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Vital to viral success: the latinx community blends the digital and physical world, defining the future of consumption

7 minute read | August 2019

Nielsen’s latest diverse intelligence series report pulls back the curtain on what piques latinx consumers’ interest.

New York, NY — Aug. 12, 2019 — U.S. Hispanics’ unique ability to blend the physical and digital shopping experience provides an opportunity for marketers in a variety of industries to reach them. And, because Latinx consumers are young, economically powerful and growing in population, these consumers represent a tremendous opportunity for growth. Nielsen’s latest Diverse Intelligence Series report, La Oportunidad Latinx: Cultural Currency and the Consumer Journey, dives deep into what drives U.S. Hispanic consumer’s purchasing habits. This year’s report showcases the many points of entry for marketers to reach the Latinx market. Nearly twice as many Latinx consumers will visit websites/apps on their smartphones as on a computer or tablet. By carrying their digital experience in their pocket, Latinx consumers often merge their online and in-person experiences, allowing brick-and-mortar retailers to make in-store shopping more attractive with a digitally augmented experience. 

In addition to blending their digital and physical shopping experiences, U.S. Hispanics view their consumer journey as a community endeavor. For Latinx consumers, the most important purchase influencers are family, friends and consumer reviews. Thirty-three percent of Latinx consumers agree with the statement “I prefer to buy things my friends or neighbors would approve of,” over-indexing by 20% versus the general population. Further, 79% shop for groceries with someone else, frequently with family members who participate in decision making. 

“The Latinx path to purchase is social and circular, meaning recommendations of friends, family and virtual networks play a preeminent role in product/service discovery, awareness and decision making,” said Stacie de Armas, Nielsen’s VP, Strategic Initiatives & Consumer Engagement. “The Latinx affinity for technology and specific media platforms can provide marketers with a look at what’s next through authentic engagement and outreach strategies.”

The report also showcases how Latinx buying power, which is expected to rise to $1.9 trillion in 2023, is increasing at a rate more than double non-Hispanic growth over the same period. With this knowledge, marketers must understand the largely bilingual and ambicultural nature of the Latinx community in order to market their brands in relevant ways that speak to the cultural push and pull of living 100% in more than one culture.

U.S. Census 2020 information shows when considering the U.S. Hispanic path to purchase, marketers must be very aware that Latinx consumers differ from the U.S. population as a whole in one primary way—they are the youngest ethnic or racial group in America. With the median age of 28 (vs. 38 years of age in the general population), this highly influential demographic has grown up during the digital age and is swiftly approaching their peak earning years, accounting for 75% of all U.S. labor force growth over the last six years, impacting their overall multichannel path to purchase. 

Nielsen uses census data to determine universe estimates (population estimates) in our U.S. panels and as a key benchmark for understanding consumers. Accurate census data has never been more important, due to the rapid diversification of the U.S. population. Nielsen knows the importance of being counted, which is why the company has proudly signed on to be a 2020 Census Official Partner and an active participant in ensuring that the 2020 Census is as accurate as possible. 

“Nielsen’s 2020 Census partnership allows both the company and its clients to plan for growth and adapt to changing U.S. demographics,” said Lillian Rodríguez López, Co-chair of Nielsen’s Hispanic/Latinx Advisory Council. “The civic implications of an inaccurate count are well known. However, a census count that doesn’t adequately represent Latinx consumers—one of the primary future growth engines for the U.S. is the impact on businesses. Through Nielsen, Census measurement is the foundation for $90 billion in advertising transactions and powers decision-making by the country’s biggest retailers and manufacturers that influence more than $1 trillion.”

Key insights from the report include:

U.S. Hispanics are vital to commercial and viral success, uniquely combining the digital and physical shopping experience.

  • The highly social nature of the Latinx community and their love of technology and specific media channels can provide marketers with a fast track to making their product “go viral’ if those marketers seek insights and develop solid Latinx strategies. 
  • 57% of Hispanics enjoy wandering throughout the store looking for new and interesting products, which is 10% higher than the general population.
  • Almost half (48%) of Hispanics find shopping to be a great way to relax, which is 15% higher than the general population. 
  • Validating the social connection Latinx consumers have with shopping, the second most stated reason for visiting a social networking website by Latinx consumers is to receive exclusive offers, coupons or other discounts (over-indexing by 22%). 
  • With a big number of brick-and-mortar locations dwindling in many cities, connecting with Latinx consumers as a source of growth in the categories they are passionate about can be vital for the survival for brick-and-mortar retailers. Creating an authentic in-store experience could be a competitive advantage for brick-and-mortar retailers in the race against online purveyors. 
  • Merging the physical and digital worlds, Latinx consumers are front-runners in digital coupon use, with text messages being reported as their number one way to receive coupons.

U.S. Hispanics have mastered the art of blending old and new, leading a new wave of culturally relevant trendsetters. The Latinx community keeps up with the latest trends by being constantly connected to their inner circles, asking for advice, recommendations and approval from those who mean the most to them.

  • They are more likely than the general population to use social networking sites to find out about products and services, and they are also more likely to share their product/services experience on a social networking site. They, in fact, are likely to both offer and seek out recommendations. 
  • Almost 40% of Hispanics state that their friends or neighbors seek advice from them before making a purchase, over-indexing the general population by 10%. 
  • 73% of U.S. Hispanics agree that it’s important for them that their children continue their family’s cultural traditions and that their ethnic cultural heritage is an important part of who they are, which means that language, culture and familial ties are a foundation in understanding the unique Latinx path to purchase.

As the youngest ethnic group in the country, U.S. Hispanics are coming of age in a digital world. They have strong opinions and are masters at making them heard in the social channels. 

  • The U.S. Census projects that the Latino population in the U.S. will nearly double to 109 million in the 40 years between 2018 and 2058, a projected growth rate of 82% vs. only 9% over the same period for the non-Hispanic population. 
  • Latinx consumers love navigating life with their mobile devices, as evidenced by the fact that 98% aged 2+ own a smartphone, versus 95% of the total U.S.
  • Unprecedented issues affecting the U.S. Latino community have risen in American politics in the last several years, having a proud effect on the American electorate. Latino voter turnout reached 11.7 million in 2018, up from 6.8 million in 2014—the single largest increase on record from one midterm election to another.

About Nielsen

Nielsen Holdings plc (NYSE: NLSN) is a global measurement and data analytics company that provides the most complete and trusted view available of consumers and markets worldwide. Our approach marries proprietary Nielsen data with other data sources to help clients around the world understand what’s happening now, what’s happening next, and how to best act on this knowledge. For more than 90 years Nielsen has provided data and analytics based on scientific rigor and innovation, continually developing new ways to answer the most important questions facing the media, advertising, retail and fast-moving consumer goods industries.

An S&P 500 company, Nielsen has operations in over 100 countries, covering more than 90% of the world’s population. For more information, visit

About Nielsen’s Diverse Intelligence Series In 2011, Nielsen launched the Diverse Intelligence Series, a robust portfolio of comprehensive reports that focus solely on diverse consumers’ unique consumption and purchasing habits. The series has become an industry resource to help brands better understand and reach diverse customers. To learn more about Nielsen’s Diverse Intelligence research series, visit



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