Case Study

Exploring E-Commerce Barriers Among Hispanic Shoppers


Although COVID-19 accelerated the adoption of online grocery shopping for many consumers, not everyone joined in at the same rate. Hispanic consumers, for example, did not adopt the trend at the same high rates as other ethnic groups. A leading food and beverage manufacturer looking to increase their online sales among Hispanic consumers wanted to understand the reasons behind the reticence.

C+R developed a multi-stage qualitative research program that delved deeply into the Hispanic consumer experience and ultimately resulted in targeted recommendations for encouraging Hispanic consumers to join the online grocery shopping trend.


Understanding the Lagging Adoption of Online Grocery Shopping Among Hispanic Consumers

Our client, a food and beverage manufacturer, knew from prior research that Hispanic consumers lagged in their adoption of online grocery shopping. They also knew there was a nuanced difference between retailers depending on acculturation level. 

The manufacturer approached C+R for help understanding the reasons behind the lag. Specifically, the client wanted to know:

  • the key barriers Hispanic consumers face in adopting online grocery shopping;
  • what would encourage Hispanic consumers to shop for groceries online;
  • the role language preferences play in shopping decisions (most relevant for Spanish-preferred Hispanic consumers); and
  • what’s missing from the online shopping experience/how retailers can better engage Hispanic shoppers.


A Multistage Qualitative Research Program to Uncover the Reasons Behind the Reticence

C+R developed a multistage qualitative research program to help our clients answer their business questions.

First, we created an online discussion board to delve deeply into Hispanic consumers’ grocery shopping preferences. Thirty-six Hispanic consumers completed three days of activities and discussions; 11 participants were unacculturated, 13 were bicultural, and 12 were acculturated. Through the online discussion board, we learned about Hispanic consumers’ store and category preferences, their thoughts and emotions around online grocery shopping, and the main online grocery shopping barriers they faced.

As part of the immersion, participants completed a self-guided online shopping mission. They replicated a traditional grocery shopping event, but it was online instead of brick-and-mortar. Participants shopped for groceries while narrating their experience, indicating the positives, negatives, and gaps they noticed during the process.

Next, a subset of 12 participants (5 unacculturated and 7 bicultural) were invited to complete a live online shopping session and interview. Interviews lasted one hour and allowed researchers to dive deeper into participants’ drivers and barriers around online grocery shopping.

The result

New Strategies for Building Trust and Increasing Sales

Our research uncovered the top reasons Hispanic consumers prefer brick-and-mortar to online shopping. However, we also learned that many consumers are interested in, and open to, online grocery shopping. Our client used these findings, along with other insights, to develop creative strategies for building trust, aonlinend ultimately, encouraging more online grocery shopping among the Hispanic community.

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