Friday, August 6, 2010

Hispanics And E-commerce

Hispanics and e-commerce is a fascinating topic and one that has been covered in almost every major research report on Hispanic Internet use since 2000. Yet, it is rarely given more attention than a small section of a larger white paper or a one-off report from some research firm tangentially involved in the retail space. Why is that?

It's not because it doesn't represent a viable market opportunity: U.S. Hispanics (according to the limited research on the topic) spend quite a bit online - $12.8 billion in 2008 with projections to reach $21.6 billion next year (JupiterResearch, 2007). That's 11% of all e-commerce purchases (not too far below Hispanics' percentage of the U.S. population).

I think that Hispanic e-commerce doesn't get the attention it deserves not because it isn't a large, growing market, but because it is a complex subject, where the opportunity for retailers is amorphous and not very clearly understood. Furthermore, I would posit that there are not a lot of experts with actual experience in the arena of Hispanic online shopping (at least at the large retailer level). That theory is validated when you scour the Internet for case studies on the subject and find only the well-publicized Best Buy and Home Depot cases.

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