The greeting card business is deeply oriented around brick-and-mortar stores. While other industries, like fashion, have rushed to embrace eCommerce, greeting card brands have adjusted to the digital age slowly.
Failing to keep up with eCommerce trends has impacted sales for the entire industry. Between 2015 and 2020, overall greeting card sales fell 13%.
Brands Are Starting to Offer Digital Greeting Cards
Most of the time you find consumers buying greeting cards from a store like Target, or going to a greeting-card-specific chain like Paper Source.
But a new class of direct-to-consumer online greeting card companies is popping up and creating an eCommerce revolution for the industry. The more traditional greeting card companies, such as Hallmark, are revamping their offerings to be more online-friendly.
Brands that want to stand out in the greeting card space can focus on these strategies to get started:
One of the biggest trends in the eCommerce space right now is pick-up. Especially at major stores like Target and Walmart, customers have flocked to placing orders online, then arriving to fetch their order in person in hopes of avoiding shipping costs.
In 2021, 20% of all online orders were picked up at a store, up from 16% in 2020. While a buy online, pick up in-store option is not on its own a silver bullet for the greeting card business, companies are embracing it as an option for customers.
In 2020, Hallmark added same-day pickup—including curbside pickup—to hundreds of its stores. Smaller retailers can also add in-store pickup by using free plugins on Shopify or by using Amazon’s new Local Selling tool.
Stationery brands are building traction on social media, especially TikTok. The Sommer Letter Co has amassed 65k+ followers by posting videos of greeting card designs and using humor to connect with their audience.
The stationery company Critter Co., has 151k TikTok followers to its name. Minted, the online marketplace for custom greeting card designs, card templates, and fonts has built a following of half a million people on Instagram.
Greeting card brands can introduce handwritten messages. Consumers can add a personal touch to digital cards with handwritten notes that are printable on any card they order online.
Some brands are already succeeding in this. Hallmark introduced a digital Sign & Send system, in June 2021, where users write a personal message on any piece of paper, and Hallmark prints that message on their card. Another company called Signed Cards offers the same service.
A problem greeting card businesses face with online shopping is that greeting cards are a low-cost item —and in some cases, shipping costs can nearly double the price of an order.
As a result, people turn to alternatives like GroupGreeting—a service that offers free group eCards. You can add photos and stickers to your Christmas cards and birthday cards. All you need to do is choose a group card, have people sign it, then it's sent via email.
Punchbowl.com also offers free eCards. They have e-greetings for special occasions like Valentine's Day, Father's Day, and Mother's Day, even simple "Good Luck" and "Congrats" cards. You can have it delivered via text message or email, and include a gift card.
To keep up, some companies are embracing premium greeting cards. Lovepop, for instance, sells elaborate, 3D greeting cards directly to consumers, for around $15 per card.
One of the best ways to ensure a top-tier online shopping experience is to have a customer service teams that can engage with your shoppers where they are.
Chatdesk Teams can help you convert sales on Shopify stores or on social platforms such as TikTok or Instagram. To see how Chatdesk helps your customers celebrate special days with their loved ones, schedule a demo.