ISSUE NO. 70 10/31/12

There's no question that marketers are increasingly turning their attention to Hispanic shoppers, and with good reason. The latest U.S. Census data show that the Hispanic population has topped 50 million in the U.S., bringing this fast-growing segment up to 15.8% of the total population. They have money to spend too: Hispanic spending power is estimated to reach $1.3 trillion by 2013. Yet, for all the attention brands and retailers are paying to them, there is still a lot of room for improvement in effectively merchandising to Hispanics.

The Shelby Report recently posted some ideas for catering to this diverse shopper segment in-store. In addition to the obvious (e.g., bilingual communication), the post also suggested retailers may designate a specific day a week that features deals, programs or even in-store demos that focus on Hispanics and products they appreciate: salsas, marinades, sauces, beans, tortillas, desserts, etc. The store could stock extra ethnic fresh produce or create end-of-aisle displays that feature high volume Hispanic items. Also, creating smartphone apps that tie into other social media platforms can be a winner with Hispanics in this digital age. For older generation Hispanics who are less tech-heavy than the second- or third-generation, a lighter approach, e.g., deploying Spanish Short Message Services (SMS) to share deals or offers could be compelling.
The Shelby Report also noted that Hispanic shoppers are very price-focused, with low price being a key driver in their purchase decisions. In addition, Hispanic shoppers are more open to private label goods than the general population, with 37% of the items in their baskets being a store brand compared to 25% of the items in the average shopper's basket.

Hispanics' striking preference for store brands is telling, but it's not the whole story. Though Hispanics are looking for low prices when they buy store brands, it also means that they haven't established brand loyalty to national brands. This means an opportunity for national brands to step up and gain Hispanic shoppers' attention by relating to them without being patronizing; and offering them value in terms they can appreciate. So, take the opportunity to partner with retailers in breakthrough ways, such as a dedicated shopping day with special in-store demos, to demonstrate the value of your products and build the foundation of brand loyalty with this coveted segment.

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"Growing Store Brand Loyalty: Hispanic-Americans as a Target Market," The Shelby Report, 7/12/12

Hispanic shoppers, in-store

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