Sometimes, Valentine’s Day can drive us insane: Should we get macadamia nut or assorted dark chocolates? Tulips or roses? Should I propose? Now with e-cards growing more popular, significant others around the nation are scratching their heads over whether they should go digital or traditional!
According to USA Today, a great number of us prefer a greeting card, not an e-card, because it’s perceived as more endearing and personal. “Even my 18-year-old daughter said if she only got a text rather than a card from her boyfriend, she’d be unhappy,” said Kathy Krasser, Greeting Card Association’s director of communication.
Unlike e-cards, greeting cards are tangible reminders of our lovers. They can sit on our dressers, office desk, and window sills; at one glance, greeting cards give us a rush of nostalgia and giddy, tickled emotions. But of course, there are some glaring cons to sending cards the traditional way — and this may be why this sector of the Valentine’s Day industry has the least growth for 2014.
IBISWorld, a research firm, expects a growth of just .09 percent for greeting cards compared to “2.1% for clothing and lingerie, 2.5% for candy, 3.9% for flowers, 4.1% for dining out, 4.2% for jewelry and 5.1% for a romantic getaway,” USA Today adds.
Not everyone enjoys winding their way through crowded aisles to find the best written greeting. Traditional cards, of course, are pricier than e-cards — they’ll set you back between $1.99 to $5.99. And since the cost of stamps has skyrocketed, better halves aren’t too thrilled about purchasing greeting cards — 60 percent of cards are sent via the US Postal Service.
Consumers are “less likely to purchase greetings cards and more likely to purchase e-cards, which are more affordable,” said Brandon Ruiz, an IBISWorld industry analyst.
Sure e-cards can be a bit impersonal, but they allow senders more creative freedom. There’s animation, personalized touches, music, humor with just a click of a mouse. E-cards are also a lot cheaper; they can either be free or can be purchased through an annual subscription that costs between $12 and $15.
It’s the younger generation (25 and younger), USA Today adds, that are more likely to opt for digital services — such as Facebook and other social media outlets — to wish their loved one a Happy Valentine’s Day.
Still, Krasner wants to remind us that we’re more wooed by the traditional way of receiving greetings:
“If someone makes the effort to go out and purchase it, and maybe put a stamp on it, that shows a physical expression of how much you care,” she says.