Mobile is Mandatory for Marketing to Multicultural Shoppers Credit: Smartphone shopping image via Shutterstock

With smartphone penetration in the U.S. nearing the 50 percent mark, marketers are rapidly adopting mobile shopping tools to reach consumers. For marketers who want to win over multicultural shoppers, mobile will soon be mandatory.  That's because African-American and Hispanic shoppers are adopting these new shopping technologies at a faster rate than Caucasians, new research shows.

They use these new technologies both to research products and make purchases. Eighteen percent of African-American shoppers and 16 percent of Hispanic shoppers use their mobile devices to make purchases as compared to 10 percent of Caucasians, according to an ongoing shopping behavior study conducted by The Integer Group, a marketing agency, and M/A/R/C Research.

One in five African-American shoppers (21 percent versus 13 percent of Caucasian shoppers) use their phone to read product reviews and maintain shopping lists and one in five Hispanic shoppers (20 percent versus 13 percent of Caucasian shoppers) use their mobile device to compare product prices, the study found.

[Mobile Shopping a Big Boon for Online Retailers]

"Basic mobile communication through SMS and mobile websites should be the points of entry. Mobile marketing to multicultural shoppers is a huge opportunity," said Martin Ferro, senior account planner for Velocidad, the Hispanic marketing arm of The Integer Group.

Despite smartphone penetration skewing lower among African-Americans and Hispanics than whites, both are leading the charge by using mobile as a means to access the digital world of shopping aids.

"Digital shoppers are just shoppers," said Ben Kennedy, Integer's group director of mobile marketing. "Digital shopping tools are illustrative of the continued blurring of the on- and offline spaces. Today's reality is that shoppers use whatever tools they have on hand to make them smarter, savvier shoppers."

Reach BusinessNewsDaily senior writer Ned Smith at nsmith@techmedianetwork.com. Follow him on Twitter @nedbsmith.We're also on Facebook & Google+.