The retail industry continues to be a hotbed of patent innovation. Activity is driven by the growing importance of technologies such as artificial intelligence, cloud, and augmented reality, and virtual reality. 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: planogram optimization. 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

Planogram optimization is a key innovation area in retail

Planogram optimization revolves around crafting and managing store shelf layouts to maximize product placement for increased sales and profitability. While this process was once a manual endeavor, modern planogram optimization relies on computer programs and algorithms. These tools are employed to design shelves that are not only visually appealing, but also ensure ease of navigation and the utmost sales optimization.

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 30+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established retail companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of planogram optimization.

Key players in planogram optimization – 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 planogram optimization

Company Total patents (2010 - 2022) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Ocado Group 170 Unlock Company Profile
Hyundai Motor 16 Unlock Company Profile
NEC 15 Unlock Company Profile
Rehrig Pacific 11 Unlock Company Profile
Shandong Heavy Industry Group 9 Unlock Company Profile
Extreme Networks 9 Unlock Company Profile
KNAPP Systemintegration 9 Unlock Company Profile 9 Unlock Company Profile
Walmart 8 Unlock Company Profile
AutoStore 7 Unlock Company Profile
Panasonic 7 Unlock Company Profile
Mitsui E&S 6 Unlock Company Profile
Sycamore Partners 6 Unlock Company Profile
Swyft 5 Unlock Company Profile
Cainiao Smart Logistics 5 Unlock Company Profile
Murata Machinery 5 Unlock Company Profile
Beijing Geekplus Technology 4 Unlock Company Profile
Plus One Robotics 4 Unlock Company Profile
SoftBank Group 4 Unlock Company Profile
Bossa Nova Robotics 4 Unlock Company Profile
Hi-Tech Robotic Systemz 3 Unlock Company Profile
Alibaba Group 3 Unlock Company Profile
Hitachi 3 Unlock Company Profile
X Development 3 Unlock Company Profile
Tata Sons 2 Unlock Company Profile
LG 2 Unlock Company Profile
Toyo Kanetsu KK 1 Unlock Company Profile
Okamura 1 Unlock Company Profile
JPMorgan Chase 1 Unlock Company Profile
Alphabet 1 Unlock Company Profile
Vecna Technologies 1 Unlock Company Profile
Toshiba 1 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Leading patent filers in the planogram optimization space include Hyundai Motor, NEC, Rehrig Pacific, and Walmart. Walmart is strategically investing in advanced technologies to enhance the shopping experience for its customers. Leveraging augmented and virtual reality technology, Walmart conducts in-depth analyses of sales data and consumer behavior patterns, enabling the company to pinpoint the most lucrative strategies for arranging and presenting its products effectively.

In terms of application diversity, Bossa Nova Robotics is the leading company in the planogram optimization space, while Panasonic and Plus One Robotics are in the second and third positions, respectively.

Planogram optimization enables retailers to stay agile in response to evolving consumer preferences and market trends, securing their relevance and profitability in the ever-changing retail landscape. 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.