Why Bilingual Spanish-English Market Targeting is Essential for Ecommerce Retailers
Why targeting the US bilingual Spanish-English market is a must for ecommerce retailers
It’s official: In 2015, the United States became the second-largest Spanish-speaking country in the world, right after Mexico. According to a study by the Instituto Cervantes in Spain, there are more native Spanish speakers in the US than in Spain itself.
Since then, the number of native Spanish speakers in the US has continued to grow. With the US ecommerce market currently valued at $500 billion and accounting for over 11% of total retail sales in the country, it makes sense to make ecommerce more accessible to the 50 million-plus native Spanish speakers in America.
The US retail landscape is not particularly friendly towards multilingualism. In fact, only 2.45% of US-based ecommerce sites are available in more than one language.
Out of these multilingual sites, the highest percentage, around 17%, offer English and Spanish, followed by 16% in French and 8% in German. The 17% of American e-merchants who have made their sites bilingual in Spanish have already recognized the importance of targeting this consumer base.
But how can you make your site bilingual effectively? The US is somewhat behind the rest of the world when it comes to multilingual online presence. Many American business owners prioritize English and overlook other languages, mirroring the country’s linguistic landscape.
If your focus is on doing business in the US with an English-language site, it may seem like the odds are against you. However, creating a Spanish version of your website is a reliable way to increase its visibility on the American web and, consequently, boost sales in the US market.
However, translating your store to Spanish goes beyond using Google Translate. To effectively reach a bilingual audience, you need more comprehensive strategies. Here are a few reasons why translating your store to Spanish is beneficial and how you can adapt your multilingual strategy accordingly.
Speak English, Search Spanish: Bilingual Americans do both.
Even though many of America’s Spanish speakers are fluent in English, they often prefer to use Spanish as the language for their device interfaces. This means that while they interact in English, they keep their devices set to Spanish, including their phones, tablets, and computers.
Data from Google indicates that over 30% of internet content in the US is consumed by users who seamlessly switch between Spanish and English, be it in their social interactions, searches, or page views.
Optimize your multilingual SEO for Spanish
Search engines like Google identify the language preferences of users and adjust their ranking algorithms accordingly. If your site is not available in Spanish, your SEO efforts in the US may suffer. Translating your site to Spanish can bring significant benefits and has little downside, especially if the US is a key target market for your business.
To further establish your presence in the Spanish-speaking American market, pay attention to your Spanish-language SEO. With ConveyThis, you can easily take care of this step, ensuring your site ranks well in both languages. By making your site user-friendly for Spanish speakers, you also signal to search engines that you are available in Spanish, thus connecting your content with potential customers more effectively.
Monitor your Spanish-language metrics
Once you have translated your store to Spanish, it’s important to track the performance of your Spanish-language versions on search engines and other platforms where your business is present.
Google Analytics allows you to analyze the language preferences of your site visitors and how they discovered your site. By utilizing the “Geo” tab in your admin space, you can access statistics related to language preferences.
Spanish-speaking Americans are highly active online
According to Google, 66% of Spanish speakers in the US pay attention to online ads. Additionally, a recent Ipsos study cited by Google revealed that 83% of Hispanic American mobile Internet users use their phones to browse online stores they have previously visited in person, even while inside physical stores.
Considering these trends, it’s clear that if a bilingual customer’s browser is set to Spanish, they are more likely to engage with your online store if it is also available in Spanish.
To effectively tap into the US Hispanic market, it’s important to consider cultural elements and preferences.
Multilingual Audience, Multicultural Content
Bilingual Hispanic Americans have multiple cultural references due to their exposure to different languages. Marketing products to this audience requires nuanced approaches.
While straightforward public service campaigns may look identical in English and Spanish, selling products often demands more tailored strategies. Advertisers often modify their campaigns for Spanish-speaking audiences, including using different actors/models, color palettes, slogans, and scripts.
Tailoring campaigns specifically for the Hispanic market has proven effective. Advertising firm ComScore analyzed the impact of various types of campaigns and found that campaigns originally conceived in Spanish specifically for the Spanish-speaking market had the highest preference among Spanish-speaking viewers.
Choose the right channels
With a substantial and growing native Spanish-speaking population in the US, there is an opportunity to engage with this market through Spanish-language media, including TV channels, radio stations, and websites.
ComScore’s study indicated that Spanish-language online ads outperformed TV and radio ads in terms of impact. Despite this, only 1.2 million out of over 120 million US-based websites are available in Spanish, which represents a small proportion.
By leveraging Spanish-language online content and ads, brands can connect with the highly connected Hispanic community in the US.
Optimize your outbound multilingual advertising strategy
Provide an excellent experience on your multilingual website
To effectively convert a Spanish-speaking audience, you must deliver on the promises made in your ads. Offering a top-notch browsing experience for Spanish-language users is key.
Consistency in your Spanish-language marketing strategy is essential. This means providing Spanish-language customer service, ensuring your web presence is accessible in Spanish, and paying attention to site design and user experience.
Building a multilingual website can be challenging, but there are techniques and best practices to make it more user-friendly. Taking into account design changes and adapting page layouts for different languages, such as English and Spanish, is crucial.
To ensure a seamless user experience, it’s important to consider language preferences and cultural elements when designing your website. ConveyThis can help by providing professional translations directly from your dashboard, enabling you to tap into the Hispanic-American market effectively.
From untapped to the bilingual boom
Translating your website to Spanish, optimizing your SEO, and tailoring your content to the Spanish-speaking audience are essential steps to successfully enter the bilingual American online market.
With ConveyThis, you can easily implement these strategies on any website platform. From translating images and videos to customizing translations, you can create compelling Spanish-language content without compromising your brand identity or wasting time that could be better spent on other tasks!
Ready to get started?
Translation, far more than just knowing languages, is a complex process.
By following our tips and using ConveyThis, your translated pages will resonate with your audience, feeling native to the target language.
While it demands effort, the result is rewarding. If you’re translating a website, ConveyThis can save you hours with automated machine translation.
Try ConveyThis free for 7 days!