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Abstract

Innovation diffusion theory guided research on the process of online apparel shopping adoption (i.e., changes in online shopping adoption) among rural consumers. Rural consumers in 11 states completed surveys in 2000 ( n = 2,198) and in 2003 (n = 879). Variables measured in 2000 were used to predict online apparel purchasing in 2003; structural equation modeling was used for data analysis and yielded satisfactory fit. Results revealed strong support for innovation diffusion theory: Previous practice and characteristics of the decision-making unit ( education, income, innovativeness) affected belief structures. Although beliefs about online shopping measured in 2000 did not affect online apparel shopping adoption in 2000, they did affect online apparel shopping adoption in 2003, demonstrating the dynamic nature of innovation diffusion. Characteristics of the decision-making unit (education, income) indirectly affected online apparel shopping via their influence on previous practice, which was the strongest predictor of online apparel purchasing in 2000 and 2003. General beliefs about the Internet and beliefs about the compatibility of online shopping with respondents' lifestyles predicted online apparel shopping in 2003, whereas beliefs about the benefits and advantages of online shopping did not. © 2007 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.