Hispanics Are The Ecommerce Shoppers You Should Be Targeting

Reports earlier this year projected that online sales in the U.S. will reach $523 billion by 2020, a number that is broadly motivated by shopping on mobile devices. Marketers want their piece of the ecommerce pie, but whom should you be targeting?

As one of the fastest growing demographics in the U.S., Hispanics have a staggering $1.5 trillion annual spending power to their name. They are an incredibly savvy and digitally engaged group that is typically driven by different things than non-Hispanics when it comes to how they shop. IRI's recent HispanicLink™ survey delivered critical insights for this influential demographic of how, where, when and why they shop. Here's what you need to know to deliver marketing strategies that resonate with Hispanics.

Where do Hispanics fit in amongst U.S. ecommerce shoppers?
IRI sought to define U.S. ecommerce shoppers as targetable segments that reflect the various attitudes of each toward online shopping and payment. The result? Six groups defined as: eShopping Resistors, eShopping Avoiders, Selective eShoppers, Review Seekers, Variety Seekers and eShopping Enthusiasts.

Hispanics have a majority of shoppers in the more online-embracing segments, eShopping Enthusiasts and Review Seekers. Members of the eShopping Enthusiast segment skew younger than the other segments and are major proponents of mobile wallets, brand variety and increasingly, even buying groceries online. Hispanics also skew younger in general, with nearly 60 percent being of the Millennial and younger generations.

"Hispanics are more engaged in the entire shopping experience and have a much higher likelihood to seek out information online, especially for promotions, product selection and recommendation/reviews," said Staci Covkin, principal of Consumer & Shopper Marketing for IRI. "These specific online behaviors average 10 points among Hispanics compared to non-Hispanics, and 15-20 points higher among Hispanic millennials compared to non-Hispanic millennials for many CPG categories."

Because they spend over three hours a day using their smartphones to browse online, brands should have all their product/service information easily searchable. Mobile sites with clunky navigation and irrelevant content will quickly drive away these tech lovers -and their wallets- to more user-friendly retail sites.

What influences their online shopping habits and purchase decisions?

Your mobile site is just one piece of your online presence that needs to be tailored to fit the desires of Hispanic shoppers. Blogs and social media are a critical component of the purchase journey for many Hispanics, particularly in the food and beverage, personal care and beauty categories. They make informed decisions based on seeing how the product will fit into their lives and whether the price fits the benefits. What meal can they make out of this product? Is this makeup product a missing piece of their everyday beauty routine? Partner with relevant social influencers to answer these questions for consumers by having the influencers create content like recipes and video tutorials. It's easier to see why you should buy a new product when you see it being used in a smart way by someone relevant to you.

"Every study we have conducted during the past 10 years reflects the importance of family as a critical aspect to Hispanic culture," added Covkin. "So, it is important to provide opportunities to connect with Hispanics. Solicit product and shopping experience reviews, make customer service a priority, reach out and connect via social media...keep the conversation going."

Final note: The influence and spending power of Hispanics is only going to continue to build. Bottom line, they love to online shop, but inform their decisions based on readily available product information and relevant content. They present a significant opportunity for marketers, but only if marketers deliver the goods they're looking for.