A survey has found that 94 per cent of people residing in rural communities do their shopping on the internet.
The research, conducted by the Future Laboratory on behalf of Paypal, predicts that this figure is likely to grow as 33 village shops could close every month over the course of the next year.
Additionally, 42 per cent of respondents said that they were shopping online more than they did last year.
There were a number of reasons for the shift. 16 per cent reported that their nearest shops did not offer the things they need, ten per cent said their nearest shop was too far away and another ten per cent said they have increased their online shopping to avoid driving.
“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,” said Paypal’s UK managing director, Carl Scheible.
“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.”