Online Latino Shopper
The Internet audience is changing -- fast. More than many other groups, Hispanics go online to socialize, find good deals and purchase new products. Latinos are the fastest growing demographic on the Web, the heaviest users of wireless access to mobile phones and laptops, and 80 percent of Latinos socialize online.
According to Nielsen, Hispanic shoppers spent $125 billion on consumer packaged goods products last year. This shopping power will soon translate online, as the buying power of Hispanics in the U.S. and Caribbean will increase twice as fast as the U.S. general market in the next few years.
These factors create a lucrative opportunity for businesses that want a closer connection with online Latino shoppers.
Businesses targeting online Hispanic consumers should take into account specific cultural differences and ethnic preferences. For example, according to the Pew Hispanic Center's National Survey of Latinos, more than half of Latinos ages 16 to 25 identify themselves first by their family's country of origin, and an additional 20% generally use the terms "Hispanic" or "Latino" first when describing themselves. They are satisfied with their lives, optimistic about their futures and place a high value on education, hard work and career success. A valuable market indeed.
Digital Divide No Más
In walks CompraLatino (www.compralatino.com). Founded in 2008 by online shopping pioneer Eddie Batiz, this e-commerce company has strategically planted its Internet roots in the fertile soil of the online Latin shopping culture.
Batiz has been at the forefront of online communities and e-commerce. He foresaw that Hispanic would consume more Internet than the general market. Through a partnership with Casiano Communications, a Puerto Rico-based news media company, they have built CompraCaribe (www.compracaribe.com), a uniquely Hispanic online marketplace forum where shoppers can find and purchase top-branded products and services from Latino Businesses.
Eddie Batiz did not need to wait for the release of the Census data to understand that the Internet is important in Hispanics' daily lives. This year, 29.6 million Hispanics -- nearly 60% of the Hispanic population -- will go online at least once a month. By 2014, 39.2 million Hispanics will be online.
"Mercado Central Meets Amazon.com"
Based on the "Mercado Central" Hispanic shopping tradition, CompraCaribe's Latino-focused marketplace helps businesses find customers and each other. The bilingual online community offers businesses a way to sell worldwide and offers business directories and online stores.
More businesses are incorporating online communities within their corporate strategy. As these arenas increasingly become a fundamental component for professional success, businesses should look to experts like Eddie Batiz on the forefront of this industry to understand the extent of the benefits e-commerce tactics have to offer.
A Brave New Web
Online Hispanic shoppers will continue to be an important part of the economic system. Latinos' affinity for technologies that ease communicating across geographic boundaries, allow interaction, build communities for like-minded individuals will affect the way businesses approach e-commerce.
Entrepreneurs such as Batiz have been aware of the vitality of communicating with Latinos through technology for years. He has built his career around empowering people through technology, and information particularly among Hispanics.
Experts with established working models for communicating with Hispanics through technologies can guide the business world over the threshold into the new age of technological advancements and a way to connect to online Latino shoppers.