Survey: Hispanics 'passionate' about shopping

By Published on .

Hispanic consumers are more likely to go shopping, send instant messages on their phones, download music from the Internet, and plan on buying a new home than their general market counterparts, according to several new research studies that are piecing together Hispanic consumer behavior.

For starters, 56% of Hispanics surveyed said "I love to shop" compared to 39% of the general population in the biggest survey, People en Español's fourth Hispanic Opinion Tracker (HOT), out this week. Hispanics surveyed said they spent on average $1,992 on clothing and accessories in the last 12 months, for instance, compared to $1,153 for general market consumers.

"We're much more passionate about shopping," said Jackie Hernandez Fallous, publisher of People en Español. "And Hispanics are much more impacted by advertising and marketing. They buy because of a product's image or the ads or because something is trendy or new on the market." All those attributes scored higher among Hispanics; for non-Hispanic respondents, price and reputation were more important. For example, 35% of Hispanics surveyed cited ads as a factor in selecting color cosmetics, compared to 8% of general market respondents. And 55% of Hispanics surveyed have bought a fragrance because they smelled it on a magazine scent strip, double the number of general market respondents (27%). Among big ticket items, 26% plan to buy a new home soon.


In a significant difference with the general market, Hispanics are much more likely to pay cash, the preferred method of payment for about 75% of Hispanics surveyed. Only about 15% use credit cards, compared to over 40% for the general market.

The HOT study was conducted by Synovate Research in January and February through bilingual phone interviews with 8,000 people over 18, including 6,000 Hispanics and 2,000 non-Hispanics. Among the Hispanic sample, just over half (55%) are classified as Hispanic dominant, meaning they prefer Spanish and have a strong desire to maintain their culture. About a quarter each are bicultural (23%), comfortable in both languages and worlds but culturally more Hispanic, or U.S. dominant (22%), a group that mirrors general market attitudes but identifies with its Latino heritage.

The group that has grown the most since the first HOT study in 2002 is the bicultural segment, 23% of the total group, up from 20% in 2002. That's partly explained by retro acculturation, as assimilated Hispanics identify more with their Latin roots, and by the growing use of Spanish.

The 2005 Yankel-ovich Monitor Multicultural Marketing Study released earlier this month offers some insight, citing 69% of Hispanic respondents as saying, "The Spanish language is more important to me than it was just five years ago."

In fact, the greatest increase in Spanish-language media consumption is among the U.S. dominant group, according to the HOT study. In the 2002 survey, 20% of their total media consumption was in Spanish and 80% in English; this year it's up to 27% Spanish-language media.

Leading Spanish-language network Univision is up 26% in viewership this year and proudly announced a milestone for the week of June 27-July 3. For the first time, Univision was the No. 1 network in prime-time ratings for the entire week among all 18-34 viewers, regardless of language, according to Nielsen.

Disparity on the Internet

One of the areas with the widest behavior disparity between Hispanic dominants and more acculturated Hispanics is the Internet. Although 53% of all Hispanics surveyed said they use the Internet, that figure drops to 31% for Hispanic dominants and soars to 70% for bicultural Hispanics and 77% for the U.S. dominant. And just 11% of the Hispanic-dominant group shops online, compared to 52% for bicultural Hispanics and 56% for the U.S. dominant.

According to other Internet research surveys, Hispanics are more likely to download music files (37%) than general market Internet users (25%) and to use instant messaging-59% compared to 48%. For instant messaging, about 34% of Hispanics go back and forth between English and Spanish, while 20% use mostly Spanish.

Most Popular
In this article: