Greetings cards – online or in-store

Greetings cards – online or in-store

Happy Birthday…Get well soon…Good luck in your new job.  Greetings cards have been a regular feature in sharing our thoughts and feeling since the 1850’s.

For 150 years the process of buying a card and sending it hasn’t much changed. You would pop into a shop, buy your card, think of some kind words, post it and job done.

But with the advent of the internet you can now buy your cards online rather than in-store.

Since 2000, pundits have been prophesising that the Internet would kill off most industries, including the greeting cards. This mantra seemed to carry more weight, when Clinton Cards was put into Administration in 2012.  But what is interesting, is that sales of single cards in shops, garage and supermarkets is still growing.  The growth may not be huge, but it is still there.

In 2011, sales rose by 3% compared with 2009.  Take Christmas Cards.  A Royal Mail survey, highlighted that 80% of people would prefer to receive a traditional card rather than a digital version.  That’s a no-brainer.  There is almost no sentiment in an e-card, to me I can’t help wonder that it sounds lazy.

But, that is only part of the equation.  Whilst the internet has not destroyed the industry, it may be disrupting buying habits.  Back in 2000 Moonpig was launched and it has been offering personalised greetings cards International cards.  Rather than paying for air postage, why not send your card through Moonpig’s Australian branch – clever.

Oh…the price of stamps these days

The price of stamps have steadily risen over the years, since 2000, the price of a first class stamp has more than doubled.  That I’m afraid will be a constant.  Adding 60p for a first class stamp, or 50p for a second class stamp to the cost of sending a card can be expensive, especially around Christmas time.

There is no doubt that the market is presenting challenges.  Pressures from online, the cost of stamps and digital all bear down on independent retailers.  But it doesn’t have to be all bad news.  Clintion Cards may have gone…sales growth continues and that means there is more to share around.