In the era of digital innovation, two terms that are frequently discussed in the realm of marketing, user experience and technology are customisation and personalisation. Although these concepts may appear to be interchangeable, they possess distinctive differences and significant areas of overlap. We will explore these differences, examine how they overlap and understand their implications for businesses and individuals.
Customisation: Tailoring for All
What is Customisation?
Customisation pertains to the process of enabling users to modify or adapt a product, service or experience to align with their preferences, needs or requisites. It provides users with the liberty to select from a predetermined array of options, designs or features to create a solution that harmonises with their preferences.
Examples of Customisation:
- Selecting the colour, size and material of a pair of trainers on a retail website.
- Choosing the layout and widgets on your smartphone's home screen.
- Configuring settings in a video game to establish difficulty levels or control options.
- User-initiated choices: Users actively partake in shaping their experience.
- Predetermined choices: The options are confined to what the system or product offers.
- Somewhat less personalised: Customisation caters to the needs of a broader audience rather than individual preferences.
Personalisation: Tailoring for You
What is Personalisation?
Conversely, personalisation elevates customisation to a higher plane. It involves crafting a distinctive, personalised experience for each user by harnessing data and algorithms to foresee and satisfy their specific requirements. In personalisation, the system adapts itself according to a user's past behaviour, inclinations and interactions.
Examples of Personalisation:
- A streaming platform recommending films and TV shows based on your viewing history.
- E-commerce websites presenting product recommendations based on your prior purchases and browsing activity.
- Email marketing campaigns addressing recipients by their first name and proposing products relevant to their past purchases.
- Data-centric: Personalisation hinges on user data to dispense bespoke content.
- Predictive: It foresees user preferences by scrutinising historical data and real-time interactions.
- Highly individualised: Personalisation strives to provide a one-of-a-kind experience for each user.
Overlap and Synergy
While customisation and personalisation are distinct concepts, they frequently intersect, generating a more holistic user experience. The synergy between these two strategies can prove advantageous for both businesses and users.
1. Customisation Augments Personalisation:
Customisation can serve as a valuable input for personalisation. When users actively select their preferences, this data can enrich the personalisation algorithms. For instance, a user who explicitly designates their preferred film genres enhances the streaming platform's proficiency in proposing pertinent content.
2. Personalisation Streamlines Customisation:
Personalisation can simplify the customisation process by refining the options and presenting users with choices that are more likely to resonate with their preferences. This simplification can alleviate choice overload and enhance the overall user experience.
3. Striking a Balance:
Maintaining equilibrium between customisation and personalisation is paramount. Offering an excess of customisation options can overwhelm users, while excessive personalisation may engender apprehensions about data privacy. Striking the right balance is instrumental in achieving a seamless and gratifying user experience.
Customisation and personalisation are two approaches that seek to tailor products and services to individual preferences. While they possess distinctive attributes, they often complement each other to foster a more engaging and user-centric experience. Astute businesses will discern the value of striking the right equilibrium between these two strategies to fulfil the unique requirements and expectations of their clientele.
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