A recent study from JupiterResearch predicts that Hispanics will spend $12.8 billion online in 2007, which represents 11% of all online spending. The report also states that Hispanic spending is expected to grow to $21.6 billion (13% of all online spending) by 2011.
Hispanics are more likely than non-Hispanics to research products online before buying them from a brick and mortar store. They are also more likely to leave customer feedback and are more inclined to participate in the social shopping phenomenon in general.
Some of this information surprised me, and there is no doubt that smart e-tailers should at least start planning on how to reach this growing segment. Here are a few things that we have learned about marketing to Hispanics.
1) Most Hispanics in the United States are used to shopping on English websites. It is probably not necessary to completely translate your site. You might want to translate your product page information, but there may be no need to invest in a completely Hispanic version of your site.
2) Hispanics obviously have their own online buying patterns. Just because you sell an item well to non-Hispanics does not mean that Hispanics are necessarily going to purchase it online.
3) Hispanics tend to prefer different payment methods than non-Hispanics (though that might be changing). In general, credit cards are not as popular while COD and checks by phone payments are more prevalent.
4) Forget about Hispanic search engines. At least in the United States, the vast majority of Hispanics use the same search engines as non-Hispanics.
5) Look for ways to incorporate user generated content and user reviews into your marketing strategy. Hispanics are more sensitive to this trend than non-Hispanics.