The retail industry continues to be a hotbed of innovation. Activity is driven by a number of factors including security concerns and the growing importance of technologies such as robotics, artificial intelligence, and machine learning. 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: e-commerce robotic process automation. Buy the report here.

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According to GlobalData’s Technology Foresights, which uses over 128,000 patents to analyse innovation intensity for the retail industry, there are 70+ innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry.

e-commerce robotic process automation is a key innovation area in cybersecurity

Robotic process automation (RPA) in cybersecurity includes the use of RPA bots in order to secure businesses, especially online retail/e-commerce businesses, from attacks and enhance their cybersecurity. RPA bots achieve automation of repetitive tasks. They do so by using graphical user interface (GUI) elements to replicate human encounters. As a result, they reduce human errors and human exposure to data that is sensitive in nature.

GlobalData’s analysis also uncovers the companies at the forefront of each innovation area and assesses the potential reach and imrpact 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 e-commerce robotic process automation.

Key players in e-commerce robotic process automation – a disruptive innovation in the retail industry

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

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

Patent volumes related to e-commerce robotic process automation

Company Total patents (2010 - 2022) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Headwater Research 211 Unlock Company Profile
Headwater Partners I 183 Unlock Company Profile
Broadcom 83 Unlock Company Profile
Endurance International Group Holdings 46 Unlock Company Profile
Illumio 39 Unlock Company Profile
E. Merck 20 Unlock Company Profile
Alphabet 19 Unlock Company Profile
INVIDI Technologies 16 Unlock Company Profile
TransUnion 13 Unlock Company Profile
Avaya Holdings 10 Unlock Company Profile
Verizon Patent And Licensing 7 Unlock Company Profile
Ot Ip Sub 7 Unlock Company Profile
Gogo 6 Unlock Company Profile
Amdocs 6 Unlock Company Profile
Computer Associates International 6 Unlock Company Profile
International Business Machines 5 Unlock Company Profile
Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson 5 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Leading players in the robotic process automation for e-commerce in terms of patents filed are Headwater Research, Headwater Partners I, Broadcom, Endurance International Group, Illumio, E. Merck, Alphabet, INVIDI Technologies, TransUnion, and Avaya Holdings. In October 2022, Avaya announced a partnership with Uniphore, one of the leading players in conversational artificial intelligence and automation, to enhance its Avaya OneCloud CCaaS platform. Uniphore’s Comprehensive X platform combines robotic process automation, natural language processing (NLP), and automatic speech recognition (ASR).

Leading players in the robotic process automation for e-commerce space in terms of application diversity are INVIDI Technologies, Amdocs, E. Merck, Headwater Research, and Headwater Partners I.

Headwater Partners I, Illumio, E. Merck, INVIDI Technologies, and Gogo are the leaders in terms of geographic reach.

Owing to the operational efficiency added by robotic process automation, many e-commerce companies are likely to partner with technology companies for the deployment of AI and RPA in their supply chains.

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

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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.