Thursday, October 14, 2010

Taking E-Cards Offline, Huh Whata?!!!

Remember when you used to receive that birthday card from your grandma in the mail? While the card may have been hokey, it meant that someone went to the store, picked out a card with you in mind, filled it out with a special message, placed a stamp on it (or went to the post office) and dropped it in the mail. Wow, that's a lot of steps for the sender, but boy, how special did you feel, whether young or old, to receive such a thoughtful and energy/time-consuming gift? I know I did.

In recent years, with the uptake of email, greeting cards have migrated online and morphed into e-cards. And while e-cards simplified sending someone a card, they never replicated that excitement and, well, love the recipient felt from receiving a card in the mail.

So how do you combine the efficiency of sending e-cards and maintain the heartfelt, nostalgic feeling of receiving a card in the mail?

The answer has arrived in Fidipidi. 

Fidipidi takes the offline card shopping and shipping process and brings it online using Facebook as its platform. Senders simply choose a card from numerous templates, add a personalized message, fill in the recipients address, pay anywhere from $1-4 dollars and Viola! on-demand printing does the rest. In this model Fidipidi is satisfying the sender by providing a simpler, easier way to shop for and send a card and delighting the recipient. It's a win-win.

My only gripe with Fidipidi is their card selection. I was trying to send a card to my sister and I found their offerings either too romantic or too irreverent and inappropriate. Yes, I could have created my own card from scratch with a personalized message, but that wasn't the experience I was looking for. I wanted a pre-made card that I could add my own little sisterly quip to. Hopefully, as Fidipidi catches on the card selection will improve.

I think the big industry insight from the Fidipidi launch is that the print medium (newspapers, books, magazines, letters, etc.) may not be the dying dinosaur we think it is. Fidipidi indicates that there will always be a demand (however, small or large) for offline, personalized communications.

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