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Subjects: Photo/Multimedia, Survey

Traditional Touch in a Digital Age: The Resurgence of Physical Cards and Personalized Gifts Among Younger Generations

Today, a new survey of 2,000 adults conducted by OnePoll alongside Shutterfly unveiled surprising new trends in holiday cards and gifting across both product categories, spanning generations. Despite trend-chasing and increasingly digitized lifestyles of Millennials and Gen Z, 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.

Survey Reveals Resurgence of Physical Cards Among Younger Generations

In a world of endless digital photos and online interactions, 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. To cut down on time, Shutterfly's free and user-friendly customization tools, like the 24-Hour Designer Service and address book services, allow customers to express their thoughtfulness with ease, making it more convenient to personalize gifts and cards.

"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."

Personalized Gifts Reflect Strong Relationship Bond

While the holiday season can be stressful, the spirit of giving remains vibrantly alive, with over half of Gen Z and millennials finding equal amounts of joy in the act of gift-giving as gift-receiving. The art of personalization is particularly important during the holiday season, as revealed by 36% of respondents who feel more inclined to customize gifts during this time.

For recipients, personalized gifts indicate a deeper thread of connection, with 70% feeling it mirrors a closer bond with the giver. This is reflected across various categories, with greeting cards, jewelry, clothing and artwork being the prime vehicles of conveying personalized sentiments.

About the Study:

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).

About Shutterfly:

Shutterfly and its family of brands make up one of the leading e-commerce companies for personalized products and custom design. Shutterfly and its family of brands are organized into three divisions: Consumer, Lifetouch and Shutterfly Business Solutions. Shutterfly is majority-owned by certain investment funds managed directly or indirectly by Apollo Global Management, Inc. (NYSE: APO) and its subsidiaries and affiliates. For more information about Shutterfly, visit www.shutterflyinc.com. Follow us on social @shutterfly.

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