December 15, 2020

Dear skummunity,

To say 2020 has been a roller coaster ride would be a massive understatement.

It started in January when the industry was at an all time high. End clients had generous budgets set aside for another year of growth after a strong 2019. At the time, there was boundless optimism for an even better 2020.

Then we saw the middle of March.

The world was turned upside down within a matter of days. The impact on our industry was immediate. Budgets were slashed, shelter in place rules came into effect, businesses started closing, employees were furloughed and we all buckled up for a ride like none other.

PPE arrived shortly thereafter as a lifeline for the commonsku community and the industry at large. While we often heard people say “I can’t wait to sell a Tshirt again”, our industry stepped up to provide PPE to governments, corporations, communities and individuals at breathtaking scale.

We should be very proud of how our industry was a vehicle for getting PPE like face shields, gloves, sanitizers and masks into the hands of so many people. The supply chain stories we witnessed during this time were nothing short of extraordinary.

Beyond PPE, the commonsku community adapted quickly. Many of you closed your offices and teams adjusted to working from home. You pivoted to selling virtual event kits. You met with clients virtually to truly understand how you could drive their new marketing goals. You embraced new e-commerce tools like shops as a way to streamline the buying experience with end clients. You offered new services like virtual event planning to customers who needed new ways to connect with their customers. You moved into different customer segments to make up for lost sales.

In our 20 years in the promotional products industry, we have never experienced this degree of resilience, flexibility and innovation. You leaned into this challenge in an unprecedented way. And the results show.

While the pandemic is not behind us yet, business has bounced back considerably since the spring. We hear from many distributors who share comments like “we’re having an epic Q4, looking like we’ll beat Q4 last year.” While we’re still in the midst of the battle, all evidence suggests that business is stabilizing and opportunities abound for our industry in 2021.

2020 has also been a tremendous time for growth, learning and innovation for us at commonsku.

When the pandemic struck, we focused everything we had on the success of the skummunity. Whether it was the sales team and their educational outreach; the support team and their individual follow ups and maximize calls; the engineering team and new feature development; the marketing and content teams and the pivot to virtual events, skummunity social hours and our expanded online education platform. We are so proud of our entire team for leaning into this crisis with everything they had.

Now that we are at the end of 2020, we are proud of where we have come as an industry. The commonsku distributor network now represents over $900MM of industry sales. The future looks incredibly bright and we could not be more excited for you, the distributors and suppliers we serve each and every day.

We can’t wait to take on 2021 with you,

Catherine Graham and Mark Graham
Co-founders, commonsku

skummunity Users Around the World

  • Australia
  • Barbados
  • Canada
  • India
  • Lebanon
  • Mexico
  • New Zealand
  • Philippines
  • Portugal
  • United Kingdom
  • United States of America

commonsku Milestones in 2020

540

Distributor Companies

3746

Shops created

$900MM

Market size

415K

Projects Created

Events Hosted in 2020

2

In-Person Events

3

Virtual Conferences

2,226

Attendees from all
over the world

New Features Coming in 2021

Distributor Benefits with Connected Suppliers

Starting in January 2021, we’re launching a new distributor benefits program with 20 of our top connected suppliers. You’ll receive simplified pricing and benefits, along with operational integrations.

Marketing Integrations with Mailchimp & Hubspot

Our Marketing Integrations will help you get in front of prospects using marketing-savvy platforms. Connect Mailchimp or Hubspot with commonsku and elevate your marketing strategy.

Avalara Integration

Our integration will help you handle the complexity of tax documentation, sales tax compliance, and filing at the state level.

Kitting and Inventory

These new features will allow you to provide kitted options in Shops and help you manage inventory.