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94% of People Living in Rural Britain Shop Online


A study carried out for Paypal by The Future Laboratory has revealed that 42% of adults living in the UK countryside are shopping online more than they did in 2008.

Better online delivery services, limited choice of goods and long distances to stores have encouraged 94% of people living in rural areas to shop online. In 2009, 4.4 million people living in rural communities have increased their online shopping. The online discount site, reported an increase of visitors from the UK countryside searching for a variety of goods including food & drink, electronics & appliances, DIY equipment, and health & beauty products.

16% say their nearest shops do not offer them the things they need
10% say their nearest shops are too far away
10% say they have increased the amount they shop online to avoid driving to their nearest high street
17% say greater reliability and convenience in home delivery has been the key reason they have increased their online spending
66% say they expect to get delivery for free
35% say they expect next day delivery

Carl Scheible, the managing director of PayPal UK, said: “The internet has brought the high street to the countryside, and as many rural communities struggle without any shops at all, online shopping will play an increasingly bigger role as a lifeline for many communities. ”

“It’s alarming that up to 33 village shops are closing a month, however the extraordinary choice of goods and services available online means that people living in rural Britain need not be stranded. The internet may not yet be able to meet all our shopping needs — such as a pint of milk the moment you need it — but we expect more people to join the 4.4 million in the countryside who have increased their reliance on online shopping this year alone. ”

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