Study: Hispanic shoppers' purchasing behaviors vary by season

DENVER Hispanic shoppers exhibit a greater shift in shopping behaviors by season in comparison with general market shoppers, according to a shopper experience study in progress in September by The Integer Group and M/A/R/C Research, the companies announced.

During the months of June, September and November, Hispanic shoppers' primary shopping goals showed a significant change in rank, with their priority being more on "concern for family satisfaction" and "one-stop shopping," and less on "saving money." These months also coincided with significant shopping events: summer, back-to-school and holiday shopping. This data suggested that while general shoppers may hunt for the best back-to-school deals, summer savings or holiday sales, Hispanic shoppers also seek approval from their kids and family members over purchasing the cheapest item.

With the exception of the three major shopping events mentioned, saving money and convenience usually were the top shopping goals for Hispanic shoppers. They traditionally are more value-driven and less likely to use in-store tools than the general market shopper. When it comes to shopping aids, Hispanics appeared less responsive to in-store messaging than non-Hispanics, with neither messaging at-shelf nor in-store TV being cited as tools that help make a purchasing decision.

"Although many retailers and brands develop communication aimed at both the general and Hispanic markets, our research indicates that it's not necessarily reaching the Hispanic shopper," stated Martin Ferro, senior planner for Velocidad, an integrated Hispanic promotional, retail and shopper marketing capability of The Integer Group. "Brands must be deep-rooted in the more meaningful insights that distinguish Hispanic communication from general market communication, especially during key shopping events."

Hispanic shoppers also are more likely than the general public to switch brands. A contributing factor is the acceptance by family members of private-label brands in the household. Significantly more Hispanic shoppers perceived less difference in product quality of private-label and brand-name products than general market shoppers. This is even more pronounced at higher income levels ($75,000+), according to the report.

Although there is an increase in private-label purchases, many Hispanic shoppers that weren't as affected by the economy as others were sticking with familiar brands despite having to occasionally buy them less often. "Of those Hispanic shoppers who reported no change in their shopping behavior this year, 67% said they stick with their brand of choice, even if another brand is cheaper," stated Randy Wahl, EVP at M/A/R/C Research.

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