latino lingo

All things related to effective Hispanic marketing, Hispanic advertising and Hispanic public relations.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Hispanic supermarket shoppers generally not satisfied

58 percent of the general market feels satisfied with their shopping experience but only 35 percent of Hispanics are satisfied, according to Jack Neff's "Study: Habits and Preferences of Hispanic Shoppers."

A story carried in the Des Moines Business Record explains part of the reason is that many stores have been slow to offer a greater selection of products that appeal to Hispanics, when they do, they fail to make products consistently available, there's a lack of creating a comfortable environment and not enough marketing of the products that are available. There is also an AdAge article (subscription based) on the study as well.

The end result is some Hispanics may assume that a specialty product isn't available at a larger grocery store and thus are more prone to go to smaller Hispanic markets (i.e bodegas), according to the article.

This additionally confirms my notion that non-Hispanic supermarket chains are yet to effectively develop and execute on a comprehensive program to attract Hispanic consumers. Many are "doing something" but in the end most approaches are fragmented at best. I've advocated about the need for more than an aisle offering Hispanic products or marketing around events like Hispanic Heritage Month (aren't cultural observances more geared toward the general market? After all, every month is Hispanic Heritage in my house!).

Too many supermarkets today take a similar approach to the Hispanic market as they do the general market. The main tool they use is the weekly circular with the featured on sale items. However, if research shows that Hispanics pay more per product than the general market (in addition to spending more per week), doesn't that tell you that price alone isn't the determining factor in Hispanics' purchasing decisions? Instead of the weekly battles with the competitors to gain market share (that is often lost the following week when the competitor has a better sale), why not invest in gaining loyalty. How much would you spend to gain a loyal customer that spends more per product and more per week?

Loyalty is the name of the game in the Hispanic market. By this I don't mean relying on the loyalty card program (remember, we don't like to give out too much personal information). Supermarket chains need to think creatively and out of the box to gain Hispanic loyalty. While this takes time, strategic planning -- and, yes, a dedicated budget -- the good news is that there is still a great first-to-market advantage to be had for many chains in many areas.


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