Top 5 Personalized Gift Companies that are Reshaping the Global Gifting Industry

Personalized gift

The holiday season is in full swing and globally, symbolic gestures are being enacted to convey love, friendship and familial bonds. In this setting, nothing matches the intimate appeal as afforded by a personalized gift– customization does indeed make all the difference!

Top-5 personalized gift companies that are reinventing the game

1) Hallmark

Graded as the number one producer of exclusive greeting cards, Hallmark is the goliath of the gifting industry. The company offers a specially curated collection of quality gifts and greeting cards, customized according to the unique needs of the consumers. The company got a significant boost in 2013 when they launched a new specialty retail model called HMK. At the HMK stores, consumers can create original personalized gift ideas that reflect their individual sense of style, amalgamated with the emotion and artistry that comes off the Hallmark brand.

The good news for Hallmark is that it fully understands the need for humans to connect in unique ways and has the expertise and knowledge to make it happen. The victory of HMK stores is proof of that. Today, Hallmark is rolling out a range of technologies including a cloud-based solution for  field merchandising supervisors. Real-time connectivity and access to contextual daylight routes is a significant step forward for Hallmark.

2) American greeting corporation

American Greetings has been manufacturing its robust house of cards for more than a century. The second leading US producer of greeting cards (behind Hallmark) makes Carlton Cards, American Greetings, Recycled Paper Greetings, Gibson and pricey Papyrus brand products. Although 75% of the company’s revenue comes from greeting cards, it also manufactures Plus Mark gift wrap and Designware party goods.

After the company went private in 2013, it pivoted to an entirely new strategy, focusing on making its products relevant in the digital age. Today, American Greetings is engaging its consumers through its interactive online gifting business platform, and recently unveiled a new application for smartphones. This app allows users to personalize and send e-cards to anyone with an e-mail address.

American Greetings purchased Webshots and Photoworks, two online photo sharing sites and recently introduced as a natural extension of products that allow people to connect and celebrate. These sites offer customers unmatched variety and opportunities to personalize their selections through an assortment of interactive options.

3) Etsy

Etsy, the online marketplace where millions of people from around the globe connect to purchase and sell handmade and unique gifting items, is already twelve years old. The company thoroughly understands the importance of customized products as a major trend in the personalized gift industry, that in itself is a key player in the evolving retail landscape. Consequently, Etsy offers a wide range of personalized handmade products that have helped it corner a significant share of the global personalized gifts market.

Etsy offers an appropriate alternative to traditional retail, one that honors all stakeholders and excels in terms of price and speed. Today, consumers come to Etsy for unique, personalized gift products and the ability to connect directly with the creative entrepreneurs. This unusual shopping experience helps foster a tremendously loyal customer base.

4) Card Factory

Card Factory, a specialist retailer of dressings, greeting cards and gifts has come a long way as a business since its launch in 1997. It has become the fastest growing gifting retailer in the UK, and is positioned as one of the leading brands in the personalized gifting industry, all the while growing at an unprecedented rate. Today, the Card Factory has over 700 stores in the UK.

Over the past few years, retail sales data has been patchy at best, with consumers curbing spends on small as well as big tickets items amid concerns regarding the fickle economy. This is great news for companies like Card Factory, whose inexpensive gifting products and other celebration-related paraphernalia have made it a favorite with bargain hunters. The company’s philosophy is quite simple- produce and sell the best quality gift products online at affordable prices.

5) Shutterfly

Shutterfly is an internet-based social expression and personal publishing service that began in 1999 to help people print photographs taken from their digital cameras. Currently, Shutterfly is the market leader in this discipline while also expanding its product and services arsenal to include award-winning photo books, home décor, premium cards, stationery, invitations, photo and video storage, alongside personalized gifts.

The company has always been at the forefront of innovation, regularly introducing ground-breaking technologies to expand its impressive product portfolio. Recently, the company launched its integrated platform called ‘Shutterfly 3.0’, which radically improved the firm’s customer base and adoption rate. The idea behind this innovation is to create a common platform for all brands that are currently listed under Shutterfly.

Behind its ample success, Shutterfly has a history of acquiring organizations in the domain of photography. It has previously acquired startups including ThisLife, Tiny Prints, Treat, Wedding Paper Divas, BorrowLenses and, most recently, Groovebook.