June 27, 2014
By Javier Palomarez and Jonathan Spalter
From affordable education, quality health care and connections to family and community, mobile technologies are transforming modern life — and playing a central role in helping Hispanic entrepreneurs grow their businesses. Hispanics lead in smartphone adoption and mobile Internet usage. Now a new study shows that Hispanic business owners also are leading the way in translating heightened wireless connectivity into expanded economic opportunities.
A recently released survey conducted for Mobile Future, the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and Latinos in Social Media explores "Hispanic Business Growth and the Mobile Future."
Among its key findings, 70 percent of Hispanic business owners surveyed said they offer better customer service thanks to mobile, for example, using their wireless device to respond to clients more quickly. More than one-third of respondents have created a mobile-friendly website and nearly one-third offer mobile payments options to their customers.
Mobile also is helping these entrepreneurs expand their customer base. More than 60 percent credit mobile technologies with helping grow their businesses — with 41 percent stating that mobile technologies help them secure new clients.
There remains huge untapped potential in the mobile arena, the survey finds, with many respondents expressing the desire to hone their mobile skills and capabilities. More than half expressed interest in more training on mobile marketing opportunities, and nearly 40 percent said they would like to learn how to code mobile apps themselves.
The study also found that 94 percent of the Hispanic business owners surveyed noted that a day without mobile would impact their business, something that likely strikes a chord with most mobile consumers. Going a step further, nearly 55 percent said it would be a "major disruption" or "utter catastrophe."
As for the future? A full 84 percent of the business owners said they believe mobile will have an even bigger impact on their business in the years ahead.
The success of Hispanic businesses has broad implications to the U.S. economy as a whole. Our nation is home to nearly 3.2 million Hispanic entrepreneurs who contribute more than $468 billion to the American economy. Looking ahead, Hispanic-owned businesses represent the fastest-growing segment of U.S. small businesses.
According to PEW Research, Hispanic Internet users are among the most likely to go online using a mobile device. And, a majority of the Hispanic community resides in wireless-only households, well ahead of the 39 percent overall U.S. average.
As wireless connectivity becomes ubiquitous in our society, it's important that efforts to close the digital divide seek to ensure that all Americans have the skills and knowledge necessary to participate fully in the many economic opportunities that mobile makes possible. Hispanics will not only participate in this progress. As the data clearly shows, they will continue to help lead the way.
Source: Latin Post