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UK businesses spent big on digital transformation last year

digital transformation
(Image credit: Image Credit: Chombosan / Shutterstock)

Businesses spent big on digital transformation last year as a result of the pandemic and the spending spree is expected to continue in 2021, a new report from Twilio suggests.

Based on a global poll of 2,500 enterprise decision-makers, as well as data from the Twilio platform, the report states that digital engagement was essential to business survival last year and will retain its status in the coming months. For the vast majority of businesses polled, digital customer engagement is regarded as either “critical” or “very important” for success, going forward.

Almost half believe they would lose revenue by not digitizing their customer engagement channels, and that almost every human interaction will soon include a digital element – something that was significantly accelerated by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Almost all companies want to maintain current communications channels, as well as adding additional channels this year, with more than half seeing customer interactions through digital channels increase by at least 50 percent.

Video communication and interaction with bots was also more common last year, prompting many businesses to add live chat solutions, in-app chats, and video calls to their channels for the first time.

Breaking the findings down over various industries, the report asserts that financial services, retail and technology businesses were the quickest to respond to the pandemic and accelerate their digital transformation processes.

“We’ve seen a huge boost to digital transformation in the past year, and that shows no signs of slowing in 2021," said David Parry-Jones, Vice President EMEA at Twilio.

"Prior to the pandemic, under half of the UK’s customer engagement was digital, but already that percentage has increased to more than 60 percent. We have no doubt that this will continue to rise, as businesses strive to address the varying expectations of customers through a mix of digital channels."