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Tradition of Sending Christmas Cards Still Going Strong

Printing Impressions Magazine

Think Christmas cards are a dead tradition? Think again, said Pam Danziger, president of Unity Marketing and lead researcher in a new study of the greeting card market. In the latest survey among greeting card customers, two-thirds reported sending holiday greetings last year, which is statistically even with results found in a similar survey done in 2008. Further, over 80 percent of those surveyed in 2013 expect to send the same number of Christmas cards this year, with only six percent saying they will send fewer cards.

“Though the overall share of consumers who send holiday greetings has been on a steady course since 2008, the types of cards people will send and receive are likely to be quite different this year,” Danziger noted. “What’s really changed in the holiday greeting card market is growing demand for customized holiday cards where the sender uses their own photo and software tools provided by companies such as Shutterfly to create a totally personalized greeting card. Young people in particular gravitate toward the customized holiday card market, while the more mature consumers tend to stick with the traditional boxed cards.”

This new study from Unity Marketing gives an in-depth look at the tradition of holiday greetings. In addition, the report includes a section focused on the trend in customized greeting cards. Custom-printed cards are benefiting from emerging internet vendors that offer online design and custom printing services, as well as the growth in digital photography., and are the top marketers in this category, based upon the survey results. And because this represents an opportunity for rapid growth, there are also many emerging competitors.

Danziger therefore advises new companies to study the competition carefully and find a unique and strategic competitive advantage in order to compete more effectively with established competitors. In addition, retailers that have traditionally offered film processing services are also getting into the custom-printing business. So drug stores, mass merchants and grocery stores are all vying for their share of the custom-printing greeting card business.

“Through the research, we found that the sales of individual, preprinted greeting cards dropped sharply, while those of custom greetings rose by an even greater share,” Danziger concludes. “Many consumers still believe in the value of a greeting card, but they want those greetings to be directly from their heart, not featuring generic art work and second-rate poetry. They want a very special and personalized card not available on the racks at the Wal-Mart.”

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