The retail industry continues to be a hotbed of innovation, with activity driven by security and technology, and the growing importance of technologies such as blockchain, smart contracts, and cloud. 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 Cybersecurity in Retail: Transaction data blockchain.
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.
Within the emerging innovation stage, smart contracts and transaction data blockchain are disruptive technologies that are in the early stages of application and should be tracked closely. Biometric authentication, biometric payments, and blockchain payments are some of the accelerating innovation areas, where adoption has been steadily increasing. Among maturing innovation areas are user biometric authentication and e-commerce robotic process automation, which are now well established in the industry.
Innovation S-curve for cybersecurity in the retail industry
Transaction data blockchain is a key innovation area in cybersecurity
Blockchain provides enhanced security by offering strong encryption, reducing vulnerabilities, and effectively verifying the ownership of data. Its distributed ledger is its key advantage. In a blockchain, transaction data is stored across every network node, limiting the chances for data to be compromised, stolen or tampered with.
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 10+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established retail companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of transaction data blockchain.
Key players in transaction data blockchain – 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 transaction data blockchain
|Company||Total patents (2010 - 2021)||Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies|
|SoftBank Group||331||Unlock company profile|
|nChain Holdings||52||Unlock company profile|
|Overstock.com||15||Unlock company profile|
|Rokfin||12||Unlock company profile|
|eBay||11||Unlock company profile|
|Security Matters||8||Unlock company profile|
|Intensity Analytics||8||Unlock company profile|
|Walmart||6||Unlock company profile|
|Ali Group||6||Unlock company profile|
|CEA||5||Unlock company profile|
|International Business Machines||5||Unlock company profile|
Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics
Leading players in the transaction data blockchain for cybersecurity space in terms of patents filed are SoftBank Group, nChain, Overstock.com, Rokfin, and eBay. In January 2023, nChain announced its partnership with W2, a company that provides regulatory compliance services to the gambling industry, and Crucial Compliance, which specialises in player protection, to provide blockchain-powered compliance solutions. The partnership aims to help operators to deal with the current regulatory challenges and making their compliance processes and tools future ready.
Leading players in the transaction data blockchain for cybersecurity space in terms of application diversity are Ali Group, Security Matters, eBay, and Walmart.
Leading players in the space in terms of geographic reach are nChain, Security Matters, Overstock.com, and SoftBank Group.
With the help of digital signatures and encryption, a blockchain system can protect devices such as smart doorbells, connected thermostats, and security cameras.
To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the retail industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Cybersecurity in Retail.