Shutterfly survey reports young consumers prefer physical holiday cards

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Shutterfly released the results of a survey of 2,000 adults conducted by OnePoll regarding trends in holiday cards and gifting across both product categories, spanning generations. The survey found a resurgence in the popularity of tangible holiday expressions and that traditional physical cards and personalized gifts reign supreme in conveying the sentiment of the season, the company said.

According to the report, two-thirds of U.S. adults express a preference for receiving physical holiday cards over their digital counterparts. Young generations significantly contribute to this trend, with 62% of millennials and 59% of Gen Z favoring physical cards.

The findings also highlight a universal tilt towards unique, personalized messages, with 55% choosing customized greetings over generic or AI-generated options. Personal photos stand out as the primary embellishment (30%), turning holiday greetings into curated galleries of cherished memories. Millennials put significant thought into personalizing their holiday gifts and cards, spending an average of 27 minutes picking out the perfect holiday card and 42 minutes on average choosing a gift.

“The holidays can be a stressful time, and we know people still want to gift something that feels unique and personal,” says Jessica Lesesky, Vice President of Merchandising at Shutterfly. “That’s why Shutterfly is so focused on giving customers options to easily create meaningful products so they can gift people they care about something truly one-of-a-kind.”

This random double-opt-in survey of 2,000 U.S. adults who celebrate a fall/winter holiday split evenly by generation was commissioned by Shutterfly between Sept. 27 and Oct. 3, 2023. It was conducted by market research company OnePoll, whose team members are members of the Market Research Society and have corporate membership to the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) and the European Society for Opinion and Marketing Research (ESOMAR).