The retail industry continues to be a hotbed of innovation, with activity driven by security and technology, and growing importance of technologies such as blockchain, anonymous transaction handling, and smart contracts. 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: User identity 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
User identity blockchain is a key innovation area in cybersecurity
Blockchain will offer enhanced cybersecurity by decentralization and encryption. As blockchain is a distributed and decentralized ledger, it is difficult to hack users’ credentials and access systems. Decentralized blockchain protects from DDoS attacks and DNS theft. It ensures access and identity management.
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 user identity blockchain.
Key players in user identity 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 user identity blockchain
Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics
Leading players in the user identity blockchain in terms of cybersecurity with respect to the number of patents filed are SoftBank Group, nChain Holdings, Licentia Group, Black Gold Coin, Ant Group, and Visa. In December 2022, Visa released a paper that outlines how it can possibly collaborate with the Ethereum blockchain network for automation of payments.
Leading players in this space in terms of application diversity are Security Matters, Hitachi, Intel Corp, Baidu, and eBay.
Leading players in terms of geographic reach are Black Gold Coin, Licentia Group, Rivetz, and nChain Holdings.
Blockchain can enable self-sovereign identification using decentralised networks, assuring trust and privacy.
To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the retail industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Cybersecurity in Retail.