Online Holiday Shopping Not So Feliz for Latinos

Online Holiday Shopping Not So Feliz for Latinos


–(HISPANIC PR WIRE – CONTEXTO LATINO)–Area malls and retail stores are often brimming with holiday shoppers come this time of year, hoping to find the perfect gift for loved ones and friends. But as any hurried shopper can attest, sometimes the crowds at the stores and long lines at the checkout counters can take the “merry” out of the holiday season. That’s why many shoppers look for alternative ways to do their shopping that don’t involve the hassle of getting in the car and spending all day at the store.

Online retailers offer the convenience of fast shopping from the privacy and comfort of your own home. With the click of a button you can purchase gifts and have them shipped directly to your house. Some will even do the wrapping for you. However, as Latinos and other ethnicities are learning, not all of these online retailers make shopping convenient for those who speak English as a second language.

Common Sense Advisory, Inc., an independent research firm, has researched online communications, customer service practices, and business-to-consumer marketing for online retailers and published a study on the ability of these firms to reach the American Latino community online. Unfortunately the results aren’t promising for the Hispanic community.

According to the study, of the top 50 online retailers, only four offer content in Spanish. The results are based on the sites’ multicultural content, e-mail and Web forms and whether customer service representatives are able to communicate in both English and Spanish.

Most U.S. companies have yet to market to Latinos and other ethnicities. It seems American companies prefer to operate in English, and have expressed that a targeted campaign to Latinos exceeds their budgets. In addition, e-mail communication is rarely conducted in any language except English. However, some stand-out firms like The Sharper Image and 1-800-Flowers embrace the opportunity to tap the multicultural market.

Regardless of the language spoken with these top online retailers, if a customer doesn’t receive feedback from a representative, he or she is likely to leave an e-tailer site with a bad impression — resulting in lower sales for the company and potentially driving more calls to an already overloaded call center this holiday season. Considering most Latinos will not use a company that doesn’t meet their unique needs, the retailer is missing out on considerable sales opportunities by the influential Hispanic market.

According to Common Sense Advisory’s lead analyst, Donald A. DePalma, Ph.D., “If you sell consumer goods or services online, it is time to review your strategy for ethnic communities in the United States. E-tailers should reassess multicultural opportunities and needs in this changing economy — not just for this year’s holiday shopping season, but in an effort to become trusted suppliers to a financially powerful demographic.”

For more information on Common Sense Advisory and this study, visit

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Online Holiday Shopping Not So Feliz for Latinos