The retail industry continues to be a hotbed of patent innovation. Activity is driven by the need for innovative marketing techniques, sustainable supply chains, and data analytics, and the growing importance of technologies such as 3D imaging, artificial intelligence, and the internet of things. In the last three years alone, there have been over 156,000 patents filed and granted in the retail industry, according to GlobalData’s report on Innovation in retail: digital signage personalization. Buy the report here.

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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 stabilizing 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.

50+ 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 115,000 patents, there are 50+ innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry.

Within the emerging innovation stage, on-demand digital manufacturing, planogram optimization, and AR-assisted shopping are disruptive technologies that are in the early stages of application and should be tracked closely. Location-based personalization, personalized lookbooks, and self-checkout are some of the accelerating innovation areas, where adoption has been steadily increasing. Among maturing innovation areas are in-store shopping assistance and digital signage personalization, which are now well established in the industry.

Innovation S-curve for the retail industry

Digital signage personalization is a key innovation area in retail

Digital signage personalization is the process of designing custom signages involving the use of data gathered through intelligent algorithms, sensors, and cameras, to create compelling digital marketing and advertising content that are relevant and targeted to specific audience.

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 90+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established retail companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of digital signage personalization.

Key players in digital signage personalization – a disruptive innovation in the retail industry

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

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

Patent volumes related to digital signage personalization

Company Total patents (2010 - 2022) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Sony Group 29 Unlock Company Profile
SoftBank Group 23 Unlock Company Profile
Casio Computer 20 Unlock Company Profile
General Electric 19 Unlock Company Profile
Chemtron Research 15 Unlock Company Profile
Cfph 15 Unlock Company Profile
CCL Industries 14 Unlock Company Profile
NEC 11 Unlock Company Profile
Koninklijke Philips 11 Unlock Company Profile
Qualcomm 10 Unlock Company Profile
Nippon Telegraph and Telephone 9 Unlock Company Profile
Novalia 9 Unlock Company Profile
Toshiba 8 Unlock Company Profile
Alphabet 8 Unlock Company Profile
Tillster 7 Unlock Company Profile
Panasonic 7 Unlock Company Profile
Magna International 7 Unlock Company Profile
Yazaki 7 Unlock Company Profile
Porsche Automobil 6 Unlock Company Profile
Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson 6 Unlock Company Profile
3M 6 Unlock Company Profile
BlackBerry 5 Unlock Company Profile
Mitsubishi Electric 5 Unlock Company Profile
Sharp 5 Unlock Company Profile
Ricoh 5 Unlock Company Profile
Empire Technologies 5 Unlock Company Profile
Hitachi 5 Unlock Company Profile
Fujifilm 5 Unlock Company Profile
Signify 5 Unlock Company Profile
HP 4 Unlock Company Profile
KDDI 4 Unlock Company Profile
Hewlett Packard Enterprise 4 Unlock Company Profile
Samsung Group 4 Unlock Company Profile
LG 3 Unlock Company Profile
T1V 3 Unlock Company Profile
China Electronics Technology Group 3 Unlock Company Profile
Future Robot 3 Unlock Company Profile
E.ON 3 Unlock Company Profile
Pioneer 3 Unlock Company Profile
Brother Industries 3 Unlock Company Profile
JVCKENWOOD 3 Unlock Company Profile
Shiseido 2 Unlock Company Profile
Omnivex 2 Unlock Company Profile
Embracer Group 2 Unlock Company Profile
Intel 2 Unlock Company Profile
Seiko Epson 2 Unlock Company Profile
Furukawa 2 Unlock Company Profile
Cognovision Solutions 2 Unlock Company Profile
NHK Enterprises 2 Unlock Company Profile
Publilegal 2 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Leading companies in the digital signage personalization space in terms of patents filed are Sony Group, SoftBank Group, Casio Computer, and General Electric. Intel is the leader in this space in terms of application diversity, while Cognovision Solutions, and Chemtron Research are in the second and third positions, respectively.

By geographic reach, Cfph is the leader, followed by Qualcomm and General Electric.

Incorporating multiple technologies such as virtual reality and IoT in digital signages enables the opportunity to make it more interactive with potential customers, enabling collection of data from various sensors in public places as they capture strategic information on prospective shoppers, thus improving data analytics.

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