Tomando Ventaja: Bilingual deal sites pop up for Latino businesses

by Mariola Janik

Studies have shown that Latinos use social media more than any other group in the United States. Thus it comes as no surprise that Latino-oriented discount websites are popping up everywhere. Jupiter Research indicates that Latinos make up 13 percent of all online sales and spend an estimated $22 billion on e-commerce per year. What is surprising, however, is that Latinos only account for 3 percent of all traffic to the most popular online discount website: Groupon.

For Boris Portman, co-founder of Descuento Libre, this presented an opportunity.  In speaking with Latino small business owners, he discovered that they had never heard of the daily deal concept. At a time when the rest of the country is suffering from “deal fatigue” as Portman calls it, Latinos didn’t even know what these deals were.

Others have also joined Portman in the industry. Ufertas.com is another Groupon-like initiative for Spanish-speaking U.S. customers. Launched by Univision in early June, Ufertas.com offers a daily deal platform that targets the Hispanic market. Groupacho.com presents itself as Los Angeles’ Latino-centric answer to Groupon. It aims to offer discounts “that reflect the lifestyle of Latino families”.  Co-founder David Barr considers the Hispanic market to be an untapped niche market, one that corporations don’t quite understand.

In the wake of the daily discount website boom, Latino small businesses have a unique opportunity to market themselves and their products. As these deal websites are likely to continue growing, Latinos will need to understand the impact on marketing opportunities. ACCION Chicago also seeks to understand these new opportunities and ensure our Latino borrowers stay at the cutting edge for marketing their products and services.