1. Analysis
August 9, 2022

Artificial intelligence innovation among retail industry companies has dropped off in the last three months

Analysis of patent filings shows a shrinking level of AI related applications in the industry over the past three months, compared to last year

By Data Journalism Team

Research and innovation in artificial intelligence in the retail sector has declined in the last year.

The most recent figures show that the number of AI related patent applications in the industry stood at 213 in the three months ending June – down from 356 over the same period in 2021.

Figures for patent grants related to AI followed a similar pattern to filings – shrinking from 229 in the three months ending June 2021 to 222 in the same period in 2022.

The figures are compiled by GlobalData, who track patent filings and grants from official offices around the world. Using textual analysis, as well as official patent classifications, these patents are grouped into key thematic areas, and linked to key companies across various industries.

AI is one of the key areas tracked by GlobalData. It has been identified as being a key disruptive force facing companies in the coming years, and is one of the areas that companies investing resources in now are expected to reap rewards from.

The figures also provide an insight into the largest innovators in the sector.

Amazon.com Inc was the top AI innovator in the retail sector in the latest quarter. The company, which has its headquarters in the United States, filed 66 AI related patents in the three months ending June. That was down from 109 over the same period in 2021.

It was followed by the China based Alibaba Group Holding Ltd with 53 AI patent applications, China based JD.com Inc (27 applications), and the United States based eBay Inc (19 applications).

Groupon Inc has recently ramped up R&D in AI. It saw growth of 72.7% in related patent applications in the three months ending June compared to the same period in 2021 - the highest percentage growth out of all companies tracked with more than 10 quarterly patents in the retail sector.