As with the music and book publishing industries, the greeting card industry has undergone a drastic makeover during the digital age. Not only can we give our loved ones traditional paper birthday cards that include music, photos, and handwritten messages, we also have the option to send our cards electronically from anywhere in the world. So what does the future of the greeting card industry hold? Let’s take a look.
Emphasis on Personalisation
Gone are the days of the generic greeting card; customisation is now a key feature in the search for the perfect card. By now, most major card companies offer personalised birthday cards, holiday cards, and a slew of other card greetings. You can browse available templates from your home computer or Smartphone, and once you’ve found the perfect card, customise it by adding your own photos, video, text, and e-signature. If you prefer not to customise but want to send an e-card with some extra pop, you’ll find countless animated and musical e-cards on the web. As we become increasingly adept with technology, expect greeting cards to become even more customisable and interactive.
The Rise of the App
There’s an app for just about everything these days, and greeting cards are no exception. In fact, apps have completely revolutionised the way the average user browses, customises, sends, and receives greeting cards. It’s become a standard for greeting card apps to integrate with your Facebook account to remind you of upcoming birthdays and important events as well as allow you to schedule delivery date for your e-cards. Even if you still prefer to send traditional paper cards over e-cards, technology can be of assistance. Take, for instance, the unique Postcard on the Run app, which will find your recipient’s address for you using its Postal Gopher service. The app also allows you to add a GPS location to your postcard so your recipient knows where it was sent. Keep watching the app market; it’s where the major innovations are happening.
Preference for Paper Cards
Demand for e-cards is definitely on the rise, but don’t count traditional paper cards out yet. While card buyers may prefer to browse, customise, and send their greeting cards from their electronic devices, most card recipients still prefer to possess a hard copy. This preference has led to the formation of an integrated industry where cards are created digitally and then sent via post. Still in its infancy stages, many companies only offer this option for postcard greetings. Bus last year, Apple became the frontrunner of this new industry with the introduction of its Cards app. The finished product is a 100% cotton paper card with a debossed design and a heavy envelope that is sent straight to your recipient’s mailbox. Expect major greeting card companies to follow suit—and, of course, to improve upon the user experience.