Customization refers to the action of altering a product or service to suit a person’s or company’s preferences or requirements. We can also use the term when we modify something for a specific task. In other words, we can use it when focusing either on customers or functions.
If something is customized, it is similar to saying that it is tailor made, custom made, bespoke, or made-to-order (but not exactly the same).
Customization of online ads and streaming services
In the world of online advertising, customization refers to targeting ads according to where the users are, who they are, what they have been looking at online, and perhaps also their age, profession, and their socioeconomic status.
Advertisers want to target their ads. A company that markets lawn-mowers, for example, expects its ads to appear in gardening websites and not hairdressing or aviation ones.
Subscription-based streaming services
Streaming services such as Amazon Prime and Netflix try to find out as much as they can about your preferences. They do this partly by analyzing what you have chosen to watch and what part of the world you live in.
If you are, for example, a Londoner, you would be extremely annoyed if you opened your Netflix home screen and saw five Russian TV shows, an ad for a Japanese movie in Japanese with no subtitles, and two TV series you had recently watched.
Netflix and other streaming services customize their services to please viewers and boost customer loyalty. When users open their home screen, Netflix has customized its what it has to offer according to their preferences, and maybe even their age if it has that information.
Customization is crucial for companies that offer subscription-based streaming services. Not only do we expect it, but we also get upset if our provider doesn’t customize our home screen properly.
We increasingly expect or demand customization
In today’s highly competitive marketplace, consumers and businesses want things their way. We all expect businesses to provide custom options. Put simply, we are becoming increasingly used to customization. In many cases, we have come to expect it.
If you want your business to become competitive, you will need to be completely aware of what your consumers want. You will also have to keep a close eye on what your competitors are doing. If you offer something much more specific to your target audience, customers, or prospects, your chances of succeeding will be much greater.
Customization is one feature you could offer that your customers would appreciate. If you don’t but your competitors do, your business will struggle to survive.
Bluleadz.com says the following about customization:
“To stand out, you have to figure out how to create a fully custom experience – from the design of your website, to the ease of ordering, to the items you offer, and how you can make them unique.”
“About one out of every three consumers indicate that they want the ability to personalize a product and will look for that specific ability when shopping.”
Your customers are not all clones
Your customer base or target audience does not consist of people with identical preferences and needs. Product customization takes this factor into account. If you can tailor your product slightly according to what each consumer or group of consumers want, you will help boost sales and improve customer loyalty.
Your customers are also more likely to recommend your company to their friends, family members, business associates, and colleagues.
According to Freshdesk.com:
“Product customization is the key to serving your customer base successfully. Not all of your customers want the same thing or use your product the same way.”
“Product customization is essential for delivering a personalized customer experience to each segment of users, and can drive customer loyalty and increase customer satisfaction.”
Personalization vs. customization
Many of us would say that the two terms are one and the same, i.e., synonyms. They are not. Their meanings are different.
With personalization, the aim is to give the client or customer a sense of identity. They no longer feel that the company is treating them like one of the masses. They appreciate being treated as individuals with unique needs and wants.
In one of our previous articles, Alexander Joe wrote:
“Personalized marketing gives customers a sense of identity. They cease to be one of the masses, and instead become an individual with unique wants and needs.”
“Personalization is all about providing a tailored experience based on an individual’s wants, needs, and behavior.”
In this case, the focus is more on altering an existing service, product, or experience to suit one specific consumer or a group of them. The customer is guiding the changes.
Put simply: personalization is when you decide what to alter, while customization, on the other hand, is when the customer tells you how to adapt your product or service.