Ever tried haggling in a high street shop? If you’re British, the chances are you’d see it as being a bit beneath you – embarrassing, even. Some might have a go on holiday, in Morocco or Egypt, and enjoy the excitement of feeling they got their money’s worth by the grit of their innate bargaining powers, but it’s a novelty experience most would leave at the airport.

Not any more. RAPP, the customer experience agency, today presented the latest findings from its on-going Opportunities in Austerity research. The results show that British citizens are embracing the idea of becoming bargain hungry, discerning shoppers, and some brands are flourishing by helping them along.

Gavin Hilton, customer experience director at RAPP, cited evidence that 44% of people are now taking longer to choose a purchase and 74% are comparing prices online.

RAPP calls this new generation of networked customers “prosumers”. They seldom need to turn up in the flesh at a shop to get a bargain – their retail experience starts on a laptop or smartphone, where they’ll strategically compare the price of a product across a range of high street and online vendors. Once they’ve found the best deal, they’ll buy.

But companies should not expect tempting this group to be as easy as offering the lowest price. When RAPP asked customers what brands could do to reassure them, almost two thirds responded that they wanted their loyalty to be rewarded.

One tool helping these shoppers secure better bargains and rewarding them for loyalty at the same time is EDF’s Blue Price Promise. As part of this energy tariff, EDF promises to monitor competitor prices and tell customers if they could save at least £1 a week, with no termination fee.

For more from RAPP's findings, Warc subscribers can read a full run-down in our Event Reports section. Which brands do you think are effectively courting this new generation of “prosumers”? Let us know in the comments, or on Twitter.