The Shopper Social Media Equation

Recently, I stumbled upon an insight that re-framed the way I once thought about Hispanic shoppers. Turning up in my team's research on Hispanic shopping patterns was the revelation that Hispanic shoppers tend to emulate that bit of wisdom which says that the family that plays together stays together. The data underscored that Hispanic shoppers shop collectively, either with their children or with children plus spouse. Digging deeper, I found a series of quantitative studies in which I've seen double the incidence in both of these categories.

So you might think it must have been clear to marketers for quite some time that Hispanics tend to shop with their families. Actually, that's not the case. One of the most illuminating assessments in our ethnography is that Latinos don't shop with their family so much as they shop as a family. These findings are significant, particularly when you consider how it applies to the Latino Path To Purchase, for which our shorthand is LP2P. The realization that you are targeting not an individual but a demographic cross-section is significant. It changes the LP2P shopper marketing calculus not only as it relates to traditional pre-store, in-store, and post-store shopper marketing vehicles, but also as it relates to some of the newer digital shopper targeting vehicles.

Given the collective shopping mindset, what digital opportunities does this represent for Latino shoppers? I find that LP2P digital shopper targeting has amplified this tendency to rely on friends and families for shopping advice. Add to it the documented trend among Latinos to be highly social on Facebook. To quote just a few Facebook statistics on Hispanics: 1.3 index on commenting, 1.6 index on likes, 1.5 index on video uploads, and 1.5 index on check-ins. Need a second opinion? Check out the Pew Hispanic Center survey: Two-thirds (68%) of Latino Internet users say they use Facebook, Twitter, or other social networking sites. In contrast, 58% of all U.S. Internet users say they use Facebook, Twitter, or other social networking sites. Nielsen's mobile Marketsight study in 2013 also demonstrated that Hispanic adults (age 18-29) index at 104 to the overall market when it comes to social networking.

Hispanics shoppers' record of avid social media use begs the question of what role social media plays in Hispanic shopping patterns. A recent study on digital shopper marketing tools explored this point in depth. The study did a deep dive to understand the digital tools shoppers use, but, more importantly, it benchmarks Hispanic and general market tools in great detail. The study scanned a series of digital shopping tools used in making purchases in categories like food, beverage, baby care, pet food, and personal care. Both YouTube and Facebook indexed noticeably higher than the general market at 133 and 113, respectively.

The beauty of this from a shopper marketing perspective is that Hispanic digital targeting has also become much more effective due to the convergence of transactional, demographic, and behavioral data. What does this mean? Simply put, I can be more sophisticated and send information directly to your Facebook feed because I know who you are, where you have been browsing, and what you have been buying. Because I know that you like to use Facebook to shop, I can send something directly to your news feed, which you are much more likely to click on, share, and eventually purchase. 

Social media is becoming an increasingly important channel for reaching the Hispanic shopper. Social media greatly complements the pre-store and post-store phases of the purchase cycle. It is also likely to deliver greater ROI than any general market investments because of its multiplier effect, to wit:

[I share more with my family]


[I am more active on social media]


[I use more social media when I shop].

When other marketers tapping into the Hispanic shopping marketplace recognize how this equation will take them from shelf to share exponentially faster, they'll want to be part of the equation too.

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