Mobile and Social Fuel U.S. Hispanics' Purchasing Funnel - Fernando Rodriguez-Terra

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Cover image for  article: Mobile and Social Fuel U.S. Hispanics' Purchasing Funnel - Fernando Rodriguez-Terra

Terra's Fernando Rodriguez shares insights on how Hispanics are setting the trends of digital consumer behavior

Are you heavy mobile device user while at a retail store? Do you send pictures to friends or family before making a purchase? Do you test or demo a product in store and then purchase it online at a lower price? Do you use your mobile phone to find deal or coupons while in a retail store?

Hispanics are using all of these mobile and social features as part of the purchasing process. Results from Terra's Third Hispanic Digital Consumer Study by comScore show that Hispanics are more socially engaged on the Internet, over-index in mobile device ownership and increasingly make purchases from these devices. They have a preference towards purchasing from portable devices, while non-Hispanics rely on more traditional methods such as purchasing from a retail store or PC. As the direction of digital consumer behavior shifts, advertisers must adapt to engage their audience directly through digital devices.

Hispanics represent almost one-fifth of the 18-34 demographic in the U.S. and consistently use this social connectivity in search of upward mobility. This fast growing segment of the population values new technology, education and risk taking because they are keys to staying ahead of the curve.This consumer is up-to-date on the latest trends and tends to be extremely social, connect via instant messaging, social networking, chat sites and consume online videos. In this new digital lifestyle, Hispanicscontinue paving the way for digital consumers in the U.S. as trendsetters. For these early adopters of new technology, mobile is now the primary device.

Not surprisingly, Hispanics continue to outpace non-Hispanics with the adoption of smartphones, an increase from 43% in 2010 to 57% in 2012 compared to an increase from 36% in 2010 to 46% in 2012 for non-Hispanics. They have taken the smartphone adoption a step further by using them to research and make purchases more than non-Hispanic consumers in every category.

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Furthermore, Hispanics' e-commerce purchases across categories outspend the average Internet user on automotive accessories, computer software, home appliances, laptop computers, online service subscriptions, toys/games, travel packages and more. They are more likely to research categories such as computer software, baby/kids clothing, real estate, and art/photography before making purchases. During the purchasing funnel, Hispanics are more likely to use social, mobile and online content as resources.

Digital advertising engagement among Hispanics continues to trend upward and plays an increasingly important role in their purchasing decision process. They are more likely to remember brands advertised on portable devices and are motivated to visit brand websites and/or retail stores as a result of digital advertising and social posts. In fact, 38% of Hispanics agree that they are more likely to visit branded sites and retail stores compared to just 22% of non-Hispanics. The Hispanic consumer is shopping savvy and will research, access and redeem incentive options online.

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Marketers should utilize multiple digital platforms to engage these key consumers and influence their purchase patterns. Hispanics are at the forefront of embracing mobile, social and digital technology and that provides marketers with a look at where digital consumer behavior in the U.S. is headed. This presents a plethora of opportunities available for those who are ready to get a digital head start.

Terra's Third Hispanic Digital Consumer Study by comScore surveyed a nationally representative sample of 3,048 Hispanic and non-Hispanic consumers from February 29-March 14, 2012. Additionally, panelists from comScore's panel of one million people in the United States' online behavioral was also passively observed for the study from January- March 2012.

Fernando Rodríguez joined Terra Networks in 2000 as Chief Financial Officer and as a founding member of the team that launched Terra.com. In 2004 he took on the position of Chief Executive Officer and he now oversees the operations of Terra Networks in the US, with headquarters based in Miami and offices in New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco. He has played a key role in the growth of the organization and in consolidating Terra Networks USA’s position as the leading Internet portal for the US Hispanic market.

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