Who is the Latina Shopper?
As access to technology and the convenience of online consumerism changes the way we shop, it’s impossible to ignore the role Latinos play in setting trends and styles. From the clothing we wear to home goods, to the music we listen to, Latinos have a hand in it all. To kick off the New Year, we thought it fitting to highlight the role that Latinas (las mujeres) play in the retail industry.
Adrian Carrasquillo from NBC Latino wrote an interesting article about how Latinas are changing the face of America, and how multicultural marketing is influencing our every day purchases, decision-making, and trends—though many overlook the effect of Latinos. For the current general market, the Latina woman represents beauty, style and sensuality, but at the same time is a pillar of family values and a champion for her Hispanic heritage.
Brands that truly understand the buying power of both Latina shoppers and acculturated Hispanics are the ones that have succeeded in making an emotional connection with the demographic. (Keep in mind the constant evolution of the statistical projection of this group):
- 66 percent of Latinas own a smartphone. 39% use their mobile devices for online shopping.1
- 60 percent of Latinas consult mobile apps before going shopping. 2
- 80 percent of the time Latinas are the key decision-makers and influencers in a household. 3
- $1.4 trillion is the estimated buying power of Latina women for 2013.3
Latin Flair and Style
Latinas are increasingly shopping online—looking for trends and deals—and frequently sharing findings with family and friends on social networks like Facebook, Pinterest or Twitter. The Latina shopper is someone who loves to socialize. The median age of the Latina shopper is approximately 10 years younger than non-Hispanic white females in the U.S., which affects purchasing habits and product preferences in the areas of technology, music, beauty, and fashion. The female Hispanic shopper is passionate and “identifies herself with the brands that are trendy, feminine, sexy and fun,” reveals a Latina Insights survey.
A recent study published by Hispanic Retail 360 that was conducted by various top marketers, including PepsiCo, Sara Lee, and VISA exposes the various categories of Latina shoppers listed below:
- “Las Digitalistas” (31%): Latinas who shop online, use the Internet as a valuable reference resource. This segment tends to be bilingual.
- “Las Exploradoras” (27%): These Latinas love the entire experience of shopping, they are willing to try new products, tend to visit a variety of stores, and are Spanish dominant.
- “Las Pragmáticas” (23%): Latinas who are practical, shopping only for what they need and the best value.
- “Las Fre$itas” (20%): Latinas who are young and affluent, and love to impulse shop. They prefer American stores and tend to be bilingual.
Targeting Latinas: Which language works best?
Latinos are the youngest ethnic group in America and are rapidly embracing digital media for shopping and entertainment. To that end, 60% of Latinos turn to the Internet to make purchases and, according to a survey conduced by Hispanidad, a division of Heinrich Marketing, 38% of Hispanics find English language ads less effective than Spanish ads, thus preferring Spanish-language media to English. 4 When it comes to television, for instance, Univision remains on top as the fifth-ranking network in the United States, behind ABC, NBC, CBS, and Fox. 5 What does this mean for brands and to the Latina consumer? It means that language matters and hence considering culturally relevant Spanish-language content is paramount when reaching Hispanics. For consumer brands, the message should not only be culturally sensitive but also take into account the targeted groups’ native tongue to make a positive impact.
Major retailers such as Macy’s, Kohl’s, Kmart, Wal-Mart and Target have begun implementing culturally relevant campaigns. In 2012, Macy’s put forth an updated image of the Latina shopper more in tune with the Millennial market’s shopping behavior and style. The strategy serves to show that, with this robust approach, Macy’s captures more Hispanic fashion-conscious consumers than any other traditional department store.
Hispanic Millennial Shopper
Being a Millennial is a matter of attitude. When marketers and advertisers once targeted Baby Boomers, they are now turning their attention to Millennials—people between the ages of 18-34—as the next consumer boom. Hispanic Millennials are doubly important because not only are they the fastest growing demographic in the U.S. but they are also tech-savvy consumers. This makes them a venerable target for many brands asthey tend to over-index in apparel, fragrance and cosmetics purchases. 6
What is most surprising about Hispanic Millennials is that the group’s cultural connection outweighs their level of acculturation. These young, U.S-born Hispanics still strive to stay connected to their culture despite an American upbringing. As seen from the graph below, this is most prominent among those Latinos 25-34 of age of which 65% hold a medium or high cultural connection to their Latin roots. The Hispanic Millennial shopper is very often bilingual and an active user of new media. She represents a large portion of the spending growth in the U.S. (and more than 70% of U.S. millennial population growth in the latest Census). For this particular group, their connection and identity as Latinas is very important, and thus influences their decision-making and lifestyle choices.
Marketers and advertisers have taken notice of Hispanics for some time now but as they turn their attention to Latinas—the decision-makers in the majority of Hispanic households—they should not underestimate the role that Spanish and a strong cultural connection plays in creating a campaign or developing a new product that will resonate with this group. Hispanic marketing deserves the same time, budget allocation, and needed resources as any traditional campaign.
(1) Study: 66% of Latinas Own Smartphones & Other Fun Facts About Latina Shoppers
(2) Latina shoppers are the most savvy, says report
(3) The Power of the Mamás Latinas
(4) Marketing to the Online Hispanic Consumer
(5) Hispanic Marketing: A Critical Market Segment
(6) Hispanic Retail 360 Hispanic Millennials