Business cards bounce back despite skeptics

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Industry experts responded to a BBC article questioning the future of business cards and whether their use will rebound as pandemic restrictions relax or are largely replaced by technologies such as NFC codes and QR.

In the BBC hunk Jason Alvarez-Cohen, co-founder of the contact sharing app Popl which uses NFC, said traditional business cards are old fashioned and ripe for a replacement.

However, Vistaprint Global President Florian Baumgartner said sales of the Cimpress-owned web-to-print giant recovered after the initial pandemic crisis as customers increasingly embrace the use QR codes on their business cards to turn them into a digital contact. .

Charlene Joss, managing director of Dundee-based Tradeprint, also owned by Cimpress, told Printweek that business card-sized products have become a flexible promotional printing option in their own right.

“Essentially, a business card is just a leaflet the size of a credit card – a way to communicate information. Merchandising is extremely important right now and the traditional business card is now used as an appointment card, loyalty card, thank you card, voucher or packaging insert, ”she said. declared.

“There have been a lot of micro businesses created as a result of Covid and when we look at artwork we have seen a sharp increase in the number of people ordering business cards as an inexpensive marketing tool to go along with the package deals. ‘special offers or discounts.’

Joss said Tradeprint noticed that many people took the opportunity to rename and refresh their logos and stationery during the quieter period caused by the pandemic restrictions.

“We suspect that many companies will move or close premises because of Covid, which should once again keep volumes afloat a little longer,” she added.

“In summary, there is still life in the product, but maybe not so much in the traditional sense.”

Christie Round, brand manager at Route 1 Print, said the company has also seen the creative uses of card-type products expand.

“There is no denying that we saw the drop, the events were called off, and your typical uses of business cards seemingly died overnight in light of the pandemic. But as we started to move forward and the world moved online, we saw more and more uses of business cards in terms of contact info, loyalty cards, and business cards. other elements in an e-commerce delivery.

She also reported an increase in orders as events restart and offices reopen.

“With the return of face-to-face meetings and events / networking, we’ve seen a huge increase in business card orders, especially with embellishments, antibacterial laminates or rounded corners, with people wanting to stand out from the crowd. Not only that, we are seeing a higher number of multi-set quantities with an earlier average of around 10, now we are seeing orders in the 50s. ”

“From an art perspective, we are seeing a greater digital presence on design, including the use of QR codes,” she added.

Solopress chief executive Simon Cooper said demand for business cards had “steadily increased over the year” and with in-person events starting to resume in the coming months, the business “would expect a healthy and continued recovery”. .

Cooper said only time will tell if demand returns to pre-pandemic levels.

“An encouraging factor is that new business activity is and will continue to be at a high level for some time, which still drives demand for business cards. Even if things change, people are still very motivated to have a physical and tangible representation of their new business and business cards are the perfect solution.

Grafenia chief executive Peter Gunning said the use of high-end printing specifications and paper stocks to differentiate themselves has increased.

“Since the pandemic, our number one seller has now grown into luxury business cards, with a biodegradable matte lamination. I think Marqetspace is still the only professional printer that uses biolam as a standard, ”he said.

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