July 28, 2022

May-June 2022 business spending: 6 insights about the current market cooldown

We recently released our inaugural Ramp Spending Benchmark report, which analyzed thousands of aggregated, anonymized transactions* on Ramp cards, from February to April 2022, to identify industry trends.

Today, we’re sharing further insights from our transaction data, which reveal early indicators of how a cooling economy is impacting businesses. After reviewing transaction data from the past two months, from May to June 2022, we see a meaningful shift in how businesses are spending.

From changes in spend to reckoning with higher price tags, our research unearths industry trends that can help you make data-driven decisions with your business. 

6 insights from May - June 2022 transaction data

If you’re a business owner or founder, here are 6 insights you should keep top of mind: 

1. Businesses of all sizes are pulling back spend

The average spend per business decreased by 6% from May to June 2022. This is compared to last year’s uptick of 17% during the same period. 

  • VC backed startups pulled back sharply at 9%. Last year during this same period, they spent 25% more. 
  • For small businesses, average spend decreased by 14%. 

2. Companies are cutting back in key areas normally associated with growth

There has been a spend reduction in both marketing and other areas typically correlated with headcount growth.

Category                                                            % Change

Electronics                                                          -41%

Advertising                                                          -18%

SaaS and software purchases                           -6%

3. Small businesses are pulling back even more significantly

Small businesses pulled back the most, with the largest spend change being seen in electronics spend. Anecdotally, we know from conversations with customers that electronic purchases can be lumpy, and many companies front loaded them at the end of last year and beginning of this year to allay supply chain concerns.

Category                                                            % Change

Electronics                                                          -59%

Shipping                                                              -28%

Advertising                                                          -14%

SaaS and software purchases                          -11%

4. Startups have curbed spending sharply in almost all areas

Startups are curtailing their spend across almost every category. 

Category                                                            % Change

Electronics                                                          -32%

Shipping                                                              -27%

General merchandise                                        -16%

Advertising                                                         -15%

5. Higher expenses and greater demand for travel and in-person activities

Spend on general merchandise, lodging, and restaurants, is on the rise. 

Category                                                             % Change

General merchandise                                          +6%

Lodging                                                                 +4%

Restaurants                                                           +4%

6. Big ticket purchases are on the decline across companies of all sizes

Companies are spending less per transaction.

  • The average transaction amount decreased by 3.7%. Last year over this same period? There was a 5.4% increase.  
  • For small businesses, the difference was even more stark. The average transaction amount decreased by 15% from May to June of this year. 

What’s next? We’re keeping a close eye on the new economic climate and spotting opportunities for businesses to cut wasteful spend and run efficient operations. Download our our Ramp Spending Benchmark report for more data on how business spending is shifting across top expense categories and what companies are paying for common expenses.

*To maintain consistency, this analysis was done on a static sample of Ramp customers and may not reflect subsequent changes in overall population composition.

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Head of Communications, Ramp

Mishaal has deep experience developing communications strategies for companies at all stages of growth, from up-and-coming startups to established enterprises. Prior to Ramp, she focused on financial communications and issues management at critical issues advisory firm Brunswick Group.

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