The report covers the UK market for greeting cards. The greeting card market is defined as including cards for Christmas, birthdays, spring season occasions (ie Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and Easter), other everyday occasions (anniversaries, good luck, get well and blank cards etc). Market sizes include money spent on ordering personalised greeting cards online. Although the report also looks at alternative greetings generated by computers or mobile phones, spend on these is not included in market size estimates. Corporate cards are excluded from market sizes.
- There are warning signs that some consumers are beginning to object to paying too much for a greetings card. Although a third of consumers believe that the style of the card is more important than price, four in ten feel that cards are too expensive. One in five consumers have cut back their card spending compared with a year or two ago.
- One fifth (21%) of consumers try to buy charity cards whenever they can and a quarter are willing to spend more if it’s for charity. Purchase of charity cards, however, remains largely confined to Christmas and Easter. Charitable cards for other occasions like birthdays, Valentine’s Day and Father’s and Mother’s Day remain an untapped market.
- Engagements and weddings are occasions where consumers are slightly more inclined to spend more on something special because they want to be seen to be generous at this time of celebration. Also, their card is likely to be kept as a keepsake and so purchasers will be careful to choose something that they feel reflects the status of the occasion and their sentiments.
- Rising demand for hand-crafted cards offers potential for card-making kits to be sold by conventional card shops, and not just in stationery departments or hobby shops. As well as inspiring consumers to make their own cards, craft cards would make suitable gifts for artistic children or adults.
- The research from this report suggests that consumers rate ‘real’ cards and e-cards on different scales. For example, only 12% of consumers send e-cards or texts as well as greeting cards, just 8% use automatic reminders and only 5% use paid for e-card companies like Moonpig.
- The market for greeting cards is substantial and worth approaching £24 per capita in 2010 (£1.48bn). Consumer spending on greeting cards has been flat for several years, but within the whole there is polarisation, with growing demand for special cards as well as lower-priced options.
- Most innovation in cards is via new designs, colours and styles. But there are other innovations which are reshaping the market, particularly initiated by Moonpig, the online service that allows customers to order and personalise a card and have it posted directly to the recipient. Several imitators have stepped into this market which looks set to keep on gaining share of the overall market.