Few US-based firms targeting the domestic market can afford to overlook the growing Hispanic population on their doorstep and translating their website into Spanish should be a priority.
Many businesses have struggled to identify areas of growth within developed economies over the past few years. However, the Spanish speaking population is growing exponentially within the United States itself. There’s a growing prominence of the Hispanic population in the US and they are mainly reachable through Spanish language communication, advertising and media which is an opportunity for many American businesses.
According to the US Census, Hispanic population increased to 50.5 million in 2010 from 35.3 million in 2000, representing an increase of 43 percent since 2000. Accordingly, Hispanic population now accounts for 16.3 percent of the country’s overall population. And by 2050, the Hispanic population in the US is expected to reach 127 million and account for 29 percent of the country’s overall population.
There are already 400 million Spanish speakers in the world, spread over some 21 countries. The language is the third most spoken in the world and the Spanish speaking segment is one the fastest growing on earth, with the market for Spanish language media increasing all the time within the US.
There are already over 500 Spanish newspapers and 150 Spanish magazines published in the US and evidence suggests that the Hispanic population responds much better to literature and media in their own language. After all, 70 percent of Hispanics in the US speak Spanish at home. That means there is currently over 50 million potential customers (that’s more than 16 percent of the entire US population) primarily speaking Spanish in their everyday lives that your firm will not reach if you don’t have a Spanish language website.
Businesses that decide to dismiss the potential of the Hispanic market would be unwise to do so as the spending power held by Spanish speaking households is rising all the time – making an ever-increasing section of the US consumer market. In 2002 Hispanic households in the US had purchasing power totaling some $276 billion. This is thought to have increased to $630 billion by 2004 and now stands at around $1.2 trillion.
So why are websites so important in attracting this market? Quite simply, Spanish speakers in the US are avid Internet users and demand high quality publications and content in their own language. Translating your website into Spanish, using a skilled translation company with expertise in the nuances of the language and the ability to ensure your website is accurate and accessible to the Hispanic population, can mean opening up a whole new market for your products and services.
A Pew Research report in 2010 found that 65 percent of Hispanics used the Internet that year and this percentage is expected to have increased significantly. In addition, the emergence of the use of mobile devices, such as smartphones, to access the Internet has helped to close the gap between English and Spanish speakers, with a quarter of Hispanic users accessing the Web primarily through their mobile phones.
Gary Meo, the senior vice president of Scarborough Research, which carried out a report on the Hispanic online community stated, “For years, online Hispanics have been overlooked by many as a marketing target. Our research shows that Hispanic Internet Users are not only well-deserving of the same level of focus as non-Hispanics online, but continuing to ignore this dynamic consumer group could hinder or stall the future growth of online businesses.”
About Merrill Brink International
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