There are a number of definitions for the word “Connectivity”. Webster’s defines it as “the quality, state, or capability of being connective or connected …” And there is the literal definition of two or more devices being connected to each other so that data can be easily transferred back and forth.
In retail, there are several definitions as well. But maybe we should talk more to the concept of “Connectivity” as it relates to what we do every day.
Retailers have never sought to be more connected than they are today. With the amount of data that is available and the pressure to become truly integrated amongst all sales channels (physical stores, Ecomm, mobile and social), it is paramount that retailers ensure all information is current, accurate and available to the right people in the right formats so that the best decisions can be made with regards to assortments, planning, marketing and pricing.
Being truly connected to one’s customers has also never been more important. With the state of technology today, our global marketplace demands a true understanding of customers’ shopping habits, tendencies, desires and behaviors like never before. This is not only due to the diversity of this global village, but also because the trends and habits are changing more frequently than ever before. The attention span and loyalty to brands are not what they used to be and it is more challenging than ever to hold onto customers over the longer term. This takes sophisticated applications and approaches to harnessing the information available on an hourly basis to truly understand the clientele and anticipate the changes in taste and trend to maximize the offering and thereby improve profitability.
Finally, from a leadership standpoint, connectivity does not purely mean being a whiz on social media or a geek with one’s various devices. It means being personally connected with your own team members and employees far and wide. The only way to understand what a person is really saying, and what they truly mean, is by being physically present with them. Connecting is more than video conference calls or 24/7 e-mail responses: It is the in-person effect that truly connects people. There is a physical vibe that is felt; there are nuances in body language and expressions that are perceived; there is real power in these types of conversations.
The positive force of being physically present is what defines true “Connectivity” and will remain this way forever.