The retail industry continues to be a hotbed of patent innovation. Activity is driven by product visibility and personalized shopping experience, and the growing importance of technologies such as artificial intelligence, cloud, 3D visualization 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 Virtual and augmented reality in retail: virtual planogram optimization. Buy the report here.

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According to GlobalData’s Technology Foresights, which uses over 115,000 patents to analyze innovation intensity for the retail industry, there are 50+ innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry.

Virtual planogram optimization is a key innovation area in virtual and augmented reality

Virtual planogram optimization refers to the method of planning and refining the allocation of product placement on store shelves within a retail setting through computer-generated simulations. The innovative technology harnesses algorithms and computer modeling to analyze sales data, customer behavior, and various influencing factors. It aims to ascertain the most lucrative strategy for organizing and showcasing products.

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 virtual planogram optimization.

Key players in virtual 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 virtual planogram optimization

Company Total patents (2010 - 2022) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Nuro 222 Unlock Company Profile
Cox Enterprises 203 Unlock Company Profile
Walmart 140 Unlock Company Profile
Nant 109 Unlock Company Profile
Trax Technology Solutions 100 Unlock Company Profile
Flex 62 Unlock Company Profile
Nio 56 Unlock Company Profile
Toshiba 54 Unlock Company Profile
NEC 21 Unlock Company Profile
Indigo Agriculture 20 Unlock Company Profile
Advent International 12 Unlock Company Profile
Vista Equity Partners Management 11 Unlock Company Profile
Alibaba Group 10 Unlock Company Profile
LG 9 Unlock Company Profile
Samsung Group 9 Unlock Company Profile
Edible Garden 8 Unlock Company Profile
Yi Tunnel (Beijing) Technology 7 Unlock Company Profile
Ford Motor 5 Unlock Company Profile
Emerging Automotive 5 Unlock Company Profile
OPTIMUM 4 Unlock Company Profile
Everseen 3 Unlock Company Profile
Cooler Screens 3 Unlock Company Profile
Intel 3 Unlock Company Profile 3 Unlock Company Profile
Target 3 Unlock Company Profile
Honda Motor 3 Unlock Company Profile
ADOBE 3 Unlock Company Profile
Oy Brandt 2 Unlock Company Profile
International Business Machines 2 Unlock Company Profile
Advanced New Technologies 2 Unlock Company Profile
General Motors 2 Unlock Company Profile
AiFi 2 Unlock Company Profile
NantWorks 2 Unlock Company Profile
CloudSight 1 Unlock Company Profile
Evryx Technologies 1 Unlock Company Profile
Olive Therapeutics 1 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Leading patent filers in the virtual planogram optimization space include Nuro, Cox Enterprises, Walmart, Nant, and Trax Technology Solutions. Walmart is making strategic investments in advanced capabilities, including augmented reality, to elevate the shopping experience for consumers. Augmented reality plays a pivotal role in Walmart's approach to designing and refining shelf space for product placement. Through augmented reality, Walmart effectively analyzes sales data, consumer behavior patterns, and corporate standards to pinpoint the most profitable approach to arrange and showcase its products.

In terms of application diversity, OPTIMUM is the leading company in the virtual planogram optimization space, while Cox Enterprises and Nio are in the second and third positions, respectively.

By geographic reach, Nuro leads the pack, followed by Nio and Walmart.

A major advantage of virtual planogram optimization within virtual and augmented reality is that it simplifies the process of designing store layouts and product arrangements by offering a virtual testing ground, thus reducing both time and costs. The technology helps in decision-making through data-driven insights, fine-tuning store setups via simulations to enhance the shopper experience and consequently drive sales.

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