CNBC Power Lunch

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The much anticipated National Retail Federation took place this week, introducing ways to improve the retail industry; some of these included the incorporation of social media and consumer feedback. Fashion designer, Rebecca Minkoff explained this during one of her presentations: “Right now, social media is key to building a community around a brand. Now I can post a picture of a bag on Instagram and get automatic feedback on what my customers like, love and are utterly obsessed with. User feedback is vital to growing a lifestyle brand.”

Not only was this year’s event bigger than ever, it was also filled with special announcements from the 500 exhibiting companies. Since Fashion-Tech is our thing, we thought we should go over some of the highlights…

Many companies have chosen 2014 as the year to launch their first fashion app. These include Guess Inc. which, has recently launched an app that offers its users a personalized shopping experience as well as customer service and promotions. New app developments include SAP, Starmount and Manthan; all of them dedicated to establish a more detailed target market and give consumers a unique and personalized shopping experience along with loyalty programs.

Macy’s also shared some news during NRF. The company is implementing a new technology which allows it to increase efficiency as well as inventory accuracy. This RFID technology also enables Macy’s to enhance customer experience and drive sales. The name of this technology – TrueVue Inventory Display Execution by Tyco Retail Solutions.

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The biggest buzz was created by Microsoft as it announced its partnership with Vantiv, a payment processing vendor. This new merging will allow for easier payment collection via mobile, individual direct sales transactions, as well as improved customer experiences.

One of the most influential panels this year was moderated by CNBC Power Lunch co-anchor Sue Herrera, featuring fashion designer, Rebecca Minkoff, President of Nordstrom Inc., Blake Nordstrom, founder and CEO of Caruso Affiliated, Rick Caruso and founder of Sprinkles Cupcake, Candance Nelson. The theme of the panel was Re-imagining Main Street – How Brick and Mortar Retail Will Thrive in the 21st Century.

Many ideas and opinions were discussed throughout the panel but in the end, the verdict was unbiased.

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In order to thrive as a retailer, whether it be an e-commerce platform or a brick-and-mortar store, the company must try to gain customer loyalty by offering consumers a unique shopping experience that is both interesting and customizable.