Personalization: Expensive, Little Return

By Deane Barker on November 13, 2003

Forget one-to-one, keep it impersonal: I never did quite understand the “personalization” craze either. I’d rather sites not know who I am, actually.

The maths is simple. On one hand, though the theory assumes low costs, in practice personalisation needs more cash than most companies realise – Amazon spends many millions each year on its own custom-built system.

On the other hand, personalisation usually doesn’t cause consumers to buy any more goods or services – because regardless of what the one-to-one marketing enthusiasts think, real web users mostly arrive at a site with a firm goal in mind.

Users don’t want a relationship; they want a result.