|Customisation versus Personalisation: a behavioural study that questions some eMarketing foundations|
April 25, 2001
things a bit clearer, customization corresponds to services such as My
Yahoo!, that allow users to "filter" a site content so that
it corresponds to its own tastes.
In this case, the user do not have anything specific to do, the choices are made by the personalisation system itself.
The book and music recommendation system by Amazon.com is the perfect illustration of a successful personalisation.
What appears interesting in this study is that it tried to confront these two approaches to the consumers' real needs.
Among the results displayed on this study, 93% of respondents indicated that they have already customized at least one site and 25% even said that they customized more than 4 Web sites to their own tastes.
In order to find out how respondents reacted to these two Internet approaches, the authors of the study also confronted these consumers with two different types of online grocers, one that allows customisation when the other makes automatic personalisation.
In this case, only 6% of respondents declared they preferred the personalised site Sport sites and investment sites got the same results.
Some elements might help us better understand such attitude.
First of all, Web sites personalisation often requires that the user first provides the site with some personal information and raises the usual problem of privacy. Users are often reluctant to communicate personal information, as they do not really see the advantages they will gain from this, as this study tends to demonstrate.
personalisation software still contains bugs and users sometimes get advice
that are likely to make us smile when words and situations are taken out
Many Web sites opted for personalisation capabilities instead of giving consumers the choice to customize their interface as they thought customers would not be patient enough to use the customisation features displayed on the site.
This study proves that when Internet users find an interest in something, they are willing to invest some of their time to "learn" a Web site and put it to good use.
The best solution might not be quite as black-and-white as the study seems to suggest and the best thing to do would be to combine the two approaches.
depends on Web sites themselves, but also on the business model they chose
to adopt and
of course on customers, last link people tend to forget
a bit too quickly on the Internet.