Among Spanish Speakers, Interest in E-Commerce

 Published: October 25, 2005, E Marketer Newsletter

Although most Spanish-speaking Internet users in the US have been online for less time than their non-Spanish speaking counterparts, many expect to increase their online shopping in the coming year.

Surveying a random sample of Claria users, Feedback Research found that Spanish-speaking Internet users in the US tend to be newer to the Web than those who don't speak Spanish. Almost 80% of Spanish-speaking respondents had been online five years or less, and 46% had been using the Web for two years or less.

Hispanic Americans represent an attractive demographic for online sellers, as they are more likely to be in a prime age group for active consumers (18-35 years-old) and have families with younger children, according to a study by Roper Public Affairs for AOL. Fully 56% of Hispanic Internet users are between the ages of 18 and 34, compared to 34% of all Internet users, and 47% of Hispanic Internet users are in families with children under 18. Roper also found that Hispanics are increasingly enthusiastic about researching and buying products online. (Two-fifths of the respondents in the Roper study rated themselves as "English-dominant," or better at reading English than Spanish.

Although fewer Spanish-speaking Internet users have purchased a product online compared to their non-Spanish speaking counterparts, they are more likely to think their online shopping use will increase in the coming year.

Online shoppers who speak Spanish are significantly more likely to use portals — 53% compared to 35% — and almost 70% said they favored Spanish language sites when shopping online, although just about one-half said they were actually more likely to buy a product from a Spanish language site. This might be a sign to portals to include and promote Spanish language sections in order to maximize the attention of Spanish speakers.