Hispanic Back-to-School Shopping Behavior

By Roberto Ruiz Univision Communications Archives

The U.S. Census reports that more than one in five students currently enrolled in school is Hispanic. Because of that, winning the wallets of Hispanics is imperative to any retailer looking to have a successful back-to-school season. Here are a few things to keep in mind.

Hispanic families are younger and larger, and this is reflected in their back to school shopping habits. Mintel reports that 47% of Hispanics are planning to spend more on school items this year (only 35% of the total population said the same). They also plan to start early -- 81% of Hispanics reported they like to check shopping off their list before the start of school. And who’s going on this trip? Don’t be surprised to see mom with la comadre -- 72% reported usually doing back-to-school shopping with friends or family (vs. just 52% for non-Hispanics).

So, we know where Hispanics stand on budget, timing and group dynamics, but what about purchase drivers? Mintel’s Back-to-School Shopping report took a deeper dive and found that awareness is important, as “familiarity with products or brands” (36%) was the most important driver. Price comparison tools were also cited as a purchase driver, proving that accessibility and convenience are important factors. Understanding this, last fall Walmart promoted its new Savings Catcher tool in time for the back to school season on Univision Network’s morning show "Despierta America." Last, we see how the power of word of mouth also moves Hispanics to action, as nearly 1 in every 3 cited advice from their networks -- friends, family and schools -- as an important factor in determining what products to buy or retailers to visit.

Education is a primary concern for Hispanic parents and, like all families, making sure their kids are well prepared for the school year is one way they work hard to achieve that goal. Brands that position themselves as partners in this goal will fare well.

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