Will adding Spanish give Amazon an edge over rival sites?
The United States has more Spanish speakers than Spain. In fact, it is the second largest Spanish speaking country in the world, trailing only Mexico. These facts have clearly not been lost on Amazon.com, which has begun adding Spanish to its site.
“Customers will be able to shop, browse and search for millions of products, view their shopping cart, and place orders in Spanish on Amazon.com and through the Amazon Mobile Shopping app,” a spokesperson said in a statement, reported by CNET.
“We will continue to roll out the shopping experience over the coming weeks. More and more customers should expect to see the option to shop Amazon.com in Spanish soon,” the spokesperson added.
Today, 41 million people living in the U.S. are native Spanish speakers, while another 11 million are bilingual Spanish/English, according to The Guardian. Roughly three-fourths of Latinos speak Spanish in their homes, according to Pew Research. The U.S. Census projects that there will be 138 million Spanish speakers living in America by 2050. If this comes to pass, the U.S. will be the largest Spanish-speaking nation on the planet.
The state with the highest concentration of Spanish speakers (including bilingual) is New Mexico (47 percent) followed by California and Texas at 38 percent. Thirty percent of people living in Arizona speak Spanish, while the same is true of 18 percent of New Yorkers.
California has the highest percent of Spanish-only speakers at 13.7 percent, followed by Texas (12.31 percent), New Mexico (9.39 percent), Arizona (9.16 percent), Nevada (8.76 percent), Florida (7.89 percent), New York (6.66 percent), New Jersey (6.15 percent), Illinois (5.77 percent) and Colorado (5.06 percent) to round out the top 10.
The addition of Spanish to its U.S. site is not something new for Amazon. CNET reports that the e-tailer offers multiple language options on sites operating in Canada and Germany. In Germany, shoppers have the option of using German, Dutch, English, Polish and Turkish.
- Amazon.com will now come in Spanish, too – CNET
- US now has more Spanish speakers than Spain – only Mexico has more – The Guardian
- Spanish Speaking State Statistics – Statistic Brain
- Will Hispanic bilingualism survive in the United States? – Univison Noticias
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: What will adding Spanish do for Amazon’s U.S. site sales? Do you expect other retailers to add a Spanish language option on their sites now that Amazon has taken this step?