Hispanics To Drive Online Shopping Growth - InformationWeek

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Hispanics To Drive Online Shopping Growth

Jupiter Research predicts that Hispanic online shoppers will spend $12.8 billion on retail products in 2007, or 11% of all online retail spending.

Hispanics will increase online spending more than other ethnic groups in the next few years, are more likely than others to post feedback, and gravitate toward sites with social features, according to recent research.

Jupiter Research's report "Hispanic Shoppers Online, 2007," predicts that Hispanic online shoppers will spend $12.8 billion on retail products in 2007, or 11% of all online retail spending. Hispanic spending online is expected to grow to $21.6 billion by 2011, and Hispanics will represent about 13% of all online spending, according to Jupiter.

Hispanics are more likely than others to research products online, with 27% reporting that they use the Internet all or most of the time to research purchases made in brick-and-mortar stores, according to the research. That compares to 23% for non-Hispanics.

"Because the spending power of the largest U.S. minority group is increasing, retailers should find ways to convert Hispanic researchers into purchasers," the report stated.

Hispanics are more likely than other shoppers to provide feedback, with 34% creating and contributing content about online products in the last year, compared to 28% of non-Hispanics, Jupiter said. They have demonstrated greater interest in contributing to sites with social shopping tools, are more likely to rate or tag items, post reviews, and blog about products, according to Jupiter. They often post feedback because of negative shopping experiences and list helping other customers as the main reason for the feedback, but Hispanic users are twice as likely as others to report that they wanted to vent about bad experiences or warn others about a product's shortcomings, Jupiter said.

Hispanics between 18 and 34 are twice as likely as others to use social networking or social shopping sites like Kaboodle and Stylehive to research products, according to Jupiter. Forty-five percent of Hispanics in that age group have contributed content about products online, compared to 36% of non-Hispanics users in the same age group, according to Jupiter's research.

Jupiter urged retailers to implement customer product reviews and other social tools to market to Hispanics, who report buying products that hadn't already planned to buy after receiving recommendations from others. Thirty-four percent of Hispanic users said friends influence their purchasing decisions for products that cost more than $200, compared with 28% among non-Hispanics. Thirty-five percent said they would be more likely to use social and community sites for researching and buying products if full price information -- including tax and shipping charges -- were included with listings. That compares with 26% of non-Hispanics.

Hispanics also reported using social and community sites with direct links to sites that sell goods, those that allow them to add items directly to carts from sites in which goods are mentioned, and those that provide inventory information about products.

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