Multicultural shoppers spend 30% more on Black Friday

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Hispanics spend more money and shop with family on the busiest shopping day of the year, study finds

The family that spends Thanksgiving dinner together goes Black Friday shopping together.

Recent findings of a study examining the Black Friday shopping habits of multicultural consumers show that non-white ethnicities, especially members of the Hispanic and Latino population, spend more money the day after Thanksgiving shopping for sales than Caucasian consumers and treat Black Friday as an extension of the holiday, shopping together on Thanksgiving day, as well as the day after.

The study from global shopper marketing agency Geometry revealed that multicultural shoppers, including Hispanic, Asian and African-Americans, spend 30% more money on Black Friday than Caucasians. In 2014, Hispanics and Asian Americans spent an average of $300; African-Americans, around $350; and Caucasians, just $250 on Black Friday, the study reported.  

Multicultural shoppers, especially Hispanics and African-Americans, don’t plan their Black Friday purchases in advance. The study showed 41% of Caucasians made lists of items they wanted to purchase on Black Friday last year, compared to 32% of Hispanics and 28% of African-Americans.

Hispanics are more spontaneous shoppers than other cultural groups, explained John Burn, cross-cultural shopper marketing practice lead at Geometry Global, and are more "about living in the moment" when shopping. If they do plan, he said, at most it would be a day or two in advance, compared to Caucasians who could spend weeks planning their Black Friday purchases.

The multicultural consumer views Black Friday as an extension of the Thanksgiving holiday, the study found, with 50% of participants reporting that they go shopping on both Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday. The study, conducted two months ago, surveyed 606 people who have some responsibility over the household shopping to "understand how different ethnic groups shopped, where the commonalities and differences converged," said Burn. The groups were nearly evenly represented, with 149 Hispanics, 156 African-Americans, 156 Asian-Americans, and 150 non-Hispanic white or Caucasians participating in the study.  

Thanksgiving is a big celebration with friends and family, immediate and extended, and the Hispanic consumer’s desire to spend more time together during the holiday extends the family time to shopping on Black Friday, observed Burn and other multicultural marketing experts. Black Friday becomes an outing for the entire family, and they will spend the entire day shopping at big retailers like Toys "R" Us, Macy’s and Best Buy, said Daniel Ocner, director of strategic marketing and development at MediaMorphosis in Long Island City, N.Y.  

"There’s no hesitation to go out shop on Black Friday because everyone just spent the entire day together," added Manny Rodriguez, director of client services at CultureSpan Marketing in El Paso, Texas. "It’s not just a dinner thing, it’s a whole day family thing."

Since they don’t make an exact list of items they want to buy on Black Friday, Hispanic customers tend to stay in shops longer to peruse other items they may want to purchase, Geometry Global’s Burn said. "Hispanics are more spontaneous in terms of planning, and once they’re in the store, they are more open to discovery, to browse the store and see what’s in there," he said, so retailers should highlight their biggest deals with banners and posters in store.

The biggest items purchased on Black Friday by members the Hispanic community are electronics, especially tablets, smartphones, and televisions, the study found. They keep an eye out for the biggest discounts on items that would normally be too expensive for them to buy any other time of the year, Burn said.

Considering the increasing influence of the Hispanic population, brand marketers and retailers need to be savvy about how they market to Hispanics, stressed multicultural experts. "Brands should target them based on their culture and do something that would culturally resonate with them," said Fernando Fernandez, partner and chief client officer at d expósito & Partners, New York. The Hispanic population, at about 55 million people, is the fastest-growing ethnic group in the U.S., making up about 17% of the population, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The government agency projects that the Hispanic population will grow to nearly 130 million by 2060 and will represent 31% of the US population.

While the Hispanic community prefers to shop in store rather than online, they use social media to discuss and share information about the deals they got on Black Friday with family and friends. Facebook is the go-to social platform to share information about their purchases, according to both Fernandez and Rodriguez. Online discount sites, like Groupon, are also a great source of sales information that they share with friends and family, Fernandez added.