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Times are changing for greeting card industry

Wednesday, 04 April 2012
By Print 21 Online Article

You know that times are changing when one of the country’s leading Christmas card manufacturers starts sending out e-cards by email to showcase its broadening product range.

Card manufacturer, Australian Christmas Cards, this week emailed Easter e-cards to all the customers and suppliers on its mailing list in a bid to trial its new offering, e-cards.

The message on the e-card, which was sent on 4 April, reads:

Due to overwhelming demand, we are planning to add e-cards to our range of corporate Christmas cards and discounted Christmas cards. We are testing this with an Easter e-card today.”

The greeting card printing company’s managing director, Ian Renton, explains that the new e-card offering has been launched in response to rising demand for e-cards from many corporate customers.

“We’ve had many requests for e-cards,” says Renton, “We can’t ignore all of the people that have asked us for [e-cards].”

While it might seem like the new e-card offering could cut into his company’s core business of printed cards, Renton believes that, in reality, as long as the price of reserved mail remains reasonably priced, the market for real cards will not diminish.

“That’s a problem…but I think so long as Australia Post can keep their rate low, we can still do Christmas cards,” says Renton.

The real threat to the traditional greeting card industry, according to Renton is the burgeoning influence of Gen-Y as they grow up and enter decision-making positions in the workforce.

“Once Gen-Y get into management positions and start making decisions, that will be a danger later on,” says Renton. Until then, however, Renton believes that real cards printed on real paper will remain the best option for those who want to share the joy of the festive season. “Real cards are still better than e-cards, and we try to push that,” he says.

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