Partly because we just launched our own new Web site, including a German version, I took some interest in yesterday’s announcement of Home Depot’s launch of a Spanish-language version of their Web site, which the company hopes will enable them to tap the nation’s burgeoning Hispanic population.
Given the Internet, consumer-driven world we live in today, it still surprises me that the majority of national retailers don’t have Spanish-language Web sites, and have done a poor job catering to this rapidly expanding consumer base. A study of English and Spanish-language consumers conducted last year by Forrester Research found that one-fourth of Hispanics must be served in Spanish if retailers want more business. Forrester expects Hispanic shoppers online to exceed 17 million by 2011.
It’s a growing trend in the CRM market in general. Many businesses have begun looking into Mexico and other Central American areas for customer service agents and contact centers to address the rising domestic Hispanic populations. As businesses look to expand into new consumer bases during these tough economic times, fielding a Web site and e-commerce engine that caters to their needs will be critical for success.