Now that AI is here to stay, Spate put tech to the test for its latest report, Spate AI-Generated Trends, which reveals trends in search, but also how consumers are buying. Some highlights showed that searches for Fashion & Beauty were up 47.4% while searches for Eyeshadow were down 14%, all while consumers were showing increased cravings for authenticity “in the sea of sameness” in the pursuit of “betterment and resilience.”

The New York-based company leveraged its own data to identify rising and declining trends across a dozen categories based on Google searches in the U.S. over the 12-month period ended April 2023, and combined it with Generative AI, also known as ChatGPT, to analyze those trends.

“Without ChatGPT, it would have been a manual process to try and connect the dots across the 12 categories [we analyzed] which would require expertise across the industries, as well as more time, to detect patterns and themes across so many diverse topics,” said Olivier Zimmer, CEO of Spate, and a former Google exec who pioneered Google’s Trendspotting Division. “The goal of this report is to explore the effectiveness of Generative AI, a type of artificial intelligence that is trained to generate new content, such as images or text, by learning patterns from existing data.”

Zimmer added that the idea behind the report was to provide comprehensive insight into the consumer landscape using publicly available data to see what was changing in how people shopped.

“At Spate, we recognize that beauty trends aren’t isolated, they often draw inspiration from diverse categories like food and beverage – i.e., turmeric face masks or even tomato girl makeup,” said Zimmer, referring to the current TikTok craze of plump, rosy cheeks and red, juicy lips.

Expansive data sets can also lead to an overload of information that’s hard to navigate and interpret.

“Trends show a move away from generic experiences,” said Zimmer. “People are eyeing niche sports and unique entertainment, marking a drift from the one-size-fits-all approach. But this trend also comes with a consumer tension: while there’s a hunger for authentic experiences, there’s also a simultaneous appreciation for the ease of mass production.”

That same desire for a unique experience or product will ripple through to the beauty category.

“The beauty industry, in response to this shift in consumer behavior, will likely see a blend of mass production efficiency and niche, personalized offerings,” he said. “Brands will need to figure out how to offer niche solutions or narratives while being able to cater at a mass capacity that offers convenient pricing and distribution.”

Brand executives are also having to learn how to figure out the balance between the physical and the digital worlds. In beauty, that will translate as a resurgence of “age-old beauty rituals and tactile experiences, while simultaneously leveraging digital platforms for education, engagement, and personalized solutions. This dichotomy will push brands to offer innovative, hybrid experiences that seamlessly blend the tangible with the virtual, and the nostalgic with the futuristic,” Zimmer said.

As consumers aim to challenge themselves, beauty brands should emphasize products and campaigns that support individual empowerment, self-expression, and personal transformation.

“Brands will benefit from aligning with consumers’ journey toward self-betterment by offering solutions that not only enhance external appearance but also promote inner confidence and well-being.”

To access the full report, click here.