October 21, 2008, 12:00 AM

Online Hispanics shop at Wal-Mart the most, but give Amazon highest marks

Hispanic consumers that use the Internet shop at Wal-Mart more than at any other retailer, and by a sizable margin. But they give Amazon.com and Target higher marks for delivering a good experience, according to a survey by Forrester Research Inc.

Hispanic consumers that use the Internet shop at Wal-Mart Stores Inc. more than at any other retailer, and by a sizable margin. But they give Amazon.com Inc. and Target Corp. higher marks for delivering a good experience, according to a survey this summer by Forrester Research Inc.

The survey also found that security concerns was the biggest obstacle to Hispanics shopping online, especially those who prefer speaking in Spanish.

Wal-Mart easily topped the list when consumers were asked where they had shopped in the previous 30 days, cited by 46% of first-generation Hispanics (those born outside the U.S.), 51% of second generation and 53% of third generation. Comparable figures for Target were 33%, 43% and 43%; for Amazon, 29%, 33% and 36%; and for eBay 27%, 21% and 24%.

But Wal-Mart ranked behind both Amazon and Target when consumers were asked how easy it was to work with those retailers, how effective they were in meeting the consumer’s needs and how enjoyable the interactions were. Target and Amazon tied for the top score on the first question and Amazon led the way on the second and third survey questions.

Those respondents who use the Internet but do not shop online mostly cited security fears as the reason for not buying from web sites. That was cited by 44% of first-generation respondents, 36% of second generation and 50% of third generation. The next most-cited reason was “I prefer to see an item in person before purchasing it,” cited by 40% of first- and second-generation respondents and 39% of third-generation Hispanics. 29% of first-generation respondents said shipping charges are too high, a reason cited by 37% among the second generation and 23% among third-generation respondents.

The results are based on an online survey of 3,370 Hispanic adults conducted in July and August.

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