June 15, 2006, 12:00 AM

For these shoppers, online security should speak Spanish

Most U.S. Hispanics who shop online read how a site’s security policy protects their personal financial information in English. But showing it in Spanish as well boosts purchase confidence, Forrester finds.

Having effective security measures in place to protect online shoppers` personal financial information is one way to alleviate consumers’ concerns about sharing that data while buying online. But to attract Hispanic shoppers, that doesn’t go far enough. Marketers pursuing the U.S. Hispanic consumer online need to explain their security policy in both Spanish and English, according to findings from Forrester Research.

Forrester’s recent report, “Understanding Hispanic web buyers,” determined that concern about divulging personal financial information was one of the top two reasons Hispanics don’t shop online. Yet the 7.6 million U.S. Hispanics who do buy online are a well-heeled, well educated group that buys an average $1,200 a year on the web, particularly in the apparel and consumer electronics categories. To bring Hispanics online to buy, retail sites must not only make online security information easy to find anywhere on the site but they also most provide the information in Spanish as well as English, according to Forrester.

BestBuy.com, for example, allows site visitors to easily switch between English and Spanish when viewing the security policy online. “Although most online Hispanics do not need Spanish when using the web, providing the policy in both languages will help relieve security-conscious customers’ fears,” says the report’s author, Forrester analyst Tamara Barber.

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