Spanish Speakers Learning the U.S. Marketplace: A Study of Online Forum Use by Spanish and Mexican Travelers
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractTo discover how Spanish‐speaking immigrants and travelers learn about the U.S. marketplace, 4 years of discussion on a traveler forum in Spain was analyzed. The data revealed the role of code switching between English and Spanish, the different aspects of marketplace discussion, and the effects of branding in Spanish. These findings affect the discussion of marketplace topics as well as the travelers' consumer acculturation process within the forum. Interestingly, research demonstrates that this type of forum is not used in Mexico, however, even though both countries speak the same language. Interviews unearthed the major reasons explaining the nonexistence of this phenomenon in Mexico, which are issues with trusting sources of information, geographic location and greater familiarity with the U.S. marketplace, and a smaller opportunity cost associated with traveling to the United States. These cultural and geographic differences affect how the two countries regard the use of online forums and therefore how they learn about shopping in the marketplace as travelers. The business implications of this study are especially useful for the retail industry, particularly in attracting tourists, expanding brand awareness, and communicating promotions to Spanish-speaking countries.
Degree ProgramHonors College