Study: Hispanic shoppers more confident in economy

Chicago – Hispanics are more inclined to “live for today because tomorrow is uncertain” – an attitude that translates to and explains the ethnic group’s tendency to spend more on big-ticket items, like home entertainment, than the general market.

This and other insights about current Hispanic consumer trends were shared today during a webinar presented collaboratively by consumer research firm BIGresearch, based here, and Televisa Publishing and Digital, which claims to be the largest Hispanic content producer worldwide.

The presentation was titled “Five Major Themes Impacting Hispanics During the Recession,” and Televisa marketing manager Mariana Toledo began the noon-time segment offering the five themes.

Despite the recession, Hispanics are more confident about the economy than the general market.With gasoline prices on the rise, Hispanics are looking for value and efficiency when shopping. As a result of the economic crisis, Hispanics are not as willing to invest in the stock market as the general market.However, with the economy in tough shape, they are more likely than the general market to increase their savings and pay with cash more often.Hispanics are more likely to live in the moment, and therefore spend on more big-ticket items than the general market.Compared to three years ago, Hispanics are decreasing their overall spending and focusing on essentials and paying off their debts.

“The recession is affecting everyone,” she asserted. “In the four-year period from March 2006 to March 2009, there was a decrease in consumer confidence for both Hispanics and the general market.”

Specifically, this was true of 34% of Hispanics and 37% of the general market.

But there have been noticeable differences between the general market and Hispanic shoppers.

The lowest point of Hispanic consumer confidence was March 2008 at when it reached 32.6%, compared to that of the general market, which hit 19.5% in March 2009.

“Hispanics have been gaining more confidence since March 2008 despite the recession,” Toledo noted.

Fluctuating gas prices have similarly affected all consumers, causing both Hispanics and the general market to adjust their shopping behavior and also their spending.

But more than the general market, Hispanics are reducing their spending on dining out and clothing. They also are driving less by carpooling more.

In terms of agreeing with the idea, “Live for today because tomorrow is so uncertain,” 31.5% of Hispanics agree with this while only 24.9% of the general market agrees.

“Confidence in the economy correlates and translates into future spending,” Toledo continued, “and Hispanics are more likely than the general market to make major, big-dollar purchases in almost every category, with the exception of home improvement and vacation/travel.”

She later offered advice to companies looking to target Hispanic shoppers.

“Taking control of your message in advertising can make all the difference for the brand,” Toledo said. “Consumer insight is now more important that ever. Knowing what your consumer wants to hear can make all the difference for the brand.”

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