You’ve heard it time and time again – put Spanish keywords in the back end of your US listing to cater to Hispanic American consumers. But do you really, truly understand the power of the Hispanic community, and the role they could possibly play in your Amazon selling journey?
The Hispanic population represents nearly 20% of the US population. That means they’re not just a swiftly-growing consumer demographic; they’re a force that’s shaping the future of commerce, culture, and community. In fact, they have more than a trillion in buying power, and the Hispanic population in the U.S. covers many sectors, ranging from construction and manual labor all the way to real estate, finance, entrepreneurship, and even politics. Understanding the Hispanic market isn’t just an option — it’s a necessity. And it’s not enough to just stick a few Spanish keywords in the back end, either.
So, what can an Amazon seller do to earn the consumer confidence of the Hispanic and Latino demographic? In this week’s blog, we go deep into the Hispanic culture and its purchasing power, and explore the strategies you can implement in your listing to attract the attention and loyalty of one of the fastest-growing sub-demographics in America today.
Thinking of expanding your Amazon business to a Spanish speaking country? When trying to decide between Spain vs. Mexico, understand the keywords are different!
Understanding the Hispanic American Consumer: Geographic and Economic Outlook
Population Growth and Demographics
Overview of Population Statistics and Projections
The Hispanic American population is one of the fastest-growing demographics in the United States. As of the latest data released by Nielsen, they represent nearly 20% of the U.S. population. The 2020 Census revealed that Hispanics accounted for 51% of all new population growth, a trend that’s expected to continue. Projections indicate that by 2050, Hispanics could comprise as much as 30% of the nation’s population. This growth is not just in numbers; it’s also in influence, with Hispanic Americans playing increasingly prominent roles in economics, culture, and politics.
Consider Carlos Slim Helu, Mexican businessman, magnate, and philanthropist, whose net worth hit 82.2bn in 2021. Or Alberto “Beto” Perez, the Colombian founder of Zumba, with a net worth of 30mn. Or Jorge Pérez, the Argentina-born “condo king of South Florida,” with a net worth of 2.8bn. Here’s one for the women out there – Maria Contreras-Sweet, whose net worth may not be as large as her peers’ on this list, but whose business record shines very brightly. You’ll remember her as the administrator of the SBA under President Obama, and as the executive chairwoman and founder of ProAmérica Bank. She’s also launched Contreras-Sweet Enterprises, a marketing and research firm, which has an illustrious portfolio, including Coca-Cola, Pacific Gas and Electric, and Walt Disney.
Millennials as a Significant Portion of the Demographic
But let’s not forget the rest of the demographic.
Millennials make up a substantial segment of the Hispanic demographic. AdWeek confirms that 58% of the Hispanic consumer demographic is under 34 years old – and that over a quarter of the multicultural population in the United States consists of Hispanics who are below 18 years old. These young individuals are currently in the process of developing their purchasing preferences and establishing loyalty to certain brands. In other words, if you’re selling a product that appeals to the Latinos, keep the young people in mind.
This generation is unique in its characteristics and impact. They are often bilingual, digitally savvy, and hold significant sway in cultural and consumer trends. As a group, Hispanic Millennials are reshaping the marketplace and workplace, bringing in a fusion of traditional values and modern perspectives. Their role is pivotal in both shaping the Hispanic community’s future and influencing broader American societal trends.
Average Age and Household Income
The Hispanic population in the United States trends young. As mentioned, a remarkable 58% of Hispanics in the U.S. are under the age of 34, indicating a youthful and vibrant demographic. This youthful skew has implications for market trends, consumer behavior, and workforce dynamics.
In terms of household income, the picture is diverse. While there are variations based on location, education, and professional fields, the average household income for Hispanic Americans has been on the rise. As of the latest data, the median household income for Hispanics stood at around $55,000. However, it’s important to note the existence of income disparities within the community, influenced by factors such as education levels, geographic location, and occupation. Despite these disparities, the overall economic power of Hispanic Americans is substantial, with their collective buying power exceeding $2.5 trillion, making them an influential economic force in the U.S. economy.
Education and Family Dynamics
Education Levels Surpassing U.S. Average
In recent years, there has been a significant leap in the education levels of Hispanic Americans, surpassing the U.S. average in some instances. More Hispanic students are graduating from high school, and college enrollment rates have seen a notable increase. This upward trend in education is a promising sign, indicating enhanced opportunities and potential for socioeconomic mobility within the Hispanic community.
High Presence of Households with Children and Elderly Care Responsibilities
Hispanic American households are often characterized by their emphasis on family. Many have children, and it’s not uncommon for extended families to live together. Additionally, there is a high prevalence of multi-generational households, with younger family members often taking on the responsibility of caring for the elderly. This family-centric approach has deep cultural roots and significantly influences consumer behavior and lifestyle choices.
Diversity within the Group
Mexican Identity as the Majority, but Acknowledge Other Ethnic Backgrounds
While individuals of Mexican origin make up the majority of Hispanic Americans, it’s crucial to recognize the rich diversity within the group. There are significant populations with roots in Puerto Rico, Cuba, Central and South America, and other Spanish-speaking regions. Each subgroup brings its unique cultural heritage, traditions, and influences, contributing to the rich tapestry of the Hispanic American identity.
Contribution to U.S. Economy and Buying Power
Hispanic Americans are a driving force in the U.S. economy, with a buying power that exceeds $2.5 trillion. Their economic contributions are evident across various sectors, from small businesses to major corporations. This economic clout reflects the community’s growing influence and the significant role it plays in shaping market trends and consumer preferences. In fact, data from 2021 shows that the Latinos’ GDP economic contribution is growing 57% faster than the US GDP as a whole! Furthermore, Latino total consumption grew 123% faster than the consumption of the non-Hispanic population.
Growth in High-Income Households
The number of high-income Hispanic households in the United States has been rising, fueled by higher educational attainment, diverse career paths, and a strong entrepreneurial spirit. These affluent households, often concentrated in states with large Hispanic populations, wield significant economic influence and consumer power across various sectors. Despite their financial success, they typically maintain a deep connection to cultural roots, emphasizing community, family values, and the creation of generational wealth. As their numbers grow, high-income Hispanic households increasingly contribute to shaping market trends and have the potential to enhance representation in media, politics, and corporate leadership.
Traditional and Expanding Geographic Presence
Traditionally, the distribution of the Hispanic population has been concentrated in states like California, Texas, Florida, and New York. However, recent trends show an expanding geographic presence, with significant growth in regions not previously known for large Hispanic populations. This expanding footprint highlights the community’s increasing national influence and the need for businesses and policymakers to adapt to a more diverse demographic landscape.
What does this mean for Amazon sellers? Let’s say the analytics of your Amazon selling business are focused around states that don’t show a large sample of Hispanic adults. You might be tempted to focus your marketing efforts on the non-Hispanic demographic. But since data shows that the Hispanic population by region is starting to expand among U.S. states that haven’t shown a big population to date, the percent of Hispanics is likely to grow. It’s a good idea to adapt a culturally-neutral approach to your selling activities so you cater to the Hispanics’ buying habits, as well as those of your regular customers.
Data shows that there’s an increase in the national distribution of the Hispanic population to states like Ohio, Michigan, Georgia, North Carolina, and Virginia.
Cultural Diversity and Acculturation
Degrees of Acculturation and Language Preferences
Within the Hispanic American community, there are varying degrees of acculturation, ranging from those who closely maintain their heritage and primarily speak Spanish, to those who are more acculturated and might be bilingual or predominantly English-speaking. Understanding these nuances is crucial for effective communication, marketing, and community engagement.
Incidentally, if you plan to expand outside of the United States, you’ll already have a head start by getting to know the Hispanic population. Consider expanding to a Spanish-speaking market in Spain, Mexico, or Latin America through English to Spanish translations for eCommerce.
Connection to Countries of Origin
Despite varying degrees of acculturation, many Hispanic Americans maintain strong connections to their countries of origin. This connection often influences their cultural practices, celebrations, and consumer preferences. It also plays a role in shaping their perspectives on global issues and their engagement with international affairs.
According to Minority Health, the Hispanic population includes people of Cuban, Mexican, Puerto Rican, Central or South American descent, or any other Spanish culture of origin.
Consumer Behavior Insights and Gaining Consumer Confidence of the Hispanic Market
The significant potential of Hispanic Americans for U.S. market expansion is evident. Sellers that grasp the unique traits and commonalities of the burgeoning Hispanic American demographic compared to the broader U.S. populace are better positioned to cater to their needs with desired products. In 2020 alone, Hispanic shoppers injected more than $1.9 trillion into the economy. Notably, Hispanic American consumers represented the most substantial minority market in terms of purchasing power during the same year, showcasing an impressive 87% growth over the preceding decade.
1. Market Growth: The Hispanic consumer market is exhibiting robust growth, with sales increasing at a rate that outpaces the general U.S. market. This indicates a potent purchasing power within the Hispanic community.
2. Product Preferences: There are distinct preferences in product categories among Hispanic consumers. They often show strong loyalty to certain brands and types of products, influenced by cultural and familial traditions. They prefer to buy alcohol, food, and floral products in-person.
3. Shopping Tendencies: There is a noticeable inclination towards in-store shopping among Hispanic consumers. They value the physical experience of shopping, which often aligns with social and family activities.
That’s not to say that Hispanics don’t shop online. Popular categories include pet care, health and beauty care, and baby care. Perhaps you sell in one of these product categories?
Cultural Connection and Marketing Insights
1. Cultural Identity in Purchasing: Cultural identity plays a significant role in the purchasing decisions of Hispanic consumers. This can range from product choices that reflect traditional preferences to seeking brands that respect and represent their cultural heritage.
2. Marketing Strategies: The necessity for culturally-informed marketing strategies cannot be overstated. Brands that successfully engage with Hispanic consumers often do so by integrating cultural insights, language, and values into their marketing approaches, thereby resonating more deeply with this audience.
Effective Marketing and Advertising Strategies of the Hispanic Consumer
Culturally Resonant Advertising
Authenticity and Cultural Relevance in Content
In the realm of marketing, authenticity isn’t just a buzzword; it’s the backbone of successful campaigns, especially when targeting the Hispanic community. Brands need to delve deep into cultural nuances to resonate with this demographic. Authenticity means more than just superficial nods to cultural elements; it involves a profound understanding and respect for traditions, values, and experiences that define the Hispanic identity. This approach fosters a genuine connection, turning viewers into loyal customers.
For example, McDonald’s opted to celebrate a pioneering Latino global superstar by introducing the “J Balvin special combo meal” to their menu. In acknowledging this Latino musician, McDonald’s successfully connects with the unique and bold taste preferences and attitudes of the Hispanic community.
Use of Spanish Language and Cultural Nuances
The use of the Spanish language in advertising isn’t just about translation; it’s about transcreation. This involves adapting messages in a way that maintains their original intent, style, and tone, while considering cultural nuances. The effective use of colloquialisms, humor, and references that strike a chord within the Hispanic community can significantly enhance the impact of a campaign. It’s not just about speaking the language; it’s about speaking it with the right accent, tone, and emotional resonance.
What’s transcreation, and how’s it different from localization and translation? We’ve got an article on that for you.
Media Consumption Habits
Engagement with Streaming and Spanish-Language Content
The rise of streaming platforms has revolutionized media consumption habits, particularly among Hispanic audiences. This demographic shows a strong preference for streaming services offering Spanish-language content, whether it’s movies, TV shows, or music. Understanding these consumption patterns is crucial for brands aiming to create targeted and effective marketing strategies. By aligning advertising efforts with the platforms and content favored by this community, brands can significantly increase their reach and engagement.
Now, you know full well that videos have been proven to increase conversion by up to 80%. According to the Pew Research Center, in 2015 more than 60% of Hispanics spoke English. 71% of Hispanics aged 5 and older were proficient in English, marking a 12 percentage point increase since 2000. Delving deeper, a January 2020 survey by the Collage Group, which included Hispanics aged 13 to 85, found that roughly three-quarters reported they speak English either “very well” (53%) or “well” (21%). This proficiency in English extended even to those deemed “unacculturated” (classified based on language use in different situations and the extent of their self-identification as American versus Hispanic), with about a third of this group stating they could speak English at least “well.”
But we’re pretty certain that including Spanish subtitles in your Amazon listing videos and sponsored ads will appeal to this demographic, even if their English is stellar.
Tailored Marketing Approach
The Hispanic market is not monolithic; it’s a mosaic of diverse cultures, each with its own values and preferences. A tailored marketing approach requires a deep understanding of these subtleties. Brands should not only recognize the differences but also celebrate them. Customizing marketing strategies to cater to these diverse values and preferences can lead to more impactful campaigns and a stronger connection with the audience.
What precisely are these values? It would do well for Amazon brands to understand what drives the Hispanic consumers so they can tailor their approach accordingly.
Regardless of their country of origin, Hispanics said that values surrounding family, food, and music were important. Furthermore, they believe strongly in the American Dream – that hard work will pay off, and that the next generations will be better off financially than this one. “Get a degree, buy a home, own a business,” said one young female Hispanic to Forbes. Their economic outlook is linked pretty strongly to family, including providing for their children, and taking care of their elderly. Also – not surprisingly – religion and culture are more important to the Hispanics than to non-Hispanics.
Now, one thing is true across the different cultures that make up the Hispanic community – a “we-centered” approach, probably due to the close family ties that influence the consumer base. Even the people from different countries in Central and South America feel that family is paramount, so brands that adapt a me-centric approach won’t resonate very well. Brand messages that revolve around long-lasting value and quality that endures generations will likely resonate better, and convince this demographic to part with their hard-earned money. Indulgences are out, quality is in.
Focus on leaving a legacy behind, supporting family and future generations, and honoring your cultural background. These values should help brands appeal to a Hispanic consumer much better.
Considering that Hispanics make up around 19% of the U.S. population (according to the US Census Bureau data from 2020), they’re definitely a worthwhile market to look into. As one of the fastest growing demographics in the U.S., catering to the financial situation, unique value system, and brand preferences of this Hispanic community – more than 62 million people in 2020 – is a wise idea, and it involves way more than sticking a few Spanish keywords in your back end.
As 2023 comes to a close, consider the Hispanic market for your 2024 product development. Perhaps it’s a good time to buy products and revise your selling approach to appeal to this robust, dynamic, and fascinating target market.
By the way, YLT Translations has a Spanish department as dynamic as the Hispanic American community, and we cover translations for both Spain and Mexico. Take a peek behind the scenes at YLT Translations’ Spanish department and meet the team that expertly maneuvers through Spanish localization and transcreation!