Internet-based businesses may profit from directing their marketing messages towards more rural communities as a new report has revealed that an increasing number of Britons in such areas are making use of online retail.

Of those in the countryside, 94 per cent are turning to the web to make purchases, according to the latest PayPal study – Online Retail: The new consumer demands – as a result of greater choice and convenience.

With up to 33 village shops predicted to close each month, the study indicated that 16 per cent feel their nearest stores do not cater to their needs, while ten per cent consider them to be too far away.

"The internet has brought the high street to the countryside," managing director of PayPal UK Carl Scheible observed. "The extraordinary choice of goods and services available online means that people living in rural Britain need not be stranded."

Earlier this month, it emerged that those in online marketing services could benefit from increasing their advertising campaigns during Christmas, as an eBay survey revealed that 85 per cent intend to either maintain or increase spending at this time.

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