Online activity among emerging majorities consumers continues to grow at a rapid pace. The percentage of Latino Americans, with access to the Internet, (whether from home, school, job, or other access point), increased from 43% in January 2002 to 69% in January 2006. More than 20 million U.S. Latinos are online. Forrester Research, in Cambridge, Mass., found Latinos are active in online banking, and a Roslow Research Group study reported that 70% of U.S. Latinos said that they would use the web to research a car purchase.
Research can be used to find those influential Web users and what they want to see. The web can also be effective on younger ethnic consumers by simply entertaining and engaging them with authentic and organic aspects of their culture, primarily the latest trends in music, fashion, and technology.
A study by AOL/Roper ASW shows that almost 20 million Hispanics in the US are online. While this is already an impressive number, the growth rate is even more impressive. About 20% of online Hispanics had connected their households to the Internet less than six months earlier. More than half who were not yet online expected to connect within the next two years.
In addition, the detailed survey found that Hispanic online consumers have quickly made the Internet part of their everyday lives. They go online at home an average of 9.2 hours a week, for example, compared with 8.5 hours for the general online population and they now heavily rely on the Internet to learn more about products, to share opinions, and to improve their lives. In fact, 70% now view the Internet as the best source for comparing prices, making it the most powerful information medium for influencing online Hispanics throughout the purchase decision process.
The Hispanic community is online in large numbers, and it's happening right now. So far, Hispanics feel there is a lack of online content and advertising available in Spanish. Although it is true that many Hispanics speak English fluently, at least half prefer to read content in their native language, according to comScore Media Metrix.