The retail industry continues to be a hotbed of innovation, with activity driven by technology and regulatory frameworks, and the growing importance of technologies such as customer service robotics, instant messaging, and augmented reality. In the last three years alone, there have been over 133,000 patents filed and granted in the retail industry, according to GlobalData’s report on Cloud: Content management system. 

However, not all innovations are equal and nor do they follow a constant upward trend. Instead, their evolution takes the form of an S-shaped curve that reflects their typical lifecycle from early emergence to accelerating adoption, before finally stabilising and reaching maturity. 

Identifying where a particular innovation is on this journey, especially those that are in the emerging and accelerating stages, is essential for understanding their current level of adoption and the likely future trajectory and impact they will have. 

70+ innovations will shape the retail industry 

According to GlobalData’s Technology Foresights, which plots the S-curve for the retail industry using innovation intensity models built on over 128,000 patents, there are 70+ innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry. 

Biometric authentication, gesture-based user interfaces, and shipping management systems are some of the accelerating innovation areas, where adoption has been steadily increasing. Among maturing innovation areas are user biometric authentication and instant messaging social network, which are now well established in the industry. 

Innovation S-curve for cloud in the retail industry 

Content management system is a key innovation area in cloud 

A content management system (CMS) is a software that helps to manage content. The system allows multiple contributors to create, modify, and manage content on the platform. A CMS is typically used for web content management (WCM) and enterprise content management (ECM). 

GlobalData’s analysis also uncovers the companies at the forefront of each innovation area and assesses the potential reach and impact of their patenting activity across different applications and geographies. According to GlobalData, there are 50+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established retail companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of content management system. 

Key players in content management system – a disruptive innovation in the retail industry  

 ‘Application diversity’ measures the number of different applications identified for each relevant patent and broadly splits companies into either ‘niche’ or ‘diversified’ innovators. 

‘Geographic reach’ refers to the number of different countries each relevant patent is registered in and reflects the breadth of geographic application intended, ranging from ‘global’ to ‘local’. 

Patent volumes related to content management system

Company Total patents (2010 - 2021) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
SoftBank Group 513 Unlock company profile
Nippon Telegraph and Telephone 85 Unlock company profile
NEC 73 Unlock company profile
KDDI 67 Unlock company profile
Sharp 60 Unlock company profile
Rakuten Group 58 Unlock company profile
Toppan 51 Unlock company profile
Furukawa 46 Unlock company profile
Sony Group 43 Unlock company profile
Ntt Docomo 37 Unlock company profile
Hitachi 36 Unlock company profile
Panasonic 33 Unlock company profile
Gree 32 Unlock company profile
Toshiba 30 Unlock company profile
Casio Computer 29 Unlock company profile
Konami Group 27 Unlock company profile
Ricoh 27 Unlock company profile
Dentsu Group 26 Unlock company profile
Recruit Holdings 21 Unlock company profile
Telenor 20 Unlock company profile
Canon 19 Unlock company profile
Mitsubishi Electric 19 Unlock company profile
Brother Industries 18 Unlock company profile
Denso 17 Unlock company profile
Gurunavi 15 Unlock company profile
Kadokawa 15 Unlock company profile
mixi 13 Unlock company profile
Omron 13 Unlock company profile
Legend Holdings 13 Unlock company profile
Zenrin 13 Unlock company profile
Kyocera 12 Unlock company profile
JVCKENWOOD 12 Unlock company profile
Mitsubishi 11 Unlock company profile
Alphabet 11 Unlock company profile
Fujifilm Holdings 10 Unlock company profile
Toyota Motor 10 Unlock company profile
Hakuhodo DY Holdings 10 Unlock company profile
Aplix IP Holdings 10 Unlock company profile
Digital Advertising Consortium 9 Unlock company profile
Microsoft 9 Unlock company profile
Seiko Epson 9 Unlock company profile
Micware 9 Unlock company profile
D.A. Consortium 7 Unlock company profile
CyberAgent 7 Unlock company profile
SATO Holdings 6 Unlock company profile
Ricoh Innovations 6 Unlock company profile
Sega Sammy Holdings 6 Unlock company profile
Alps Alpine 6 Unlock company profile
Yamaha 5 Unlock company profile
Oki Electric Industry 5 Unlock company profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

SoftBank Group is one of the leading patent filers in content management systems. Some key patent filers in the space are Nippon Telegraph and Telephone, NEC, KDDI, Sharp, and Rakuten Group. Recently, VIDIZMO, an enterprise video content Management (EVCM) solutions provider in Japan, announced its partnership with NEC Networks & System Integration Corporation (NESIC). Through this partnership, the companies will help universities, enterprises, and government organisations in Japan to host, stream and manage live and popular video content, supported by additional AI capabilities. 

In terms of application diversity, Omron leads the pack. Sega Sammy Holdings and Kadokawa stood in the second and third positions, respectively. By means of geographic reach, Microsoft held the top position, followed by Mitsubishi and Alphabet. 

Content management systems will increasingly gain popularity in the retail sector as it will enable non-technical users to create functional web pages and modify content themselves. The applications’ user-friendliness, cost-efficiency, and ease of maintenance will boost its usage in the future. 

To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the retail industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Cloud Computing in Retail


GlobalData, the leading provider of industry intelligence, provided the underlying data, research, and analysis used to produce this article.

GlobalData’s Patent Analytics tracks patent filings and grants from official offices around the world. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries.