Online Shopping Is Up For Grabs This Holiday Season

Now that the election is over, our TV, computer and mobile screens will be bombarded with holiday shopping pitches. From a digital perspective, marketers will be competing to grab a share of the $54 billion that eMarketer predicts will be spent by consumers online this holiday season. Today, Hispanics make up 12% of the U.S. online market, which means they will spend approximately $6.5 billion. 

What should marketers know about Hispanic online shopping this holiday season? Hispanics are savvy and dedicated online shoppers and few marketers are targeting them, which represents a great opportunity.

Let's take a look at the data.

Hispanics Are More Likely to Shop Online

A recent report from the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) found that 46% of online Hispanics 18+ regularly shop online compared to 43% of general market online users. Hispanics also over-index when it comes to researching products online prior to purchasing offline, with 48% of online Hispanics doing so regularly vs. 40% of general market online users. Retailers should pay particular attention to this and provide a seamless experience for online researchers to buy online. This could include buy-online – pick-up-in-store functionality, printable / downloadable product information and store locaters.

So what are online Hispanics likely to buy this holiday season? The following data shows the percent of online Hispanics who researched a given category online compared to the general market.

  • Electronics: 52% vs. 45%
  • Apparel: 45% vs. 39%
  • Shoes: 33% vs. 28%
  • Appliances: 31% vs. 28%

Mobile and Social Are Key to Reaching Hispanic Shopping Carts

Hispanics are more likely than the general market to seek advice prior to making a purchase and they do so through mobile and social channels. Marketers looking to tap into Hispanic online shopping holiday season should look to mobile and social media. This is how Hispanics seek purchase advice compared to the general market:

  • Face-to-Face: 75% vs. 79%
  • Product Reviews: 35% vs. 34%
  • Email: 25% vs. 26%
  • Text: 24% vs. 21%
  • Mobile Device: 23% vs. 21%
  • Facebook: 20% vs. 18%
  • Blogs: 16% vs. 13%

Most Retailers Ignoring Hispanic Online Shopping Opportunity

Given this research, it would seem that retailers would be proactively marketing to online Hispanics. However, that's not the case. 

Of large retailers, Best Buy and Sears’s Hispanic online efforts stand out. As I mentioned in a previous post, Best Buy offers a full Spanish language version of BestBuy.com and has a strategy for supporting Hispanics who research online and purchase in store. That said, Best Buy does not offer a Spanish version of its mobile site and does not have a Spanish language social media presence. 

Sears’s Hispanic online strategy is focused not only on a Spanish language version of its site, but also on social media, including the Sears Latino Facebook page (110,000 followers) and Twitter account (more than 4,000 followers.) 

It seems like the door is wide open for other retailers to cash in on the $6.5 billion that Hispanics will spend this holiday season.

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