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  January 4th, 2016 | Written by

Spanish Mobile Sites Deliver Immediate, Sustained Growth with U.S. Hispanics

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  • American companies are behind the times launching mobile websites for their multi-lingual markets.
  • U.S. Hispanics lead the country in adoption of new devices and are more likely to buy mobile apps than non-Hispanics.
  • U.S. companies without Spanish mobile websites are not converting traffic to orders among Spanish speakers.

Smartphones and tablets have transformed how consumers communicate and shop. These days, one in five people worldwide own a smartphone, and 60 percent of them use those devices as their primary or exclusive internet source.

Progressive companies around the world are adapting by launching mobile websites for their multi-lingual markets. But American companies are behind the times—few maintain Spanish-language mobile sites for U.S. Hispanic customers.

It’s a missed opportunity. Based on 2014 research presented by Google, U.S. Hispanics lead the country in adoption of new devices, they are one and half times more likely to buy mobile apps and digital media than non-Hispanics, and they now have a buying power of $1.5 trillion.

Spanish mobile sites are particularly affordable to deploy, when using existing translated content from a company’s desktop Spanish site, and the clients who do so see immediate and positive results.

One America’s largest pizza restaurant chains discovered last year that 33 percent of all visits to the chain’s Spanish desktop site—the version optimized for PC screens—was hailing from mobile devices.

Unfortunately, mere handfuls of those visits converted into pizza orders. Many visitors abandoned the site after viewing a single page via their mobile devices.

Why? A native mobile experience didn’t exist for Spanish speakers. By translating its English-language mobile site into Spanish, monthly mobile revenue skyrocketed by 481 percent. Spanish mobile-site revenue now represents over half of all revenue this company generates from its Spanish online channels.

Automotive parts company websites receive nearly 40 percent of its U.S. Spanish traffic from mobile devices. But the inbound Spanish mobile traffic of major auto parts manufacturer was anemic.

It turned out the company wasn’t connecting with customers in their language of choice, on their devices of choice. One the company launched a Spanish mobile site, traffic and engagement increased immediately, and quickly generated ROI.

Two years ago, the mobile phone traffic to one a major U.S. airline’s Spanish desktop site accounted for less than five percent of total visits and mobile conversions were in the gutter.

After launching a Spanish-language mobile site, the company’s Spanish-language engagement and revenue immediately increased. In fact, it recovered its initial costs in a mere five days.

Over the next six weeks, Spanish site traffic grew 80 percent—across desktop and mobile. Revenue from Spanish mobile users rose 363 percent.

The mobile site generated other powerful engagement metrics. Spanish mobile signups for the airline’s customer loyalty program increased by 269 percent. In-language mobile flight-status checks hit stratospheric heights.

The airline now projects to generate, in revenue, 379 times its annual cost operating a Spanish mobile site. The mobile site generates more revenue in a single day than it costs to maintain it for an entire year.

One of the smartest ways companies can connect with U.S. Hispanics is with Spanish-language mobile sites. No matter what language you’re fluent in, these results speak for themselves.

Charles Whiteman is senior vice president of client services at MotionPoint Corporation, the world’s #1 enterprise localization platform. He may be reached at