October 29, 2010

‘Latino Link’ Case Study Recap: Best Buy


Years ago, Best Buy used a low-tech method of engaging Hispanic customers in stores: employees wore badges that identified them as Spanish speakers. Now, Best Buy uses a high-tech, cross channel, in-language experience for its Spanish-speaking customers. Perhaps the most prominent aspect of this progressive “360 approach” is Espanol.BestBuy.com.

In Latino Link: Building Brands Online with Hispanic Communities and Content, author Joe Kutchera showcased the company in a compelling case study presented by Ana Grace, Best Buy's Site Manager, Hispanic Initiatives & Online Catalogues.

The seven-page report provides a wealth of insight from a company committed to the U.S. Hispanic market. "We consider this a long term relationship with Latinos in the U.S. and are committed to learning and growing along with them," Grace told Kutchera.

But that didn’t mean translating Best Buy’s website was anything less than ambitious. “Like many online retailers, we faced the unique challenges of managing a large, very dynamic site, which was loaded with time-sensitive information,” Grace said in Latino Link. “This made the idea of translating BestBuy.com into Spanish a complicated project, especially from an IT perspective.”

Best Buy partnered with MotionPoint in 2007, and-in less than 12 weeks, without involving the retailer's IT department-the Spanish site was live with more than 12,000 translated products ... well in time for the holiday shopping season. Thanks to savvy outreach and on-site engagement tools, Best Buy's Spanish site is an ever-growing success, Grace said.

According to the case study, Best Buy’s Spanish-speaking online customers…
International Spanish speakers also visit the BestBuy.com English site-many from Latin America. Best Buy used MotionPoint's technology to deploy a "welcome page," which provides easy access to the Spanish site, as well as helpful ordering information for international shoppers.

  • Spend about double the amount of time on the Spanish site, as compared to visitors to Best Buy’s English site
  • Spend about double what English-preferring customers spend per order
  • Also use the Spanish site to conduct product research, and then purchase in local stores (often “bringing in printouts from the Spanish site to show employees what they want,” Grace explained)
  • Prefer a shopping experience identical to that found on the English site. ("Differences in offerings," Grace said, "and even in imagery created fears of discrimination and broke down trust.")

"This welcome page has increased our international visits to the Spanish website by over 500 percent," Grace told Kutchera. "In the future, we will be geo-targeting unique messaging for visitors of different countries both through the welcome landing page and also as they interact on the site."

Best Buy's commitment to Spanish-speaking customers-and engaging them in meaningful and resonant ways-will remain a priority in the years to come, Grace said. Her advice to other retailers keen to cater to the U.S. Hispanic market?

"Don't make assumptions about what you think is important to your customers," she said. "Get the data, and use it to guide your decisions."

Learn more about Joe Kutchera and Latino Link — and download a free chapter of the book — at JoeKutchera.com.


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