August 9, 2005, 12:00 AM

Rural online users shop less frequently on the Internet than urban users

While online users in small and rural areas are as likely to shop online as urban users, they do so less frequently than their urban counterparts, according to a new study from JupiterResearch.

While online users in small and rural areas are as likely to shop online as urban users, they do so less frequently than their urban counterparts, according to a new study from JupiterResearch.

Jupiter found that 73% of remote users-those living in market sizes of fewer than 250,000 people-have purchased products or services online during the past year. That compares with 76% of urban users.

But only 57% of remote users said they made online purchases at least monthly, compared with 62% of urban users, Jupiter says. 56% of suburbanites said they purchased goods or services online at least monthly.

In addition, 43% of online users in smaller markets said they have paid bills online compared with 46% of urban users, Jupiter says.

Remote users also are slightly less likely than suburbanites and urbanites to use the Internet to do online research on travel arrangements and health insurance and online banking (43%, 44% and 46%, respectively), according to Jupiter.

Jupiter attributes the disparity between remote users and suburbanites and urbanites to differences in tenure online and household income. “As the online tenure of remote users increases during the next few years, their comfort level with transacting online will also rise, allowing them to at least partially close this gap,” the report says.

Jupiter based its study on a survey of 1,031 remote users, 797 suburban users, and 1,902 urban users.

 

 

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