Hispanic Millennials, The New Now Of Retail

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Every cloud has a silver lining. And when it comes to the current status of the retail industry, which ranges from “bleak to promising, according to Business.com, that silver lining consists of Hispanic millennials. In fact, regardless of the state of retail at large, Hispanic millennials — especially Latinas — are the new now of retail, and their impact on your bottom line may be more than you realize.

Whether you sell products online, through brick and mortar or through a hybrid model, Hispanic millennials are essential to your success. Here we’ll share key factors behind why and how to reach them and gain their loyalty.

The power of the Hispanic retail purse: $3.3 billion and counting

At first glance, this may not be so obvious, given that “Hispanic incomes are often lower than those of non-Hispanics,” per Multicultural Retail 360. However, a different picture emerges beneath the surface and it’s definitely favorable to all types of retailers and indicative of Hispanic spending trends:

  • “Latina women are fast becoming the new majority consumer, and the purchasing power they wield is making retail companies sit up and take notice,” reports NBC News. As further reported by NBC, Hispanic women spent $3.3 billion from 2012 to 2013 just in footwear.
  • Hispanics average $1,998 on apparel and service purchases per year, compared to $1,659 for non-Hispanics, as reported by Multicultural Retail 360.

But the dollars are just one part of the story: By 2060, Hispanic women will make up around 30% of the total female population of the United States, indicates Latina Power Shift.

How and where Hispanics shop: from mall to mobile

The habits of Hispanics complement their purchasing power and retailers need to take note! Similar to meals and special occasions, shopping for clothes is more than taking a trip to the department store; it’s a family affair. And when they do take that trip to the store or mall, where are they going? Multicultural Retail 360 reports that:

  • Among Hispanic millennials: 48% head to retailers like Dillard’s and Macy’s, while the balance opt for “local fashion stores.”
  • Hispanic women like Zara, while the millennial men show affinity for American Eagle. Combined, men and women tend to like JCPenney.

What makes these numbers compelling is that in all cases (except American Eagle), the Hispanic preference is greater than in the non-Hispanic population.

The consumer journey for the Hispanic shopper goes beyond the physical boundaries of the mall or local store. As we’ve reported before, Hispanics over-index on mobile and are early adopters of technology, and the retail environment is no exception. Thus, the Internet is a vital source of information in the consumer journey:

  • 53% of Hispanics go online to search for sales or reviews
  • Once at the retail store, 83% of Hispanics who go online through mobile do so to inform a purchasing decision in real time

When it comes to digital ads, Google reports that 66% of online Hispanics pay attention to them — that’s 20 points more than general market. This statistic alone is more than enough to justify a comprehensive strategy aimed at Hispanics, and abandon the “we’ll just translate the content into Spanish” approach.

Cultural relevance drives sales and loyalty

We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: language communicates, culture connects. So put aside any plans to translate your content from English to Spanish, and begin with Hispanic culture in mind. To make a meaningful and lasting connection with Hispanics, consider these tactics:

  • Appeal to touchpoints of cultural passion: Whether food, traditions, nostalgia for their home country, family togetherness, sports fever and more, your brand will connect with Hispanics if it identifies with their sensibilities … without stereotyping (no soccer balls or Mariachi bands necessary).
  • Choose the proper language approach: Depending on your target audience segment, you may be able to use English or Spanish, or even a combination of both.
  • Make your visuals as compelling as your copy: Investing time in finding, or even creating, the proper imagery will reinforce the connection with the Hispanic consumer and not alienate them with out-of-touch stock imagery.
  • Leverage the power of Hispanic influencers: Word-of-mouth is as important in the consumer journey as online reviews. A successful influencer campaign is one that is aligned with your audience’s cultural touch points and is honest and transparent.