Keeping Up with the Digital Times: The Evolution of e-Greetings
By: Julie Steiner
Founder and President, Percy3D
Much of what we do on a regular basis has been transformed by the digital revolution. So many areas of our daily lives have moved from the physical to the digital world that day-to-day events look very different than they did not too many years ago. You may be experiencing some of the frustration that comes with understanding the digital environment, but you may also be rejoicing in the triumphs of efficiency and ease that are derived from advanced digital products and services. Where we were comfortable juggling large unwieldy books and then scratched our heads figuring out how to accommodate our growing collection, we now simply toss our compact e-readers into our bag and away we go.
While many adults diligently work to adjust through this transition into a digital world, the younger generations are rapidly adopting digital products and services – and with great ease. This age group is one that has grown up knowing little else than a world where almost everything is conducted and completed with digital help. Digital concepts come naturally to them, and while some of us fuss and struggle with our smart phones, e-readers, and universal remotes, younger generations seem to magically utilize digital products while thoroughly enjoying it!
Honing in on children’s digital interactions, we can see that they often are drawn toward their entertainment interests, such as their favourite television show, sport, super hero, or Disney princess. Birthdays, holidays, and play dates are often themed to match a child’s interests. Additionally, research has shown that brand loyalty develops at a very young age. In the physical world, this has manifested into the development of character-branded lunchboxes, book-bags and toys of yester-year. Today, digital and marketing experts have intelligently designed party products to meet this generation’s needs and build loyalty to a brand that lasts by entering a world where they are most comfortable in – online. Where we once had themed celebrations with party goods, thank-you’s, and games, we have evolved to using more advanced, digital party products allowing a younger generation to become more immersed in their favourite character’s world. One such product that follows the digital trend is e-cards and e-vites that allow you to insert your child’s name and photo directly into a video featuring their favourite character.
The Greeting Card Association reports that while they are seeing shrinking sales of paper cards, the e-card industry is continually growing, proving that consumers have embraced the convenience and eco-friendly nature of e-cards. In so many ways the shift from the physical party communications to convenient, video invites and letters offers enormous benefits. A few important benefits include:
- Timeliness: While living in a hectic world, it may be difficult for parents to find the time to drive to the store and purchase party invites. Online invites easily allow parents to sit down with their child and create invites in just a few minutes. With the immediate speed of the internet, you will be able to receive responses immediately and begin moving on with other aspects of your party planning. Paper lists, envelope stuffing, postage…all are a thing of the past.
- Personalization: You can now insert your child’s photo, messages, and party details directly into a video with their favourite licensed characters, which allows parents and their children to create virtual, unique and visually exciting ways to communicate with their guests. Licensed characters also present a great opportunity to shape the theme of your party according to you and your child’s interests.
- Professional-Looking: Visually appealing e-cards have the look and feel of that of a professional service, often leaving yourself and your guests impressed with your expert work! You can also include detailed mapping information and contact information while adding the invitation to your guests’ calendars.
- Educational. Beyond convenience, shifting party communication into the digital space provides a wonderful opportunity for parents to involve their children in the process. Depending on the age of the child teaching opportunities abound, whether it’s collaborating on the messages and working on their spelling and keyboarding skills to a discussion about etiquette and the importance of acknowledging gifts.
- Trackable: Parents can track invitations and responses to easily assess attendance for party planning. You can also have an open forum to communicate and interact with guests to track their needs, thoughts and questions.
- Easily Updated: We all fear receiving the dreadful information that may impact your party, such as rain on the day of your outside party or a sick child in bed on their birthday. However, if there is an unfortunate, last-minute event that occurs that forces you to change the day, time, location, or other important information, you can easily update your party details and all of your guests will be informed of the change immediately via email. Having your guests’ contact information all in one place also makes it easy for you not to leave anyone out when communicating party details.
- Cost-Effective: Everyone loves saving money and sharing information. These days, most online party communications such as video e-vites are either free or priced competitively so that sharing information or photos with a group of people has, in many cases, become more cost-effective and less labor-intensive than sending a physical card, envelope, and stamp.
Social media has completely changed the way we interact with one another and social media offerings will continue to evolve and grow in utility and function. Digital party communications speak to this trend, and as the younger generations are adopting virtual trends rapidly, we are now able to draw the two together with video e-cards for one of children’s favourite times of the year – parties!