Are we entering the age of the customer? Market research firm Forrester argues that consumers of digital technology – such as websites, mobile devices and applications – are increasingly feeling empowered enough to shape business strategy.

The idea is that consumers are growing accustomed to the best of the best in digital experiences, and they won’t stick around if your organization won’t provide them. Unlike with other products, price is less of a factor – most websites are free, as are many apps.

This places a large burden on your designers to create top-of-the-line user experiences. After all, it’s easy for users to click over to a new website if the current one isn’t meeting their needs. There are always other apps to download if they aren’t pleased with the one they have open. In the digital world, it has never been easier for people to exercise consumer choice.

So how can designers beat the competition and create a user experience design that will improve retention? Information Age reports that brands need to invest in additional studies in order to gain insights about what users are looking for. One of the quickest ways to gain feedback is to conduct remote online studies, which don’t require humans to facilitate them at all. The results can help design teams focus on the problems with existing prototypes.

The good news is user experience has a lot of value – and it shows. Forrester found that when brands focus on customer experiences, they boost consumer willingness to pay and reduce the rate by which they switch to different brands. In addition, when customers enjoy a user experience they are more likely to recommend a brand to someone else.