direct them to your site to do it. Two days or two years from now, all paths lead back to your newspaper. It’s the stuff that hubs are made of.

And, very soon, you’ll be able to tailor the experience to support your local businesses and the unique needs of your readers. Our next upgrade – scheduled for release this fall – allows you to prioritize a local florist, promote a local charity or gift vendor, or even bundle in custom subscription offers.

And remember, each of these interactions leaves your reader with the deep relief of doing something that’s important to them, with someone they trust to do it right. It’s a kind of connection no other category offers, and no other vendor can help you achieve.

 “Yes, Legacy’s sympathy ecommerce solution helps generate revenue for newspapers,” says Stopher Bartol, Legacy’s CEO. “But its ultimate value comes from generating more and deeper connections to the readers and organizations every newspaper strives to serve.”