Recommendation vs. Personalization: What are the differences and synergies?

Oct 12, 2023 |

Mads Sieron Thorsen

By Mads Sieron Thorsen


Reading Time: 2 minutes

In the dynamic world of digital interactions, businesses are constantly striving to capture the attention of their audience and leave a lasting impression.

In this pursuit, two crucial strategies have emerged as frontrunners - Recommendation and Personalization. While they might be strongly connected, each carries its own unique potential to engage users and drive success.

In this blogpost, we will look into the difference between Recommendation and Personalization, exploring their benefits and the synergy between the two.


The difference between Recommendation and Personalization

At first glance, recommendation and personalization can appear similar, but beneath the surface lies a fundamental difference that sets them apart. 

Recommendation is the art of suggesting products, content, or services to users based on certain criteria. For example, demographic information like gender or location. This approach focuses on patterns and trends, guiding users toward options they might find appealing.

A recommendation is often built around products and items, whereas personalization is built around individuals and their preferences.

Personalization is tailoring the user experience to the individual’s preferences. This goes beyond suggestions and involves everything from customizing display ads, website layouts, and marketing messages to resonate with the user’s taste and preferences.

Personalization strives to create a sense of belonging and relevance to drive users’ engagement to new heights.


The benefits of Recommendation

Recommendation tools have become a permanent inventory online, whether it’s e-commerce, streaming platforms, or content websites. Generating suggestions is an excellent way to introduce users to new products or content they might not have discovered otherwise.

For example, Netflix’s content recommendations are a prime example of how this strategy keeps users engaged and enhances their experience.

Similar to the mannequins in the physical stores, recommendations can catch the user’s attention with the latest collection, bestsellers, or items currently on sale – all products that might be relevant but not related to the user’s specific interests. 


The benefits of Personalization

With Personalization, you take user experience to the next level by looking into the overall preferences of each individual. By addressing individual needs and interests, you build a deeper connection because the user feels understood and valued.

Imagine visiting a travel website, where you are welcomed with vacation options tailored to your preferred travel dates, budget, and desired activities. This personal experience fosters loyalty and encourages users to spend more time on the website.

Personalization is built around individuals and their preferences and aims to create a more dynamic and relevant experience – all to strengthen the relationship with customers.


The Synergy of Recommendation and Personalization

The real magic happens when you combine Recommendation and Personalization. With the power of both strategies, your website can provide users with a seamless journey from discovery to engagement and purchasing.

Not only can you suggest relevant products or content, but you can also make your entire website resonate with each individual. It’s like having an online shopping assistant who understands your style and leads you through a store filled with items selected just for you.

With Raptor’s personalization engine, you are able to create a more tailored and engaging user experience. The algorithm uses the synergy to combine customer data and the 

For example, you can re-arrange product categories to prioritize items that a user has shown interest in. 

Or show relevant advertising by displaying personal ads based on a user’s location and reading history. 

You can also customize your e-mail sentouts based on user behavior and attributes to personalize both the messages and recommendations in the e-mails.

In essence, recommendation creates curiosity and introduces users to new options, while personalization creates a sense of connection and loyalty. Together, they can transform users from casual shoppers into loyal fans of your brand.



In this ever-evolving landscape of digital experiences, the battle for user attention is fierce. Recommendation and personalization are two essential weapons with their own advantages. 

While recommendation introduces users to new horizons, personalization tailors the user experience, making it relevant and unique. However, their true potential emerges when they are combined and keep users engaged, satisfied, and eager for more.

Those who master the synergy between personalization and recommendation will undoubtedly succeed in the art of user engagement.


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