In 2008 there were 23 million Hispanics online consumers. By 2010 there will be over 30 million Hispanic online consumers and the research indicates that 47% of these Hispanic consumers are under the age of 35 and 51% of those consumers are males. The Hispanic online consumer is very similar to the non-Hispanic online consumer in terms of annual income and the amount of years they have been using the Internet as well as their connection speed. Some studies show that 54% of the Hispanics on the Internet earn less than $60 thousand a year, while 52% of non-Hispanics earn less than $60,000. Also, 54% of the Hispanic online consumers have broadband connections, while only 49% of the non-Hispanic market has broadband. Both groups have been using the Internet for about five years. Research has also indicated that English-language campaigns do not reach these Hispanic consumers effectively, especially when it comes to new technology.
As more Hispanic websites are being created, the Hispanic consumer is finding and using them. Advertising campaigns done by small Hispanic businesses in both Spanish and English seem to be working and producing results for several small businesses.
Three major Internet sites are focusing on the Hispanic market. AOL Latino, MSN and Yahoo! en Español are featuring content for the Hispanic online consumer and the major automobile companies are devoting thousands of dollars to attract the Hispanic consumer through Spanish websites and advertising campaigns. Companies who focus on financial services, as well as media groups and real estate companies have online Spanish advertising programs that target the under 35 Hispanic consumer. More small businesses are using the Spanish version of the Windows Vista operating system in order to handle the increased traffic from the Hispanic online consumer.
Establishing Brand Recognition with the Hispanic Consumer
Another interesting comparison between the Hispanic and the non-Hispanic online consumer is 27% of the Hispanic consumers visit music, movie and sports sites and 54% participate in contests and sweepstakes. Hispanic online consumers are much more active in new technology, as well as doing research online. The Hispanic consumer is loyal to brands and those brands are passed down from generation to generation, so it’s important to establish brand recognition by using both an English website as well as its Spanish counterpart.
Hispanic online consumers use English as well as Spanish websites to compare them, so they get the same experience in both languages. Online Hispanic consumers also navigate between the English and Spanish as a way to learn the English language. Bilingual websites allow older and younger members of the family to experience the website as a family.
The online Hispanic consumer is interested in new technology and uses it daily. Small businesses that are targeting the Hispanic consumer should be familiar with the social networks and possibly launch a banner advertising campaign using a technology theme as a common thread. Some researches indicate that a small business that wants to attract the techno savvy Hispanic online consumer should have an English website and a Spanish website, or a combination that fits the Hispanic consumer’s habits. With 23 million consumers online, another website can improve awareness and increase sales and profits by tapping into a new market segment.
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