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2013 Nielsen Report for African American Consumers

10/3/2013, 6:29 p.m.

With a current buying power of $1 trillion that is forecasted to reach $1.3 trillion by the year 2017*, the importance of connecting with African-American consumers is more important than ever. As detailed in a new report published by Nielsen in collaboration with the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA), black consumers have notable distinctions from other consumer groups, and understanding this group critical to making lasting connections.

Currently 43 million strong, African-American consumers have unique behaviors from the total market. For example, they’re more aggressive consumers of media and they shop more frequently. Blacks watch more television (37%), make more shopping trips (eight), purchase more ethnic beauty and grooming products (nine times more), read more financial magazines (28%) and spend more than twice the time at personal hosted websites than any other group.

African-Americans make an average of 156 shopping trips per year, compared with 146 for the total market. Favoring smaller retail outlets, blacks shop more frequently at drug stores, convenience stores, and dollar stores. Beauty supply stores are also popular within the black community, as they typically carry an abundance of ethnic hair and beauty aids reside that cater specifically to the unique needs of African-American hair textures. Overall, health and beauty supply stores have an average household penetration rate of 46 percent among African-Americans, and the average black household spends an average of $94 in this store channel each year, providing a significant opportunity to connect with black shoppers.

But it’s not just their purchasing behavior that’s unique. African-Americans also have distinct digital and mobile behaviors, as they spend 44 percent more time on education and career websites, and 71 percent of blacks own a smartphone, compared with 62 percent for the total U.S.

While 81 percent of blacks believe that products advertised using black media are more relevant to them, only 3 percent ($2.24 billion) of $75 billion spent on television, magazine, Internet and radio advertising was with media focused specifically on black audiences.

Though African-Americans have no language barriers that distinguish them from the total market, specific cultural nuances that make up the “black experience” are important to note for this ever-growing community.

Download The Report Below