2020 – The Great Greeting Card Revival

When I started my funny greeting card company, Swizzoo, back in 2018, lots of people said it was a bad idea.

“No one sends cards anymore because it so much easier to text / message / email /post on Facebook /Twitter/Snapchat/TikTok etc. etc. etc.”

But I loved sending cards and I loved receiving them, and I didn’t want this tradition to die, so I setup Swizzoo anyway.

It turned out that my timing couldn’t have been better. After years of slow,gradual decline, the greeting card industry around the world has started to grow again.

People are buying more cards today than they have for along time, and the upward trend started long before Covid invaded our planet and forced us to stay at home for Christmas and Birthdays.

2019 – The Revival Part 1

In 2019the US market alone grew by 3%. That doesn’t sound much, but given the market size is 6.5 billion cards, it actually equates to 195,000,000 additional cards. Valentine Day wasa particular highlight with card sales increasing by 10% to a value of just under $1 billion.

What is even more gratifying is learningwho is buying the cards.

The same people who told me that Facebook and text would destroy the greeting card industry, would also say the card-giving generation …. those who are 50 plus and who still read physical newspapers …are dying out and taking traditional industries like greeting cards, newspapers, books and magazines with them.

Well all you naysayers I have some news for you!

The greeting card revival is driven, not by the older generation, but by the young, and millennials in particular.

And what is more, the reason the young most frequently give as to why they send physical cards is … are you ready for this … sending messages via social media is too impersonal.

A physical greeting card says to the recipient, I thought of you before your Birthday, took the time to choose a card just for you, wrote a personal message in the card, bought a stamp and walked to the Post Office to send it. This is so much more meaningful than getting an auto-reminder on Facebook and posting “Happy Birthday John” on their wall!

In other words, a physical card provides a way to break through the digital clutter and it says I really do care.

2020 – Part 2 – The Great Greeting Card Boom

During 2020 my sales have grown by 250%.

A large part of this growth will be down to the fact that many high street card shops have had to close at key times of the year, like in the lead up to Christmas. This has forced more people to buy cards online. Much of this trade will have moved directly to the online stores of the offline shops such as Hallmark, Paperchase and Card Factory. However small designers, like myself, who sell on Etsy, Amazon and Ebay, have also benefitted.

It is going to be very interesting when the industry publishes their 2020 figures to see if the industry as a whole has grown, and if it has, by how much.

My bet is that it has grown a lot.

Covid and lockdown have forced people to revaluate what is really important in their lives and for many people, at the top of their list, is friends and family.

Before Covid, we all took it for granted that we could see family and friends whenever we wanted, so seeing them was not a high priority. After all, they were on social media so we all felt we were in touch anyway. However, when you are suddenly told you cannot see family and friends, it is amazing how deep and profound the feeling of loss is. I have felt it, my family and friends have felt and I know from comments from my customers, they have felt it too.

This year it has become really important to tell people how much you miss and love them, and greeting cards have become one of the most important ways of conveying this message. This year a greeting card has become so much more than a folded bit of paper it has become the physical manifestation of the bond of friendship.A text or Facebook post is a miserable and inadequate substitute.

It’s Funny How Important Humour Is!

All the card designers and sellers I have spoken to this year have also said they have noticed a big increase in the sale of funny greeting cards. The British have always been known for turning to humour in the darkest times, and the pandemic has been no exception. Cards that make fun of the virus and lockdown have been particularly popular.

Google also reflects this trend with a huge increase in people searching for phrases like ‘funny birthday cards for friends’ and ‘funny Christmas greetings’ card.

Beyond 2020

So what will happen to card giving beyond 2020? Well nobody knows for sure but I predict 2021 will slip back from the exceptional increase in 2020, but be higher than 2019. After 2021 I think the industry will stabilise and any increase will be small, but the decline will have been stopped for the foreseeable future. I believe the more reliant we become on social media and digital messaging for our daily communication, the greater the impact will be of receiving a handwritten greeting card through the post. Only time will tell.

Long live greeting cards and the smile and joy they deliver!

Original Source: https://bit.ly/3ivOI4u

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