It’s important to remember there is no “one size fits all” when it comes to the Hispanic audience – their diversity goes well beyond the usual conversation around language and acculturation. This point was vividly reaffirmed in IRI’s recently released 2016 HispanicLink study, which uncovers some very unique insights into the Hispanic shopper.
Let’s dive into what marketers need to know most to engage with this key demographic.
Everyone talks about millennials broadly, but did you know almost 60 percent of the 55 million Hispanics in the U.S. are millennials or younger? And if you’re looking to grow grocery sales, these “Hispennials” are the segment you simply can’t ignore. They account for 80 percent of the segment’s growth, shop online more than non-Hispanics and are extremely open to trying new products. It’s key to target them throughout the path-to-purchase with relevant content that reflects their adventurous and tech-savvy behaviors.
“Beyond seeking sales and deals, Hispanics also gather more information and research online prior to shopping, and this is especially true among “Hispennials”, where we see that behavior averaging 15-20 points higher, especially when it comes to gathering information from social media or a blog when buying consumer packaged goods,” said Staci Covkin, principal of Consumer and Shopper Marketing for IRI.
The study revealed that Hispanics often shop without a list. This means they enjoy the overall grocery shopping experience and are open to changing their mind about initial product choices to explore other brands. Findings from the survey show that Hispanics:
Since they also tend to shop with others and view shopping as a social occurrence, it’s important that grocery stores cater to the overall experience. They don’t want to just shop – they want to experience food, have fun and learn. Make your stores memorable with in-store events like product demonstrations and cooking classes. Include targeted displays that adapt to their biculturalism and enhance the experience.
“You must create an engaging store experience by designing visually interesting displays, providing opportunity to touch products and encouraging interaction with in-store personnel,” added Covkin. “Take advantage of those opportunities by offering bilingual in-store signage and developing an environment that is inviting for Hispanics.”
IRI found that there are six segments of general e-commerce shoppers: shopping enthusiasts, variety seekers, review seekers, selective e-shoppers, e-shopping resistors and e-shopping avoiders.
A large number of Hispanic shoppers fall into the e-shopping enthusiasts and review seeker categories. For the Hispanic review seekers segment, customer reviews are a critical part of their shopping journey for food and beverages. Compared to non-Hispanics, they are even more influenced by reviews and recommendations and gather more info online from social media and blogs prior to shopping. Ensure your brand name is where Hispanics are looking online by partnering with social influencers to craft social content, including reviews, recipes and videos about your products.
When you combine the density of Hispennials and their digital and social skills with their propensity to shop online you can quickly see the huge opportunity for CPG brands from beauty products and food to household items, including online grocery shopping where Hispanic millennials are leading the way.
“Hispanics move between digital interfaces and often complete their online transactions in the store or compare prices in the store,” continued Covkin. “So, it’s very important to make the entire buying process seamless – both online and offline.”
It is crucial that brands and retailers capitalize on these trends by providing digital-friendly coupons, relevant content and a wealth of product/service information. Digital offerings will cement the increasingly important connection with these savvy shoppers.
Final note: Overall, the number of shopping trips by Hispanics are declining, but dollars per trip are higher among them versus non-Hispanics. The key to making a cultural connection and capturing those dollars is creating a relevant and memorable experience for them both online and offline. If you give them the bicultural content and product information they’re searching for online and the social endeavor they’re craving while in-store, you’ll have a winning strategy in no time.