The death of the Business Card?

The custom of giving business cards could be on the way out according to this Ipsos Omnibus poll

The author(s)
  • Peter Cooper Omnibus
  • Ekaterina Mincheva Observer
  • Seb Safwat Observer
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Is the business card dead, or simply evolving? 

Recent Ipsos i:omnibus research reveals that only 23% of adults have ever given out a physical business card. Unsurprisingly, incidence was highest amongst those aged 55-75 (32%) – this compares to 20% and 15% amongst those aged 35-54- and 16–34-year-olds respectively.

Ipsos Chart: Less than 1 in 4 GB Adults (23%) have ever given out a business card to someone they have met. This increases to 1 in 3 (32%) amongst those aged 55-75

The most popular response for not using business cards was that there’s no need for them (71%). Other reasons given include that it’s easier to connect on social media (e.g. LinkedIn, X, etc.) (9%), and expensive to print (8%). 

And, among those who have ever given out business cards, only 23% have done so in the past year, and 52% stopped over 4 years ago. 

So, does this mean it’s the end of the line for the humble business card? Perhaps not.#

When we asked business card users about their future usage, an intriguing trend emerged.

We posed the question to business card users, ‘In two years' time, how likely, or unlikely, are you to be using physical business cards?’. Overall, one in five (21%) said they were likely to do so. However, when looking at just the answers from 16-34 year-olds, this proportion is 47%. This compares to 24% and 10% amongst those aged 35-54 and aged 55-75 respectively. 

Ipsos Chart: Only one in five current users (21%) say they are likely to use physical business cards in two years’ time.  Highest amongst those aged 16-34 (47%) compared to 24% of 35-54 year olds and only one in ten amongst those aged 55-75.

That’s almost half of younger respondents saying they are likely to use business cards in the future.

People's opinions on digital business cards, instead of traditional paper ones, might suggest a changing trend rather than a fading tradition. We asked respondent how interested they are in using digital business cards (e.g., online, QR codes, etc.). Overall, one in five adults (20%) are interested in having digital cards, which is not wildly different from the proportion of 23% having ever given physical cards out.  Interest is highest among 16-34s, with nearly 4 in 10 (37%) of this cohort interested in having digital business cards. This compares to 20% of those aged 35-54, and just 7% of those aged 55-75.

So, maybe it’s not time to write-off business cards just yet.

Technical note
Ipsos interviewed a representative quota sample of 1,089 adults aged 16-75 in Great Britain using its online i:omnibus between 26th – 29th January 2024. The sample obtained is representative of the population with quotas on age, gender, region and working status. 

The data has been weighted to the known offline population proportions for age, working status and social grade within gender, and for government office region and education, to reflect the adult population of Great Britain. All polls are subject to a wide range of potential sources of error.

The author(s)
  • Peter Cooper Omnibus
  • Ekaterina Mincheva Observer
  • Seb Safwat Observer

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