These days, many consumers are doing the bulk of their purchasing through digital means. And even when buyers head to a brick-and-mortar store rather than buying an item online, they’ll often check their phones to find a nearby location or a good deal. In fact, every one out of three smartphone web searches is made immediately prior to visiting a store.
Although popular online platforms are created to serve an international customer base, there’s still a large demand for local shops in most communities. And while it’s possible to purchase all sorts of items on Amazon or eBay, for many consumers, nothing can replace their neighborhood supermarket. But whether a store is independently owned or part of a chain, a recent report suggests that there’s one particular group of customers these businesses cannot afford to ignore: Hispanic and Latino buyers.
According to the report, entitled “Understanding the Hispanic Market,” Hispanic and Latino consumers are actually reshaping the entire U.S. consumer market. Their purchasing power was noted as “impressive” and only continues to grow.
The current Latino and Hispanic population of the U.S. is right around 56.5 million people, which represents 18% of the nation’s total population. During the five-year span between 2010 and 2015, this population increased by 6.2 million, and around 74% of that growth can be attributed simply to natural growth, rather than immigration. By 2040, the Latino and Hispanic population is expected to represent 24%, and by 2060, they’ll likely make up 29% of the entire U.S. population.
Members of the Latino and Hispanic community are extremely active consumers, contributing much to the local economy. The report indicates that these buyers are among the country’s youngest consumers, with an average age of 28, and they “tend to be brand-loyal consumers, especially when culturally sensitive marketing and advertising are used to target them.”
In all, this group had the ability to purchase an astounding $1.5 trillion in goods and services in 2015.
This knowledge is key for businesses across the country, but particularly those in the nine states that saw around “63% of Hispanic/Latino population growth between 2010 and 2015.” Around three-quarters of the entire Hispanic and Latino population call these states home, which include New York, California, Texas, Florida, New Mexico, Arizona, Illinois, New Jersey, and Colorado. Since research shows that around 85% of a business’s customers live or work within a five-mile radius of their location, the report stresses how pivotal it is for these businesses to harness the buying power of these individuals.
According to the report, store owners need to better understand more about the diversity within the community itself and specifically cater to these customers. Supermarket and convenience stores should be designed with Hispanic and Latino consumers in mind, who generally value both healthy offerings and items specific to their culture.
This model works especially well in “food deserts,” where there aren’t many nearby options for local consumers to choose from. Although some consumers may be able to secure transportation to a big corporate store for their shopping needs, many people want to support their local shops. If these markets want to survive and tap into the fastest-growing consumer base, experts argue that they’d do well to keep their Hispanic and Latino customers in mind.