I'm originally from Venezuela and moved to the United States in 2017. I started learning about Amazon and the concept of FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon) in 2014 through YouTube videos and online training. Initially, I didn't think it was possible to run an Amazon FBA business from Venezuela. When I moved to the States, I became an e-commerce manager for a company that wanted to expand online. That's where I applied my knowledge and eventually started consulting on the side. As things grew, I established my own agency, focusing on the less glamorous aspects of managing a Seller Central account, such as account health, performance metrics, and problem-solving. I love what I do, and my mission is to break the stigma around these aspects and help sellers improve their management skills.
The Hispanic market in the US, with over $2 trillion spent on consumables last year, is a goldmine that's yet to be fully tapped. It's the fastest growing demographic in the US. Additionally, 75% of the entire demographic is 35 years old or younger, consisting of millennials and Gen Z who are native online shoppers. This creates a huge potential market. As Vanessa points out, "The Hispanic market in the US… has significant purchasing power," but due to a lack of optimized listings, many opportunities are missed. It's clear that Amazon sellers who can effectively target and engage this demographic stand to gain significantly.
Differences between the American and Hispanic consumer experiences are causing a disconnect on Amazon. Vanessa identified a crucial issue: "Many listings are not optimized for the Hispanic market." By understanding and addressing these differences, Amazon sellers can provide a better shopping experience for Hispanic consumers and seize untapped opportunities.
Amazon's Spanish Experience feature, introduced in 2017, is a stepping stone towards a more inclusive platform. Vanessa explained how this feature works: "Users can switch to Spanish language mode, and the whole experience is in Spanish. However, the translation is done by a neural translation machine." While this technology is improving, sellers currently can't customize translations, presenting a unique challenge to effectively engage with the Hispanic market. Sellers are unable to customize the translations themselves, but they can message seller support to edit some of the translations.
Amazon's initiatives for the Hispanic market offer sellers a way to better cater to this demographic. Vanessa suggests that "sellers can optimize their listings for the Hispanic market by ensuring the copy and information are updated and relevant." She also recommends adding "Spanish keywords to the backend and advertise using those keywords" to effectively reach Hispanic consumers. Sellers cannot change images specifically for the Hispanic market, but they can add more inclusive images to their product photography.
Optimizing listings for the Hispanic market can reap substantial benefits. Vanessa notes that "Even a small improvement in sales, like half a percent, is significant given the increasing competition on Amazon." By focusing on enhancing existing product listings rather than launching new ones, sellers can build loyalty within the Hispanic community, which can lead to increased sales.
Vanessa offers actionable advice on optimizing for the Hispanic market. She suggests sellers "test Spanish keywords in your own campaigns or use the Product Opportunity Explorer if you have brand registry." When discrepancies are found between English and Spanish versions of a listing, sellers should "open a case with seller support and request escalation to the translation team," who can manually update the translation.
Sellers should also search their products on mercado libre and other Latin American platforms to uncover cultural nuances. For example, a griddle might be used to cook pancakes in the United States, but in central and south America, it would be more likely to be used to cook tortillas or quesadillas. This can also help a seller discover useful Spanish vocabulary or imagery that might appeal to the hispanic market.
"You can't go to Helium 10 and request all the Spanish keywords for a listing. However, you can test Spanish keywords in your own campaigns or use the Product Opportunity Explorer if you have brand registry to see if they're worth targeting. Even a small improvement in sales, like half a percent, is significant given the increasing competition on Amazon. In the past, we used to optimize for market deficiencies, but now it's about improving within the existing opportunities. To succeed in the long term, sellers should focus on optimizing their current products rather than constantly launching new lines. The Hispanic community values good experiences with brands and is likely to become loyal customers when satisfied."
Regarding incorporating Spanish into packaging, I haven't seen the brands I work with do that, but larger brand names often include Spanish translations on their packaging. This reflects the trend of professionalization in the industry. While it's important to consider packaging, I don't believe it's a significant factor in driving sales. Instead, it's essential to focus on effective communication, targeting the audience through advertising, and leveraging tools like Amazon Attribution in referral programs to drive traffic to optimized listings.
As for translating listings, if you see a discrepancy between the English and Spanish versions, you can open a case with seller support and request escalation to the translation team. They can update the translation manually. It's crucial to align the information between the English and Spanish versions of the listing. This involves connecting the two and ensuring there's no disconnect. However, sellers can't make these changes themselves. The translation team handles it, and the process is relatively straightforward.
Vanessa emphasizes the importance of cultural understanding and thorough research when targeting the Hispanic market. She advises sellers to "conduct research, analyze top competitors in Spanish-speaking countries, and understand the preferences and cultural nuances of different Hispanic communities." By doing this, sellers can create more effective marketing strategies and truly connect with their audience.
Visual content that reflects the culture and lifestyle of the Hispanic market can significantly enhance a product's appeal. Here are some tips:
By incorporating these elements into your images and videos, you can create a more engaging and authentic shopping experience for Hispanic customers.
Amazon's features like sponsored videos and sponsored display ads can be key to reaching the Hispanic market. Vanessa advises sellers to "use sponsored videos and sponsored display ads to target the Hispanic community with relevant imagery." This targeted approach can significantly enhance a seller's reach within this demographic.
Vanessa's agency, Online Seller Solutions, specializes in helping Amazon sellers optimize their performance in the Hispanic market. They "fix issues like suppressed listings, discrepancies, and account health problems" and "help clients develop strategies to improve these areas and drive sales." This comprehensive support allows sellers to focus on what they do best - selling.
Vanessa Hung's insights provide a roadmap to navigate the often-overlooked Hispanic market on Amazon. As she concludes, "The Hispanic community values good experiences with brands and is likely to become loyal customers when satisfied." By understanding and optimizing for the Hispanic market, sellers can capitalize on a significant growth opportunity.