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Marketing to Hispanic Consumers: Buying Habits and Brand Loyalty

By September 9, 2021 September 16th, 2021 CCG Retail Marketing Blog

Our 2021 Retail Customer Loyalty Study uncovers factors critical to earning loyalty among Hispanic consumers.

Hispanic Family Shopping

Article Highlights

  • Hispanic consumers are a loyal, diverse and growing customer group
  • 63 million Hispanics represent $1.5 trillion in buying power
  • Hispanic consumers trend young, digitally oriented and social media savvy
  • Top loyalty drivers include good value, low price and quality products

In 2021, Hispanic consumers were more likely to indicate that they like to shop around first before making a purchase than African Americans or Caucasians, according to customer.com’s groundbreaking Retail Customer Loyalty Study.

The 2021 study found that 43% of Hispanic consumers identified as “Roamers,” contrasted with 36% of African Americans and Caucasians. This is a big change from 2019, where only 15% of Hispanic consumers identified as Roamers. In fact, Hispanic consumers that year were more likely to identify as “Loyalists” (I always find a good source for my purchases and stick with it) than any other ethnic group.

But what factors influence their loyalty, and what are the key demographic traits that will influence your strategies in marketing to Hispanics? Read on!

Hispanic Consumer Demographics and Buying Habits

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Hispanics and other people of color have been particularly hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.1 Hispanics and Latinos are almost twice as likely to contract and almost three times more likely to be hospitalized for COVID-19 compared to non-Hispanic/white persons.

Additionally, many Hispanics work in industries particularly hard hit by COVID-19, such as restaurants, retail and in-home services, according to the Center for Economic and Policy Research.2 These and other factors have likely impacted the way this ethnic group shops today.

While Hispanic buying habits may have changed in 2021, the size of the population and buying power of these consumers only continues to grow. At a population exceeding 61 million, making up 17% of the total U.S. population, this group is expected to grow to 20% of the population by 2025. In fact, Claritas data says 62% of the overall projected population growth will derive from Hispanics.3

Hispanic shoppers represent $1.5 trillion in buying power, which is expected to grow to $1.9 trillion by 2022, according to the University of Georgia’s Selig Center report, 2018 Multicultural Economy.4 To put the buying power of this group in perspective, the report notes that $1.5 trillion is larger than the gross domestic product of Australia. This underlines the importance for retailers to employ a multi-cultural and inclusive marketing strategy.

And according to April 2021 data from Nielsen, Hispanic consumers are more likely to be “recovery optimists” than any other ethnic group. Sixty-three percent report they are optimistic or very optimistic about resuming normal activities in 2021, compared to 55% of Caucasians, 54% of Asians and 61% of African Americans.5

According to Nielson, “In the next 12 months, Hispanic respondents say they are 2x more likely to buy a new house than the average adult and more likely to buy or lease a new or used vehicle. These consumers are most eager to plan or book a vacation (71%), dine out at restaurants (70%) and visit coffee shops/cafes (69%).”6

While we all know that the state of the pandemic presents a dynamic situation, the optimism of Hispanic shoppers compared to other groups is a very interesting finding.

Top Factors Driving Hispanic Consumer Loyalty

Hispanic respondents to our study listed several factors that strongly influence their devotion to any specific retailer.

Top Factors Behind Hispanic Shopper Loyalty in 2021

Compared to the general population, Hispanic consumers were more likely to rank incentives to shop as an important factor. In addition, Hispanic shoppers were much more likely than the general population to list status as a factor important to driving their loyalty.

When asked what would induce them to select one retailer over another when price, access and products are identical, Hispanic consumers listed many of the same factors as above, but also highly ranked factors such as trust, incentives to shop with that retailer and customer service.

Compared to the general population, Hispanic shoppers were significantly more likely to cite fair treatment and ability to look up past transaction at POS, online or via the retailer’s app as factors that would help decide their loyalty. And, interestingly, Hispanic consumers were one and a half times more likely than the general population to cite feel the retailer is socially responsible as an important “tie-breaker” factor that would help them choose between two nearly identical retailers.

Where do Hispanic consumers shop?

To determine which retailers garner the most Hispanic shopper loyalty, study respondents were also asked to list the stores they were most likely to exclusively shop for particular needs. See the chart below for a comparison of their selections versus the general U.S. population.

Top Retailers: Hispanic ConsumersTop Retailers: General Population
1Walmart logoWalmart logo
2Amazon logoAmazon logo
3Target logoTarget logo
4Kohl's logoKohl's logo
5Costco logoKroger logo
6Ebay logoCostco logo
7Macy's logoEbay logo
8Publix logoMacy's logo
9Kroger logoHome Depot logo
10Home Depot logoAldi logo
11JC Penny logoLowes logo
12Marshalls logoSam's Club logo
13Sam's Club logoDollar General logo
14Whole Foods logoCVS logo
15Aldi logoDollar Tree logo

Marketing to Hispanic Shoppers

When developing strategies for marketing to Hispanics and building Hispanic shopper loyalty, it will also help to keep these general group traits in mind.

The Hispanic market is both growing and diverse.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, more than 61 million Hispanics live in the United States, which equals about 17% of the overall U.S. population. The Census Bureau projects the Hispanic population will account for 28.6% of the U.S. population by 2060.

That said, it’s important to remember that the term Hispanic refers to individuals coming from a very broad range of Spanish-speaking countries, each with their own heritage and culture. For instance, 92% of the U.S. Hispanic population comes from 10 origin groups: Mexicans, Puerto Ricans, Cubans, Salvadorans, Dominicans, Guatemalans, Colombians, Hondurans, Ecuadorians and Peruvians.

Marketers who are targeting the Hispanic market need to be sensitive to cultural and language variations from group to group as national origins influence the idioms and phrases used by these consumers.

Hispanic consumers are young.

The Census Bureau also reports that Hispanic consumers represent the youngest of all U.S. ethnic groups, with a median age of 28. That’s compared to a median age of 43 for non-Hispanic whites and a median age of 37 for the total U.S. population. Stated another way, 50% of all Hispanics are under 28 years old.

This has ramifications not only for your strategies for marketing to Hispanics, but also how long you can market to them. With one of the longer life expectancies of all ethnic groups, the median-aged Hispanic consumer represents more than 56 years of “effective buying power” — the longest of any ethnic group. By contrast, median-aged non-Hispanic whites represent 36.7 years of effective buying power when life expectancy is taken into consideration.

Hispanic consumers are digital.

It should be no surprise, given the youth of this ethnic group, that Hispanic consumer behavior has a digital  orientation, leaning heavily toward the mobile channel. According to the Claritas Hispanic Market Report, these consumers are 34% more likely than average to view TV on their smartphone.3 A Yahoo study found that, compared to the general population, Hispanic consumers spend more time watching digital video and less time watching traditional TV.7

Pew Research Mobile Fact Sheet shows that year over year, Hispanic consumers have been the most “smartphone dependent” group, meaning they tend to rely on smartphones for online access more than other groups.8 During the back-to-school season, a National Retail Federation survey found that 70% of Hispanic parents planned to use their smartphones to either research or make a purchase.9

Hispanic consumers are social.

When marketing to Hispanic millennials, know that research by Viant, a Meredith Company, shows nearly 50% of this audience reported they had talked about a brand online with others or used a brand’s hashtag. That compares to only 17% of non-Hispanic millennials.

The research also showed that “Hispanic millennials have a big presence on social media, showing the highest affinity for Twitter and Instagram, versus non-Hispanic millennials.” In fact, the Claritas Hispanic Market Report found that Hispanics are 41% more likely than other ethnic segments to connect with brands on social media.

The Bottom Line on Marketing to Hispanic Consumers

With a large population wielding impressive (and growing) purchasing power, Hispanic consumers demand retailer attention. But to win over this group, your Hispanic marketing strategy will need to account for the group’s inherent diversity and youth, as well as the specific factors most influential in driving their loyalty. If you can put it all together, you stand to win big by developing deep, lasting relationships with these customers.

Whether you’re marketing to Hispanic consumers or other customer segments, our CRM agency can help. Our retail marketing consultants are adept at leveraging research and customer data to identify the tactics, messages and offers that change behavior and motivate loyalty. Schedule a free consultation or call 303.986.3000.

1 “Risk for COVID-19 Infection, Hospitalization, and Death by Race/Ethnicity,” Centers for Disease Control, posted July 16, 2021, https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/covid-data/investigations-discovery/hospitalization-death-by-race-ethnicity.html

2 “Hispanic Workers in the United States,” Center for Economic and Policy Research, posted November 2016, https://cepr.net/images/stories/reports/hispanic-workers-2016-11.pdf

3 “2020 Hispanic Market Report,” Claritas, https://www2.claritas.com/l/306121/2020-09-16/qj2bf

4 “2018 Multicultural Economy,” Selig Center, University of Georgia, posted April 9, 2018,
https://www.bizjournals.com/atlanta/news/2018/04/09/uga-report-breaks-down-buying-power-by-demographic.html

5 “Hispanic Consumers Are Recovery Optimists; Black Consumers Are Cautious Optimists,” Neilsen, posted April 5, 2021, https://www.nielsen.com/us/en/insights/article/2021/hispanic-consumers-are-recovery-optimists-black-consumers-are-cautious-optimists/

6 “As Consumer Optimism Rises, so Will Brand Engagement,” Neilsen, posted March 25, 2021,
https://www.nielsen.com/us/en/insights/article/2021/as-consumer-optimism-rises-so-will-brand-engagement/

7 “U.S. Hispanics Online Video Consumption,” Christina Choy, Yahoo!, posted June 13, 2016, https://yahooadvertising.tumblr.com/post/145869501145/us-hispanics-online-video-consumption/amp

8 “Mobile Fact Sheet,” Pew Research Center, posted June 12, 2019, https://www.pewinternet.org/fact-sheet/mobile/

9 “Back-to-School Spotlight: Hispanic Shoppers,” Katherine Cullen, National Retail Federation, posted July 24, 2018, https://nrf.com/blog/back-school-spotlight-hispanic-shoppers

Sandra Gudat

Author Sandra Gudat

Sandra Gudat is CCG’s president & CEO. Considered a pioneer in the field of customer marketing, she has a diverse background in consulting, database marketing, advertising, retail and business management. She is a frequent speaker on customer loyalty marketing and developing customer-centric policies

More posts by Sandra Gudat

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