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Digital Revolution and the Hispanic Sector

Over the past decade we have seen how the digital revolution has changed everyone’s life. Innovative technologies have impacted us from the way we communicate, to the way we inform, to the way we shop.

According to Nielsen’s data, Latinos in the US have increased the use of Internet. Their usage rose from 37% to 56% between 2006 and 2012. Hispanics thus rate  well above the other groups who have less access to these technologies.

Their usage rates for television, smart phones, social networks, online video and other entertainment make Hispanics one of the most committed and dynamic target markets.

Hispanics: Pioneers of the Digital Revolution

In the age of the digital revolution, the combination of youth, community, culture and language gives Latinos the potential to become the pioneers of new media trends through their accelerated technological absorption. The rate in which Latinos absorb new technology is also helping Hispanic entrepreneurs and traders perform better in their businesses.

The Internet, and more specifically, mobile technologies, are helping Hispanic business improve productivity, customer service and communication with employees. This is highlighted in a recent survey conducted by the US Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC).

According to Javier Palomarez, USHCC President, 82% of respondents noted improvements of productivity. Likewise, 62%  indicated business growth, attributed to the use of these tools.

“We always suspected that the Latino community uses technology more than the average Caucasian consumer. The study found that this is not only in the case of Hispanic consumers, but also within the Hispanic businesses,” Palomarez said.

Hispanics have become a community that is “very dependent” upon mobile technology.

.The business leader noted that Hispanics have become a community that is “very dependent” upon mobile technology. They are also used to “growing their business and improving customer relations.”

Hispanic entrepreneurs revealed that the use of mobile technology helped them save two to three hours time (39%). Some reported that they saved even more than four hours (15%). 8% claimed they noticed no improvement.

Young Hispanic entrepreneurs have several main uses for mobile applications: 82% employ social networks. 81% use the digital calendar. 65% track the news relevant to their sector.

In addition, 55% of these young Hispanic entrepreneurs take advantage of mobile applications to do their banking and process transactions (36%), make purchases (32%), monitor their spending (29%) and perform translations (23%).

Digital Revolution Allows for Increased Market Penetration

Hispanic entrepreneurs are owners of more than 3.4 million small businesses in the US. Palomarez asserts that these businesses generate a total of 468,000 million dollars a year to the economy.

Palomarez noted that the median age of Hispanic entrepreneurs is “ten years younger” than the average age of other entrepreneurs. Therefore, “they are more likely to use technologies and want to rely on them help their business grow. ”

In this regard, he noted that they are turning to mobile applications available in the market. Nonetheless, “the next step” for Hispanic entrepreneurs will be to focus on creating their own applications “to achieve new customers, deepen relationships with current ones and provide a better business experience.”

Hispanic entrepreneurs stressed that mobile technologies enable them to reach more customers. Thus, 56% publish more frequently on social networks and 67% respond to customers faster. In addition, 31% said they now offer mobile payment options.

Among the benefits achieved, 70% of respondents said employers have improved customer service. 61% noted improvements in productivity. 41% reported an increase in customers.

Looking ahead, 52% expect that the impact of new technologies upon their businesses to be “much higher.” 32% expect the impact to be “slightly higher.”  11% expect no change.

Hispanics already have a major stake in consumer spending. Given their youth and increasing educational spending capacity, they are quickly becoming the catalysts for growth and the trend-setters for the market.

Digital Revolution Creates a Tech-Savvy Hispanic Community

Approximately 60% of Latino households have at the very least a mobile phone with video and Internet. In comparison, only 43% of the overall market reports a minimum of mobile phone with video and Internet access.

There is an emerging segment of Hispanics that is abreast of new technologies. Members of that segment have advanced together to gain Internet access at home. Hispanics are three times more likely to access the Internet through some sort of mobile device but do not have Internet at home (9% vs. 3% respectively). In general, they are 28% more likely to have a smartphone than the White non-Hispanic population, which presents a significant opportunity for business in the industry.

Hispanics also stand out from all ethnic groups in consumption of mobile data service, including downloading music and images at an increasing rate. Their dependence on mobile devices to connect to the Internet could explain why their average bill is 8% higher than that of the general market.

About Iván Cruz

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