The greeting card industry--a subset of the stationery market--has been long entrenched in American culture. In the electronic age, however, the greeting card industry faces unprecedented challenges.
Paper cards, sent via snail mail, face intense competition from high technology alternatives, where electronic greeting cards can be sent quickly, via e-mail. People also enjoy a sense of immediacy from text messaging, and wishing one a happy birthday on social networking sites, like Facebook and Twitter.
Whereas older people still buy greeting cards, many younger people, who have been raised with the Internet, are opting for faster, high technology means of communication. This trend can only intensify as more technologically savvy young people come of age, and it could mean trouble for the greeting card industry.
The major players in the greeting card industry are open to change. They're offering lower-priced cards, and making them available in supermarkets. They're also developing new designs, which they hope will appeal to younger people as well as to targeted markets, like different ethnic groups and religions.