Robotics innovation: Leading innovators in autonomous delivery management for the retail industry

The retail industry continues to be a hotbed of innovation, with activity driven by a number of factors including supply chain optimisation and the growing importance of technologies such as automated shopping facility assistance, automated merchandise dispenser racks, and robotic order fulfilment. 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 Robotics: Autonomous delivery management.

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, autonomous vending is a disruptive technology that is in the early stages of application and should be tracked closely. Robotic order fulfilment, automated inventory management, and autonomous delivery vehicles are some of the accelerating innovation areas, where adoption has been steadily increasing. Among maturing innovation areas are cashierless store and autonomous delivery management, which are now well established in the industry.

Innovation S-curve for robotics in the retail industry