December 22, 2000

Cheskin Research has recently released the second wave of its research on Hispanics and digital technology. The study expands on the initial research of April 2000 that provided insights to the attitudes, behaviors, and usage and ownership patterns of US Hispanics with regard to computers and the Internet. Key findings in the study indicate a significant increase in household computer penetration, and a slight decrease in online purchasing and purchase intent.

The full 170-page report, The Digital World of the US Hispanic II, provides longitudinal data on this fast growing segment of the population. More details about the study can be found on their website at

A nationally representative sample of over 2200 Hispanic respondents participated in telephone interviews that addressed both households and adults. Key household measures included the presence of computers and computer users, technology penetration and adoption, intent and barriers to purchase and usage. Key individual measures included, but were not limited to, computer brand awareness, future purchase intent and brand consideration, Internet usage and activities, usage of Internet services (i.e. ISPs, browsers, search engines, and key websites), language preferences, and e-commerce attitudes, behaviors, and intent.

Five key understandings emerged from the research:

1. Technology adoption is increasing rapidly. Computer penetration among Hispanic households has increased from 42.3% in Q1 2000 to nearly 47% in Q4. The rate of growth of Hispanic household technology penetration over the last 2 years is 80% compared with 21% for the overall market.

2. Lack of information is still one of the key reasons for not having a computer in the home, although this trend is diminishing significantly. Perceived expense is seen as the greatest barrier to computer ownership.

3. Opportunity exists for computer brands to own the market. Computer brand awareness has changed little in the past eight months and over 70% of current non-owners have no brand in mind for future purchase, indicating that manufacturers still have a significant opportunity to own the Hispanic market.

4. Hispanic users continue to prefer mainstream portals. Yahoo! has increased its lead as the primary portal for US Hispanics who are using Yahoo! in English. There is still an opportunity for Spanish-language portals as increasingly more Spanish-dominant consumers are entering the online world.

5. Internet trust among Hispanics has decreased significantly over the past 8 months. This growing lack of trust may be fueled by the prevalence of media coverage of payment and fulfillment problems.

"This study clearly shows that the US Hispanic market has an overwhelmingly strong desire to be a part of the digital age. Given this market's unique socio-political characteristics, companies have a great opportunity to educate and tap into the needs of Hispanics in the US," explains Felipe Korzenny, principal and Co-founder of Cheskin Research. "As the general market reaches a saturation point of computer ownership, it makes sense for companies to explore the growing Hispanic market."

"The significance of this kind of information can't be underestimated," states Janet Galchus, Director of Interactive Services for SiboneyUSA. "As an emerging market within a mature interactive market, US Hispanic purchasing power will play a key role in the success of many Internet and technology companies."

The second wave of the Digital World of the US Hispanic study also provided insights into Internet access speed and mobility. Wireless Internet access appears to be substantive. Of US Hispanic adults who mentioned having access to the Internet, 16% said they have wireless access and almost a third indicate having high-speed or broadband access at home. This indicates that about 6.5% of US Hispanic households have broadband access.

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