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Consumer Research: An Insight to the Buying Patterns of the Online Hispanic Shopper

Posted on July 29, 2008 by Arianna

Providing excellent service in today’s highly competitive marketplace is somewhat difficult for call centers. Even more difficult is the task of servicing multilingual customers.  Dealing with Hispanic customers encompasses customer relationship opportunities that are not necessarily typical to other demographics. There are a few differences that make it more difficult to “seal the deal” on a purchase, but that can create a pathway to repeat purchases.  I know these things from experience, not only am I myself a Hispanic, Bilingual woman, but I come from a family that encapsulates the Mexican culture.

From my experiences I have learned three key things about Hispanic consumers who decide to purchase from an unknown company and these are the things the look for prior to completing a purchase.  The three key elements I am referring to are: simplicity, relationship and security.

Simplicity

Having a website that is easy to browse and understand is essential when dealing with Hispanic consumers. They want to feel like they understand and have control of the website, not fearing that they may get tricked, or that there is a chance they make a costly mistake. Another feature that may be the most important is the ability to locate a contact phone number; which brings us to the next feature they look for, a relationship.

Relationship 

Having a relationship with our customers can be very time consuming and costly, especially when time is money. With Internet sales sky rocketing, the seller-consumer relationship has dropped considerably. There is no need to talk to someone if you can do it alone, online. Hispanic consumers however, think differently. Though they might be using a different mean (store vs. online) by which they are purchasing an item, a relationship is still essential. Spanish speakers want to be able to ask many questions, talk about the products, and even want to be walked through the ordering process. But the relationship does not stop there. After the sale has been made, Hispanic consumers expect a phone call or an email with updates on their order.  Just as simplicity builds upon the relationship aspect of this purchasing decision, relationship builds on the next point, security.

Security

The relationship that is started with a Hispanic customer brings about a sense of security for the customer. They know two things:

  1. They purchased an item from an actual “person”.
  2. That person took the time to know who they were and what they purchased by simply picking up the phone.

These two simple facts reduce any fear that they might have had from purchasing from a new vendor. Thus allowing the customer to relax and patiently wait for their order.

These three features, while often difficult to provide, can and will give a company a competitive advantage. When fully satisfied with the above, a Hispanic customer is more likely to become a return customer. Loyalty has to be one of their greatest attributes. When a Spanish speaking customer finds a company that provides them with a relationship, that company becomes a “friend”; a friend whom you trust and continue to do business with. 

Opportunity for Growth

According to ambicultural.com there are 37 million Hispanics in the United States alone.   An estimated 15 million use the internet, and this number is expected to increase by 20% year over year.  Based on these attributes and our desire to create these relationships, we ourselves have been able to track remarkable results in this demographic.  We have experienced a 4.7% increase in repeat purchases with this customer base. We understand that a customer will not be purchasing a faucet monthly or even yearly, but the fact is that with our Hispanic customers, loyalty stands and we see that revealed in our numbers.  As this market continues to grow so does the opportunity for all internet retailers. 

 

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