Greeting Card Market 2013: The Ultimate Guide to the Greeting Card Consumer Market
The market for greeting cards is a tough one in today's digital environment, with consumers having many faster, easier, and in many cases, cheaper ways to send a greeting. In addition, a new, more personalized type of greeting has emerged, thanks to custom-printing internet providers like Shutterfly and Snapfish which take a customer’s photos, combine it with a boilerplate greeting or one’s own and deliver a customized printed greeting or set of greeting cards.
Many cultural trends are afoot that are changing consumers' demand for greeting cards, but one thing is for certain: The business of selling traditional preprinted greeting cards is challenging as consumers use Facebook, Twitter, email, texts - not to mention - the telephone as an alternative to send a greeting or use the internet or third-party intermediaries to produce one’s own custom-printed card.
In a tough market, the competition is getting even tougher as leading retail brand American Greetings acquired Carlton Cards, Recycled Greetings and in 2009 sold off its retail stores to Schurman Fine Paper to operate under American Greetings, Carlton Cards and Papyrus names. And in the latest shift, American Greetings has been acquired by the Weiss Family, which has returned the company to private ownership and delisted the company’s public shares off the NYSE in Augustl 2013.
Research Methodology & Objectives
The new study is based upon an online survey conducted in June 2013 among 500 recent buyers of :
Individual preprinted greeting cards and note cards;
Boxed cards, including boxed note cards and greeting cards, including Christmas cards; and
Customized cards, such as customized greeting cards, invitations, photo cards, etc.
A total of n=727 representative adult consumers (18-70 years) were sampled to identify n=507 qualified greeting card consumers to complete the survey. The overall incidence was 70 percent, which includes recent greeting card purchasers with incomes over $25,000.
The results of this survey are compared with a similar study conducted in November 2009 among 1,436 U.S. consumers who recently bought one or more stationery goods products, as well as similar surveys fielded in October 2007 among 1,205 stationery goods buyers including greeting card purchases; and a 2005 survey among 1,326 stationery buyers. Thus this report provides powerful trend tracking information from 2005 until the present. (Note: The 2005, 2007 and 2009 studies were broader in scope than the current one. The historical surveys included data about a variety of stationery and other paper products, including gift wrap, scrapbooking, paper crafting, and others. Only data in the previous surveys pertaining to greeting cards specifically are included in this current report.)
The objective of this study is to provide greeting card marketers and retailers insights about the consumer market for their products. These consumer insights help marketers connect more effectively with their target market so that they create and sell more greeting cards that consumers really desire. Based upon research among recent greeting cards consumers, this report focuses on market opportunities available to product manufacturers and retailers to help them deliver products and services that satisfy the consumers’ craving for greeting cards to communicate, express oneself and celebrate important life events.
With a focus on consumers, their buying behavior, needs, desires and preferences, this research study includes research data and statistics about:
Greeting Card Market Size and Growth: What is the size of the greeting card market, as well as the three major products included therein, e.g. individual cards, boxed cards and customized cards? How rapidly is the greeting card market growing? How is the greeting card market sold through different channels of distribution? What are the key industry trends?
Demographics of the Greeting Card Consumer Market: What are the demographic characteristics of people who buy greeting cards? How is greeting card goods buying behavior influenced by demographic segments (e.g., gender, age, household income (HHI), size, composition, ethnicity/race, education, etc.)?
Greeting Card Buying Behavior: What are the primary characteristics of the consumers’ buying behavior related to greeting cards and different types of greeting cards? Why they buy these goods and how do consumers’ motivations differ by product category segment? Where people shop for the different types of greeting cards; What factors influence their decision making; How much they spend within each of the greeting card product segments and across the entire greeting card category; what is the role of brand in greeting card selections and shopping choices? How do different demographic segments differ in their shopping and buying behavior?
Psychographic Profile and Segmentation of the Greeting Card Markets: A psychographic profile of the greeting card buyers is developed in this report. Four different types of greeting card consumer personalities are identified. Different drives and motivations found among consumers purchasing greeting cards are identified, including what factors are more or less important in driving greeting card purchasing decisions among the different personalities; and how can greeting card marketers and retailers better understand the hearts and minds of their consumers.
Data collected in the survey about each of the greeting card product categories
Data on three different greeting card product categories was collected, specifically individually-purchased cards; boxed card sets; and customized cards. For each of the greeting card product categories, data was collected about the following:
Type of specific items bought in the past year;
Amount spent in total in the product category, as well as the amount spent purchasing each of the individual products bought;
Type of stores where category purchases were made, including whether each source was a regular, occasional or infrequent/rare shopping destination for these products, as well as the one store where the last category purchase was made;
Store features that attract specific category buyers to a store destination.
Additional information collected about greeting cards and greeting card buyers For greeting cards, additional detail was gathered, including
Number of individual, boxed and customized cards bought and the amount paid for the last purchase of an individual and boxed card;
Details about custom-printed cards, such as amount spent on last single item bought;
Specific holidays and occasions for which greeting cards were bought;
Special greeting card product features that attracted shoppers, such as recycled paper, music enhancements, hand-made paper, etc.;
Favorite themes for greeting cards, such as pets, spiritual, humorous, nostalgia, etc.;
Attitudes about buying and sending greeting cards.
Special investigations: Christmas Card Traditions
In addition to the overall market characteristics studied, this report also includes an in-depth profile of the Christmas greeting card tradition, including tracking trends from 2009.
Tradition of buying and sending Christmas greeting cards was a special emphasis in the survey
In addition the tradition of buying and sending Christmas greetings was another area of special investigation in the quantitative survey, including:
Whether they bought and sent Christmas greetings for Christmas celebrations 2012 and plans to buy for Christmas 2013;
Number of personal and business Christmas greetings sent;
Trends in sending Christmas greetings, for example plan on sending more or fewer greetings for Christmas 2013 as compared with Christmas 2012;
Favorite themes for Christmas cards, such as snowmen, angels, Santa, religious, pets, etc.;
Type of Christmas cards bought, specifically customized cards, pre-printed boxed cards, individual cards.
Special Investigation: Custom Card Purchases
The demand for customized greeting cards grew dramatically from 2009 to 2013, nearly doubling as measured by purchase incidence. Given this dramatic rate of growth, customized greeting cards represents a strong and growing category for marketers that can attract the more general card buyer to their unique and customized offerings. Further, this category has plenty of room to grow and attract more customers for more holidays and occasions. This segment of the greeting card market is examined in detail in this report, including occasions (e.g. holidays like Christmas, weddings, other occasions) that generate purchases of custom cards; number of cards typically ordered; spending overall, plus per card; and where custom cards were ordered, including at retail stores and directly online.