The print industry has been dragging itself of late, courtesy the several issue that have plagued it . Ironically, the push needed accelerate is rolled up hidden in those challenges. The industry is undergoing something akin to terraforming. The user base has changed, the traditional consumer is out shifting on to digital platforms and this has led to a precipitous fall in demand for the traditional print industry.
The Shifting Trend
Greeting card printing industry is a prime example of a victim of this shift. As per the research paper card industry is slowly drying up on account of rejecting the innovations in the print. Two of the biggest greeting card brands in America, Hallmark and American Greetings have had their revenues shrink from a market which once stood at $7 billion. With their revenue shrinking to $2 billion, and falling American Greeting underwent major restructuring but to no avail. Hallmark on the other hand had their revenue shrink to $3.8 billion in 2014 from $4 billion in 2012. Over all, the American greeting card market is predicted to downsize to 4.3 billion from 7 billion.
But not all is bad news in the market. The arrival of ecommerce marketplaces have already offered the greeting card industry an avenue to broaden their reach, multitudes more than traditional brick and mortar stores. A good example of this is the American greeting cards making start up, Love pop has successfully secured 450 investors and has been able to raise $23,000 in funding. They specialize in custom handmade greeting cards which they market through their online store lovepopcards.com. Ever since their revenue growth has never fallen below 10x.
Clearly, paper cards are still special. The appreciation for the effort made to make someone feel special is still strong in people, mainly because digital greetings are still just some pictures you can’t feel a connection to.
The Way to Go
So, what’s the middle ground?
The answer is Web to print solutions. They offer the convenience of designing your own personalized products sitting at your home and also take care of the logistical issues. These are basically online portals that allow you to upload any image of your choice, any personal message you want written on your card and gets it printed. . One significant strategic edge this has is that costs are lower than a Hallmark card or having to print 250, 500 or 1000 cards and mailing them yourself.
A Tool of Convenience
Greeting card design software debut in the market marked a significant change. Now you can create a custom greeting card with just a couple touches on your smart-phone or clicks on your desktop. You have choice of a huge no. of preset templates with suitable fonts and relevant greeting messages. These online design tools are based on AngularJS and HTML5 which impart them flexibility and versatility and allow you to design cards of multiple designs.
UK Shows Signs of Promise
It is a paradigm shift and this is backed up by market stats. In the UK greeting card market according to GCA Market Report 2017 £1.526bn was the value single card sales from retail in 2016. The growth reported was of £28.7 million from 2015. Biggest contributors to this sales growth have been cards for ages, occasions and relations that accounted for £680.6m. A total of 1 billion Christmas cards were sold in UK of which single cards contributed by about 100 million. The remaining 900 million were sold as boxes and packs. Altogether they were worth £230 million. A significant portion of this was contributed to by Moonpig.
Dominated by the Ladies
The primary consumers of the greeting card industry have been females. According to a data At least 80% of card sales are credited to women shoppers. In short of every 5 cards sold, 4 of them are sold to women. Women purchase even male themed cards, thus greeting card industry is defined by women consumer preferences.
The demand for personalized products has surged ever since web to print solutions entered market. This has created a market for print companies to take advantage of. The traditional print industry operating method is too rigid to survive in an atmosphere that asks for convenience and customization first. This is what works to the benefit of online design tools and is the reason for their success. The consumer has changed and so has the industry.
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