SOURCE: Hispanic PR WIRE

Technology

Online Holiday Shopping Not So Feliz for Latinos
(HISPANIC PR WIRE - CONTEXTO LATINO)--Area malls and retail stores are often brimming with holiday shoppers come this time of year, hoping to find the perfect gift for loved ones and friends. But as any hurried shopper can attest, sometimes the crowds at the stores and long lines at the checkout counters can take the "merry" out of the holiday season. That's why many shoppers look for alternative ways to do their shopping that don't involve the hassle of getting in the car and spending all day at the store.
Online retailers offer the convenience of fast shopping from the privacy and comfort of your own home. With the click of a button you can purchase gifts and have them shipped directly to your house. Some will even do the wrapping for you. However, as Latinos and other ethnicities are learning, not all of these online retailers make shopping convenient for those who speak English as a second language.
Common Sense Advisory, Inc., an independent research firm, has researched online communications, customer service practices, and business-to-consumer marketing for online retailers and published a study on the ability of these firms to reach the American Latino community online. Unfortunately the results aren't promising for the Hispanic community.
According to the study, of the top 50 online retailers, only four offer content in Spanish. The results are based on the sites' multicultural content, e-mail and Web forms and whether customer service representatives are able to communicate in both English and Spanish.
Most U.S. companies have yet to market to Latinos and other ethnicities. It seems American companies prefer to operate in English, and have expressed that a targeted campaign to Latinos exceeds their budgets. In addition, e-mail communication is rarely conducted in any language except English. However, some stand-out firms like The Sharper Image and 1-800-Flowers embrace the opportunity to tap the multicultural market.
Regardless of the language spoken with these top online retailers, if a customer doesn't receive feedback from a representative, he or she is likely to leave an e-tailer site with a bad impression -- resulting in lower sales for the company and potentially driving more calls to an already overloaded call center this holiday season. Considering most Latinos will not use a company that doesn't meet their unique needs, the retailer is missing out on considerable sales opportunities by the influential Hispanic market.
According to Common Sense Advisory's lead analyst, Donald A. DePalma, Ph.D., "If you sell consumer goods or services online, it is time to review your strategy for ethnic communities in the United States. E-tailers should reassess multicultural opportunities and needs in this changing economy -- not just for this year's holiday shopping season, but in an effort to become trusted suppliers to a financially powerful demographic."
For more information on Common Sense Advisory and this study, visit http://www.commonsenseadvisory.com/latino.
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HEALTH
Young Men are Least Likely to use Seat Belts, but Almost 90 Percent of American Adults Wear them Regularly
Rockville, MD--(HISPANIC PR WIRE – US Newswire)--December 23, 2004--Men between the ages of 19 and 29 are the group least likely to wear a seat belt while driving or riding in a car and are three times as likely not to use their seat belt as women of the same age, according to a new data analysis from HHS’ Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

The data, from AHRQ’s 2002 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey, show that 88 percent of people between 16 and 64 years of age were reported to always or nearly always use seat belts. This number is close to the goal set by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to increase national seat belt use to 90 percent by the year 2005. Healthy People 2010 set a goal of 92 percent use of seat belts by 2010. However, a little more than 5 percent of people ages 16 to 64 never or seldom use their seat belt, and another 7 percent use their seat belts only sometimes.

Other data about the people who never or seldom use their seat belts:

-- Non-students ages 19 to 21 are four times as likely not to use their seat belts as students of the same age (12 percent compared with 3 percent).

-- People with only high school education were twice as likely not to wear their seat belts as those with some additional education (almost 8 percent compared with almost 4 percent).

-- People living in non-metropolitan areas were more than twice as likely not to wear their seat belts as people living in large metropolitan areas (about 9 percent versus 4 percent).

In addition, of all people ages 16 to 64, those ages 16 to 18 were the group least likely to drive or ride in a car without their seat belt. Only about 3 percent of girls and 4 percent of boys were reported to have never used their seat belt.

Details are in Statistical Brief #62: Characteristics of Persons Who Seldom or Never Wear Seat Belts, 2002, found on the Web at http://www.meps.ahrq.gov/PrintProducts/PrintProd_Detail.asp?ID=655.

MEPS collects information each year from a nationally representative sample of U.S. households about health care use, expenses, access, health status, and quality. MEPS is a unique government survey because of the degree of detail in its data, as well as its ability to link data on health services spending and health insurance to demographic, employment, economic, health status, and other characteristics of individuals and families. General information about MEPS is available at http://www.meps.ahrq.gov.



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