Americans purchase approximately 6.5 billion greeting cards each year. Annual retail sales of greeting cards are estimated between $7 and $8 billion.
The most popular Everyday card-sending occasion by far is Birthday, followed by a number of secondary occasions that include Sympathy, Thank You, Wedding, Thinking of You, Get Well, New Baby and Congratulations.
The most popular Seasonal cards are Christmas cards, with some 1.6 billion units purchased (including boxed cards). This is followed by cards for Valentine’s Day (145 million units, not including classroom valentines), Mother’s Day (133 million units), Father’s Day (90 million units), Graduation (67 million units), Easter (57 million units), Halloween (21 million units), Thanksgiving (15 million units) and St. Patrick’s Day (7 million units).
Women purchase an estimated 80% of all greeting cards. Women spend more time choosing a card than men, and are more likely to buy several cards at once.
Greeting card prices can vary from 50 cents to $10 – with a price point for every consumer. The vast majority are between $2 and $4. (Total price per year include boxed cards.) The cost of a typical counter card, however, is between $2 and $4. Cards featuring special techniques, intricate designs and new technologies and innovations – such as the inclusion of sound chips and LED lights – as well as handmade cards, are at the top of the price scale.
Seven out of 10 card buyers surveyed consider greeting cards “absolutely” or “almost” essential to them. Eight out of 10 of these buyers expect their purchases to remain the same going forward. Of the balance, twice as many card buyers say they will “increase” their purchasing as say they will “decrease” their purchasing in the coming year.
Younger card buyers and those who are more technology savvy are currently the ones most engaged in buying paper greeting cards online.
Most people now acknowledge many more birthdays than ever before because of Facebook, but they aren’t necessarily sending fewer cards as a result.
The tradition of giving greeting cards as a meaningful expression of personal affection for another person is still being deeply ingrained in today’s youth, and this tradition will likely continue as they become adults and become responsible for managing their own important relationships.