App Personalization And Why You Should Think About It

Jonas Kurzweg
Jul 18, 2018 · 4 min read

If you are not thinking about app personalization right now:
You soon will. Personalization is the future.

Two out of three companies believe in Personalization to improve their customer experience. Personalization helps you standout from the
competition and build loyal customers.

So let’s not fall behind:
In the following you will get to know what personalization is, how to use it and why.

What is app personalization?

Imagine you want to buy a video game for your childs birthday. Since the birthday is very special to you, you want to make sure that the game is perfect for your child.

You open the app of a video game store and start doing research.

The app recognizes what keywords you are searching for and memorizes the data. The more time you spend in the app, the better recommendations you get. Eventually it starts only recommending games that fit the taste of your child perfectly. You are happy and consider using the app for christmas too.

You could use the same narrative for many different apps: The wine app that recognizes the perfect wine for you, the bank that calculates your perfect financial plan.

The difference between app customization and app personalization

Photo by Eunice Stahl on Unsplash

You are walking in a hotel and book the room with the right size, view and price at the reception.
That is customization.

If you walk in the hotel and they already hand you the keys for your perfect room — that is personalization.

Now let´s translate this to the world of apps.


An example for customization is the app of Medium:

You get to choose topics that interest you during the onboarding process of Medium. This data gets used to customize your feed according to your interests.
Your recommended articles are based on your reading history to some extent, but if you want to follow more topics, you have to do that manually.


Netflix is a famous example for personalization:

Photo by Marvin Meyer on Unsplash

Netflix uses it´s algorithm to determine which movies and series are the most interesting to you — based on your viewing history. They even go one step further and use algorithms to personalize artworks for each user. You don’t have to type in additional information.

There are several ways to personalize your User Experience:

  • Personalized recommendations like Netflix or Amazon.
    If you watch a lot of documentaries about Design, Netflix will recommend you more documentaries about Design.
  • Taking the location of your user into consideration.
    Starbucks, for example, is using it´s app to show customers what song is playing in the store that they are at right now.
  • Personalized notifications.
    They can be triggered through events, like birthdays. Or they can be combined with location, for example coupons for nearby stores.
    Notifications also can offer promotional deals based on the customers history.

Personalization is based on different factors that may vary depending on the type of your business.

The effect of app personalization

The research institute Gartner predicts a 15% increase of profit by 2020 for businesses that successfully implement personalization.

Furthermore, personalized push notifications are 4 times more likely to be opened then generic notifications.

What about privacy concerns? Surprisingly, it is not that big of an issue. The majority of consumers (75%) prefer that their personal information gets used to improve their experience.

If you are not thinking about personalization yet, chances are your competitors do:
90% of marketers believe that personalization is the future.

If you found this article helpful, consider clapping and following! :)

To track your personalization progress, and you user experience in general, you can use our analytics tool UXCam.

Originally published at


We write about mobile UX. More insights on

Jonas Kurzweg

Written by

UX, Marketing & Product nerd. Coffee enthusiast. Working at



We write about mobile UX. More insights on

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