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Choose Wisely: Personalization vs Customization

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How do they differ from each other? How to choose wisely between personalization and customization? And what does science say about this?

Why is it worth it?

Let's start with this simple question. Is it worth introducing any kind of personalization or customization on your platform at all? The answer is even simpler than you think. In 2018, you can not afford to lack it.

There are many reasons why you should use personalization on your sales platform.

Fundamental is the fact that in the brain of each of us there is an area called the reticular system. He is responsible for selecting the information that is relevant to us, while completely ignoring the superfluous. Presenting your audience with less information, but with a greater fit for themselves, will make them want to come back to us, associating our platform with pleasant, less effortless choices.

From a business point of view, the most commonly cited reason is an increase in the chance of selling more products. Personalized recommendations, ease of browsing available products and the possibility of customization are just a few of the best practices used when tailoring the platform to a specific user.

Personalization vs Customization

Personalization is happening out of reach and prefer user. The recommendations provided to users are based on previously collected information. They may relate to our history of choices (e.g. searches or pages). The information obtained in this way also affects the filtering of content according to the type of recipient. Netflix has benefited from this practice, among others, which introduced a matching of recommendations based on the most selected films not only in terms of title, but also its visual representation.

One of the most recognized places among online platforms is Amazon. For many years, he has been paving the way, pointing to interesting tactics, such as the (now standard) use of search history to recommend customer-tailored products. The benefits of correctly applied personalization are many, and the most important of them seems to be an increase in the opportunity to sell.

Customizations, unlike personalization, are based on choice user. It is he who marks the issues of interest to him, the products and can even decide the way and order of their display. And yes, nothing stands in the way of creating and setting your own style, such as an email box. This is what Google is used to.

Examples of similar practices can be multiplied, because customization has already become the standard. Among the most popular platforms that use a certain type of customer fit in their stores, Nike can be mentioned. For several years now, in just a few minutes, we have been able to create on nike.com a unique version of your dream shoe model.

The dark side of personalization

Is it possible to overdo personalization and turn it to your disadvantage? The answer to this question is quite intuitive, insofar as in ourselves, as in the recipients of our product, a seed of fear germinates. As it turns out, we are increasingly worried about the state of our privacy on the web.

75% of consumers describe marketing personalization as “scary” (from creepy) , and 40% of brands admit that this is the case, says new research by the platform InMoment.

The same report also points to a disconnect between creators' beliefs about personalization experiences and what consumers actually experience. To avoid similar discrepancies, it is worth reading our series of articles on good personalization practices.

Thin border

There is a fine line between giving the user a tool to make their own changes and completely losing the visual identity of the brand. The designer is tasked with predicting, before a particular product enters the market, what can go wrong and how not to allow the brand image to be compromised.

Let's turn our eyes to the next giant. Apple makes it a priority not to go beyond the framework that has been developed over the years, thanks to which it is so easy for us to identify products coming out of their production line. Want to stand out from the crowd? Great! Choose the unique color of your iPhone, however, only from these five options that we offer you.

Scientifically confirmed

What makes customization so tempting? Why does tailor-made content, by ourselves, make us perceive it better?

In the study Personalization versus Customization: the Importance of Agency, Privacy, and Power Usage In 2010, researchers at Pennsylvania State University found that experienced users who had been on a global news site for a long time were more likely to rate high-quality content that they could match to themselves, while unpromoted users chose the standard personalized content.

However, in a 2017 study, which focused only on the issue of personalization in e-banking (The impact of personalization and compatibility with past experience on e-banking usage) it has been proven that personalization leads to an increase in expected performance, and this, in turn, leads to an increase in the intention to use electronic banking services. In addition, positive experiences influence the more regular use of the platform by users.

What to choose?

Created in accordance with “best practices”, the platform will interest the user. However, it is the personalization and customization that will “keep” it for longer. Thanks to personalized proposals on Youtube, we do not have to search every morning for the same album that we have been looping for a month.

Similarly, in the case of customization, the interests once set by the user eliminate erroneous prompts and give him a fully positive experience.

If our user is advanced enough to know his interests and has time to configure the website to his liking - give him such a chance through the possibility of customization. In the event that interests related to the subject of our product can change much faster, as in the aforementioned Youtube, perhaps it is worth betting on personalized recommendations on which the recipient will save his precious time.

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