While Hispanic shoppers in the US may differ in terms of the goods and service they want, most exhibit very similar shopping behaviour patterns - such as the frequency and type of shopping trips they make - according to a recent survey by Unilever.
The study found that, although Hispanic shoppers have different routines for different product categories, their routine shopping trips are not characterised by any specific items. Instead they tend to shop wherever they find the convenience and service they want.
The study warns that the Hispanic consumer is a highly food-involved, smart, efficient and value-oriented shopper, and that retailers can no longer afford to ignore the needs, desires, and behaviour of this growing demographic.
For most Hispanic Americans, food has an emotional and cultural significance that extends far beyond eating. The Hispanic shopper thinks carefully about every aspect of food shopping and preparation. According to Mike Twitty, senior group research manager for shopper insight at Unilever US, "Hispanics plans their shopping trips carefully - apparently more so than general market shoppers - and not only around what they have at home and what they need, but also around the value they can obtain."
Among the key findings of Unilever's behavioural survey:
- The Hispanic shopper makes a higher number of bigger trips, fill-in trips, and major stock-up trips, and far fewer quick trips than the general market consumer;
- Quick trips account for only 44% of trips they make, compared to 62% for general market shoppers. Non-food items drive quick trips;
- Hispanic women are significantly more aware (by a 48% to 36% margin) of special offers before going to a store than general market shoppers. Even within the store, their awareness of special offers is significantly higher;
- Nearly one-quarter of Hispanic shoppers walk or take public transport (22%), compared to 3% of general market consumers. Consequently, geography is as much responsible for their choice of shopping venue as is value for money;
- Hispanic consumers know their needs before they go shopping, as 56% of their shopping trips are considered "routine", compared to 26% for general market shoppers;
- Hispanic shoppers spend less than general market consumers on each routine shopping trip, but more than half (54%) of their total grocery spending takes place on routine trips (compared to only 22% in the general market);
- Demonstrating the careful consideration that goes into grocery shopping, only 2% of Hispanic shopping trips are considered "urgent", compared to 19% for the general market consumer;
- More than 50% of Hispanic consumers use cash, while 25% use a debit card, 11% use a credit card and only 2% pay by cheque;
- 35% of all Hispanic shopping trips occur after 6.00pm (compared to only 18% in the general market)'
- Hispanic shoppers go shopping with other people (most often with children) 29% of the time, compared to 23% in the general market. Interestingly, they're almost twice as likely to be shopping with a non-family member (such as a friend) that general market shoppers.