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16pc of Hispanic shoppers use mobile to make purchase: study

May 28, 2013

Hispanic shoppers are increasingly turning to their mobile devices to aid in the in-store shopping experience, according to a new study from The Integer Group and M/A/R/C Research.

The Integer Group’s latest “The Checkout” report looks specifically at how Hispanic shoppers behave while in stores and online, and how the trends compare to other demographics. The report suggests that retailers should focus mobile geared towards Hispanic shoppers by focusing specifically on the in-store experience.

“As a younger population than the general market, not only are Hispanic shoppers adopting technology faster, but they are using it in different contexts,” said Armand Parra, director of insight and strategy at The Integer Group, Denver.

“For many Hispanic users, their mobile device is their primary access point to the Web and therefore their whole context on digital is built around mobile tools, not PC-based behaviors,” he said.

“Marketers need to understand this alternate context when building Hispanic specific programs.”

Mobile guide
The 16 percent of Hispanic shoppers who use mobile to make a purchase is higher than the 12 percent of general market shoppers who do the same.

When it comes to mobile technology used in-store, Hispanic consumers are more likely to use a UPC or QR code with pricing information. Roughly 15 percent of Hispanic consumers used a QR code or UPC code to aid in shopping with slightly less of the general market saying the same.

Approximately 10 percent of Hispanic shoppers used a location-based service such as foursquare or Yelp to help with shopping, which again is a higher percentage than the group of general shoppers.

Ten percent of both Hispanic and general market shoppers used a mobile or online sweepstakes in-store.

Roughly 25 percent of Hispanics used their mobile device to find a store location.

Additionally, Hispanic shoppers skew higher than general market shoppers when it comes to comparing prices, reading reviews, creating shopping lists and making online purchases.

There are also some interesting differences between male and female Hispanic shoppers.

Thirty-four percent of Hispanic women said that they would be willing to interact with a brand via SMS while only 23 percent of Hispanic men said the same.

In-store guide
The report points to shopping as a communal activity for Hispanics.

For instance, 34 percent of Hispanics surveyed said that an aunt, uncle, family friend or grandparent would be involved in back-to-school shopping. This is greater than the 24 percent of the general market that said the same.

Additionally, 55 percent of Hispanics surveyed said that they enjoyed shopping with their friends and family compared to 38 percent of the general public.

This points to the role of social and mobile for marketers looking to reach this group of users who rely on the opinions of their friends and family.

In fact, 40 percent of less-acculturated Hispanics said that friend and family recommendations influence their shopping list. Twenty-nine percent of the general market said the same.

This is especially important when Hispanic shoppers try new products and brands.

With the Hispanic demographic so social, marketers need to remember that the demographic is likely to share their experiences with brands via social media, which can therefore lead to either positive or negative future relationships.

Perfecting the in-store experience
The findings also point to Hispanic shoppers spending more time in-stores because they enjoy shopping, which has big implications for how marketers marry in-store and mobile initiatives.

Twenty-seven percent of Hispanic consumers surveyed said that an enjoyable experience was the most important to shopping. Seventeen percent of acculturated Hispanics favored spending as little time as possible inside a store.

This has particularly large implications for department stores, which is where 30 percent of Hispanics said they planned to shop from for the 2012 holiday season.

To compare, 25 percent of the general market said that they would shop from online retailers. A mere 9 percent of Hispanics said that they would focus on online retailers to shop for the holidays.

One of the reasons that Hispanics prefer to shop in-store is because they want to experience a product, pointing to the ways that marketers can tie mobile directly into the shopping experience.

Similarly, free online shopping is not as strong as an incentive for Hispanic shoppers as it is for other demographics. Thirty-nine percent of Hispanics said that they have used free online shopping for holiday shopping.

Increasing loyalty
Twenty-eight percent of Hispanics surveyed said that they are immediately drawn to name-brand products in store.

However, 68 percent of Hispanic shoppers find their regular brand but 68 percent of Hispanics find their favorite brand in-store but consider other brands.

This could be particularly important for CPG marketers looking to sway users between similar products in a store through targeted mobile offers.

Sixty-eight percent of Hispanic shoppers look for what coupons they have first for a product before looking for other options. Sixty percent of general market shoppers said the same.

“Retailers need to embrace the sensorial and experiential needs of the Hispanic shopper and find ways for technology to enhance the shopping trip,” Mr. Parra said.

“For bricks-and-mortar-mortar retailers, they can increase interaction with products perhaps by creating “out of pack” feeling virtual interaction that gives shoppers enhanced access to what’s in the box,” he said.

“ETailers should take into consideration the need for Hispanic shoppers to interact online in a similar way as bricks-and-mortar and bring products to life more dynamically as well.”

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is associate reporter on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York

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