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Chicago (September 19, 2011) – Whether you consider yourself a frugal fashionista or a savvy saver, it’s quickly becoming clear that consumers no longer view bargain hunting as a necessary chore, but rather an enjoyable pastime. According to Mintel Inspire’s newest trend – Let’s Make a Deal – the gamification of the saving experience will only increase in the future.

Mintel data reveals that 64% of US moms say they’re spending more time looking for sales, discounts and coupons compared to last year, while 28% of UK consumers were classified by Mintel as”bargain hunters”due to their dedication to comparing prices and reading online reviews.

” it’s no longer enough to save money, shoppers want to have fun with the savings experience as well,”says Alexandra Smith, Managing Editor of Mintel Inspire. ” consumers have come to expect reduced prices since the economic downturn, but retailers need to take that discounting a step further with promotions that engage and entertain. “

But what’s a trend without data to back it up? According to Mintel research, 62% of US consumers say they rarely pay full price for clothing and 58% of UK consumers”don’t like paying full price for anything. “Meanwhile, 28% of UK shoppers consider online shopping a form of entertainment at lunchtime or in the evening. It seems it’s not just how much you save, but how much fun you have in the process.

However, this trend isn’t only benefiting the customer – slashing prices can actually boost sales, foster customer loyalty and earn repeat business. A recent Mintel report found 72% of US group-buying service users intend to return a restaurant where they used a discount in the past, even if they have to pay full price the second time around.

” consumers are more open than ever to trying new products and venues, but it will probably take a discount or clever promotion to get them in the door,” adds Alexandra Smith. ” allowing customers to choose the number and type of deals they receive, coupled with location-based offers will help reduce the potential for savings burnout. “