The importance of connectivity at Christmas

Connectivity – or the ability to connect with others, communicate and share information practically instantaneously – has completely transformed the ways in which we see and understand the world around us. It’s a technological convenience that also allows us, at least in developed countries, to lead better lives, from both a digital and economic perspective. And although it’s something most of us have completely internalised by this point, it still takes on a special significance at certain times of the year. And none more so than Christmas.



Connectivity facilitates flexible working and encourages work/life balance

Until not that long ago, it was simply out of the question for many people to reunite with their families and loved ones at Christmas due to work commitments. And even if they could make it, many wouldn’t be able to stay for too long. Christmas gatherings coincide with the end of the calendar year, which means they overlap with the closing of the financial and business year in many countries.


Lots of firms set aside December to balance accounts, review invoices, close projects that need to be finished by the end of the year, finish all those niggly tasks that have been put off seemingly forever, etc. This often translates into a really busy period for employees, at the cost of spending time with those they love most.


However, connectivity means people are now much more likely to be able to work remotely and more flexibly – especially after the COVID-19 pandemic – so it’s much easier to meet work deadlines without sacrificing quality time with your nearest and dearest. And the outlook for businesses could improve even further, just as soon as artificial intelligence “frees” employees from their more tedious or time-consuming tasks.



Thanks to connectivity, we’re all talking more at Christmas

Another staple in the Christmas calendar is the annual increase in the volume of calls, messages, voicemails and video chats that we all make and receive. Especially around the big dates, such as Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve. These peaks in messaging traffic can reach up to 21% on top of normal volumes expected during the rest of the year, especially in the days leading up to and just after the festive period.


The best infrastructure for mobile connectivity, fibre optic and even satellite Internet mean there aren’t many excuses left nowadays to get out of making a quick phone call to a loved one, sending a digital Christmas greeting, or perhaps even a festive meme, or any other message for that matter, letting people know you’re thinking of them at this time of year. Even those away from home at Christmas can’t escape these days, as you can easily see and chat to family and friends in real time over a video call at the push of a button, blurring the lines between yuletide solitude and raucous holiday reunions.



Connectivity and the Internet: the heart and soul of retail

Perhaps the most transformative aspect of the digital transition and connectivity has been seen in retail. Online shopping, where everything’s just a click away, mobile card payments, micro transactions over Christmas dinner… everything is different nowadays thanks to technology.


And making shopping even easier at Christmas is something that’s highly lucrative for retailers. At this time of year, around 29% of families increase their spending on leisure and eating, according to a recent survey. They also increase how much they spend on clothing, footwear, cosmetics, perfumes, books, hobbies, toys and even online entertainment. Around this time of year, 31% of online searches involve the retail sector and approximately 30% of the entire year’s sales are concentrated within this golden period.


And connectivity is also vital for delivering a simple and user-friendly virtual shopping experience. The more comfortable users are when it comes to searching for, finding and buying that special present, the more likely they are to complement their purchase with another item they hadn’t necessarily planned on buying. Something that happens in 11.6% of cases.


Thanks to our ability to connect with each other, Christmas can be a much warmer, closer and more positive time of year these days. And that even goes for those clinging onto that Grinch spirit!

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