Customization vs Personalization
The theme for this week is C.U.S.T.O.M.I.Z.A.T.I.O.N.! Let’s get a broad overview on what customization is (and how it’s different from personalization), what customization looks like, and the benefits of customization.
Customization vs. Personalization
Customization and personalization tend to be used interchangeably. But they actually describe two different processes and are not synonyms. At their core, both customization and personalization are processes that tailor a unique experience like personalized start pages.
They differ when it comes down to who alters the experience. Customization, our lovely topic of this article, “is usually done by the user manually making changes to get the experience that’s best for them.” Personalization, on the other hand, “can be achieved through customer data and predictive tech.”
In other words, customization is what you do - your “natural intelligence.” Personalization is what the site or system does with data - “Artificial Intelligence.”
What Does Customization Look Like?
Now that we know personalization is what Artificial Intelligence performs for you and customization is how you tweak things yourself, what does that look like in your everyday digital life?
One example of personalization are purchase suggestions you see when browsing Amazon. The A.I of Amazon collects and analyzes your browsing data and purchase history to personalize a curated list of items you may be interested in buying. Bought a Samsung tablet recently? Personalization will make suggestions like a cover case, tablet carrying pouch, and screen protector.
For an example of personalization or customization in your digital life, take a look at how you set up the interface of your smartphone. Endless widgets, apps, and backgrounds exist for you to customize your smartphone homescreen the best way that makes sense to your life. There is no artificial intelligence at work here. Just you and your natural intelligence.
In practice: mass customization = personalization + mass production (coca cola bottles). And when it comes to large companies, mass customization exists too. Mass customization is personalization combined with mass production. A perfect example is Coca-Cola’s “Share-A-Coke” campaign where personalized names were mass produced onto Coke bottles and UV printers.
The internet being the wild west corral of content that it is, tailored experiences help center internet users in online time and space. Customization is best for an audience that is clear on their goals while personalization will help users navigate a large information space. Placing users in a customizable environment gives people a richer and more satisfying experience as what they are doing will directly relate to their life. Customization empowers users with choice which, here at Swomi, is very important to our mission of empowering the everyday person with their online content.
Customization is what consumers want:
- 80 percent say they enjoyed receiving product recommendations that chimed with their interests or preferences
- 70 percent say they are willing to share their preferences with a business in order to receive a better shopping experience.
- 80 percent of respondents say it’s either 'very important' or 'somewhat important' that a website provides targeted promotions based on their own preferences.
- Some personalization strategies having up to a 6 percent impact on ecommerce revenue
This is just a general overview of customization. Keep an eye out for our future articles to experience more in-depth and broad discussions covering customization. Everyday we will be publish one article for every word in C.U.S.T.O.M.I.Z.A.T.I.O.N. How would you like to see our articles customized for you? Contact us here and let us know! Thanks for reading and look forward to hearing from you.