Personalized Vs Customized Products: What's the Difference?

Personalized Vs Customized Products: What's the Difference?

personalized vs customized products difference

In the realm of product customization, people often interchangeably use the terms "personalized" and "customized". While both personalized vs customized products involve tailoring products to meet individual preferences, they diverge in terms of the level of uniqueness and involvement in the creation process. Gain clarity now!

Personalized Vs Customized Meaning Clarification

Before we delve into the distinctions between personalized and customized products, let’s first differentiate the two terms: "personalized" and "customized”. To put it simply, personalization means adapting the experience to meet the user's preferences, whereas customization allows the user to have control over their own experience.

personalized vs customized meaning

An example of Personalized and Customized difference

Please refer to this table for a comprehensive comparison.

Personalize (Personalization)
Customize (Customization) 

Definition by Oxford Dictionary

“to design or change something so that it is suitable for the needs of a particular person”

“to make or change something to suit the needs of the owner”

Definition in Marketing

A business tailors an experience/product to individuals based on the data collected, including unique preferences, interests, and behaviors (implicit).

It is done FOR customers.

Customer controls their experience/product by selecting many choices provided by a business (explicit).

It is done BY customers.

To establish a stronger and more captivating relationship with customers (emotional experience).
To empower customers to control over their experience (features and functional characteristics).
  • Collect customer preferences (browsing history, purchase behavior, or demographic information).
  • Create and bring a tailored and unique product or service.
  • Offer multiple choices for customers to choose.
  • Offer things based on their input.
  • Create or suggest a unique product to an individual without asking them.
  • Include the customer name, charge, etc., in an email.
  • Run tailor-made marketing activities for individuals.
  • Allow customers to choose a T-shirt’s variant, like color, material, size, and more.
  • Ask for age, favorite, and location to suggest suitable videos, movies, or products.
  • Let's delve into the next section to discover more about the differences between personalized and customized products.

What is the Difference Between Personalized and Customized Products?

Most people immediately think about a product with multiple options when it comes to personalized and customized products. In the online marketplace, there are a lot of products that have both personalization and customization options, leading to confusion between the two terms.

There are many articles available on the topic, each with its own unique definition. It's completely understandable that navigating this can feel overwhelming and daunting. With the knowledge presented above, understanding these definitions becomes much simpler.

Personalized Products
Customized Products
Level of customization
Highly customizable, tailored to individual preferences
Limited customization options based on pre-existing offers
Involvement in design
Active participation in the design and creation process
Selecting from predefined options without extensive involvement
Uniqueness and individuality
Exceptional and one-of-a-kind items with their name and personal imprints
It may have a more generic or mass-produced feel
Production time
Often requires more time and effort in production
Can be produced more efficiently and with faster turnaround times

Within the realm of e-commerce, the majority of merchants tend to concur that…

  • Product personalization refers to altering a product’s design according to the customer’s need or desire.
  • Product customization involves offering goods with multiple product variants, such as sizes, colors, materials, features, add-ons, functional characteristics, etc.
what is the difference between personalized and customized products

A personalized product with an upload photo option

If you find it hard to visualize, scroll down to the last section to get the practical case!

Product Customization or Product Personalization: Which Should You Approach?

By considering the target audience's preferences, your products, and your business goals and resources, you can decide whether to approach product customization or personalization.

  • Embrace the target audience’s preferences: Consider the tastes and expectations of your target audience. Conduct market research and gather insights to understand them.
  • Understand the type of your products: Some products may lend themselves better to customization, while others may be more suitable for personalization. Analyze your products' features, complexity, and variability to make an informed decision.
  • Indicate the business goals and resources: Consider cost, time, and technological capabilities. Assess whether your business is better equipped to offer product customization or personalization.

"A wide range of businesses across various industries can implement product personalization. It is particularly beneficial for print-on-demand stores that offer customizable or configurable products.

Meanwhile, product customization suits goods with many variant options, such as fashion and apparel, furniture, electronics, and automotive. Or you can combine both to offer your customers the best experience."

Choose product customization or product personalization
The personalized print-on-demand market has a high potential (Market Research Future)

Product Personalization and Customization in Practice

For print-on-demand merchants seeking to incorporate personalization and customization options, it is simple to make. Take a look at this Shopify store as an example of these products.

product personalization and customization in practice

Teeinblue Product Personalizer Demo’s store

As in the image above, customers can personalize designs at a high level, custom variants, and extra options for their products. You can easily make it on Shopify with two apps:

  • Teeinblue Product Personalizer: a 5-star Shopify product configurator for print-on-demand. It offers powerful tools to personalize standard text, curved text, clipart, street maps, star maps, etc., and custom variants.
  • Teeinblue Product Options & Variants: a star-rasing Shopify app for all industries. The app is capable of showing various options, pricing add-ons, and variations across different displays, whether or not they employ conditional logic.

Hope this article gives you a clear answer to “What is the difference between personalized and customized products”. In conclusion, a personalized product has more individualization and uniqueness than a customized one. In addition, it necessitates a longer time and a more complex system to produce. If you still wonder about this topic or need further discussion, don’t hesitate to leave comments or join Teeinblue POD Global Community!


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