Over the 20 years that DotActiv has been offering category management software and solutions; we have always had the ambition to provide quality retail training. For us, providing such training makes sense since we’ve gathered many valuable insights into how retail businesses run efficiently. The result is DotActiv Academy, which hosts various retail courses.
Since officially launching our online education portal, we have fielded many questions about our academy as well as the courses therein. Instead of answering each one individually (which we do anyway), we realised the need for a piece that would address the most common questions we’ve received.
1. Who should enrol in DotActiv Academy’s retail courses?
If you work in the retail industry, then DotActiv Academy and the courses therein are explicitly tailored to meet your needs.
Let’s look at two of our retail courses as an example.
The first is an Introduction to Retail which focuses on both product planning and pricing design. In this short course, you’ll get to grips with the different factors you need to consider when placing stock on the shelf. That means it's perfect for you if you’re involved in the shaping or planning of the in-store shopping experience.
Meanwhile, if you’re a merchandiser who needs to brush up on your merchandising knowledge, our second course is for you.
Once you’ve completed our Advanced Merchandising and Display Techniques short course, you’ll have a good understanding of the merchandising principles and various methods available to you. More importantly, you’ll know what it takes to create visually appealing planograms that attract and capture the attention of shoppers.
By the way, DotActiv Academy’s retail courses aren’t only for retailers. They’re also for you if you’re a supplier.
2. Do you need to have a relevant qualification before enrolling?
A common question to receive by educators, regardless of the course learners want to enrol in, revolves around a qualifying benchmark.
As indicated in the above question, do they, or in this case, you, need to meet a certain level of education before you can enrol in one of our courses?
The answer for any DotActiv Academy course is a resounding ‘No’. If you’re interested in enrolling, you can go right ahead.
We'd go so far as to say that you don’t even need to be working in the retail industry to enrol. Of course, we would insist that you are interested in retail or are about to join the retail sector.
After all, the last thing we’d want you to do is to enrol in one of our retail courses and then not use your new-found knowledge for its intended purpose.
3. In what format are DotActiv Academy’s retail course materials?
When we first thought of DotActiv Academy and decided to make it part of our core business, we came across a trend around modern-day studying. This trend indicated that learners prefer to study at their own pace. In other words, they want to create their time frame and not feel rushed or under any unnecessary pressure.
We get that.
So, with this knowledge in mind, we set about creating our course materials. On top of that, we debated how best to present them. And, we soon realised that only one route made sense. That's if we wanted to cater to today’s learners and their busy lifestyles.
That route was to offer DotActiv Academy as an entirely self-service online tool. Thus, when enrolling in any of our courses, you’ll receive the materials as online videos that you can watch whenever you want.
You’ll also receive supplementary course material in the form of downloadable PDF’s that you can store and keep.
4. Must you complete the retail courses in order?
With one retail programme titled ‘Introduction to Retail’ and another titled ‘Advanced Merchandising and Display Techniques’, you’d be forgiven for believing that you need to begin with the first and then only once completed, do the second.
You can complete our retail courses in any order that you wish. It’s more important that you choose the one that suits your learning priorities and is in line with your role.
If you’re a licensed user of DotActiv software and you complete our Software Mastery courses, which detail how best to use the software, we would recommend you complete them in order. That’s because doing them in a particular sequence will allow you to not only understand the software quicker but get up and running sooner too.
5. Are you allowed to get a preview of any retail courses before you buy?
Besides the retail course information that you’ll find on DotActiv Academy - which you can view here - there is currently no available option to get a preview before you purchase.
But don’t let that put you off. DotActiv Academy is free to join.
Considering our retail experience, which spans over 20 years, and our drive to maintain a reputation as a leading category management solution and retail training provider, we’ve ensured that any content within a course matches industry standards.
You can, of course, contact our Sales Department should you have any questions about a specific retail programme that we offer through DotActiv Academy.
That’s not to say that we won’t consider creating introductory videos or something similar in the future. The beauty of an online course is that it's ever-evolving, both with regards to content, and the way we present it.
6. Once you’ve bought a retail course, when do you receive access to DotActiv Academy?
Immediately. Once you’ve purchased a retail course from DotActiv Academy and your payment has cleared, you’ll receive a system-generated email from us thanking you for your purchase.
Included in this email will be a link, which gives you immediate access to DotActiv Academy. By clicking on the provided link, you’ll be directed to your profile where you’ll find your course already loaded and waiting for you.
Once you’ve logged in, you can get started with your course at any time.
7. Once bought, how long do you have to complete the course?
There are many courses that you’ll find both offline and online that includes a time deadline. If you don’t finish them within a specified period, you can’t complete it. That can be frustrating, and especially so if you have other responsibilities and can’t complete it in a time frame that’s dictated to you.
But that’s not what you’ll get if you enrol with DotActiv Academy.
Once you’ve purchased one of our courses, you can complete it at your own pace. A typical course should take you two hours to complete, excluding the final test you must write.
Of course, it’s in your best interest to complete it as soon as possible so you can use the knowledge you’ve gained. However, it’s not compulsory. It’s best to watch the videos, absorb the information and take notes before writing the test when you’re ready.
Should you wish to complete your chosen course over a day, a week, a month or more, that’s entirely up to you.
8. Do you have access to the course materials online after you’ve completed any course?
Just because you’ve finished a course that doesn’t mean we then stop you from accessing any of the course materials.
Instead, any course that you have completed remains on your profile. And there are two good reasons why we’ve structured it as such.
The first reason is that we continually revise and refresh our courses with new material and updated videos. This is at no additional cost to you. Once you’ve purchased a course, you’ll have access to these updates.
The second reason is that you may want to recap any information that you might have learnt but forgotten. If you want to rewatch a product placement video found within our Introduction to Retail course, for example, you can do that.
Likewise, if you want to refresh your memory around merchandising principles or visual merchandising methods, you can rewatch the specific video found in our Advanced Merchandising short course.
9. Do you receive any form of certification once you have completed a course?
Yes. As we’ve noted in a previous article on retail training courses, it’s easy to tell whether a retail programme is worth investing in or not. There are specific characteristics that any good retail training course will have.
The one characteristic is to be available online. Another is to have some form of certification. You get both with DotActiv Academy. The reasons for this fact are simple: completing any certification allows you to test your understanding of a topic. It also means you’re able to show your current or future employer that you do have the necessary skills to complete the work.
Upon completion, an official certificate with your name on it is sent to you, stating which course you’ve passed.
Please note, the passing grade for any test through DotActiv Academy is 70%. If you don’t pass it on your first attempt, you can retake the test immediately. If you fail it for a second time, you will have to wait 24 hours before retaking it.
10. When is DotActiv Academy going to unveil more retail courses?
There are two answers to this question.
As it currently stands, DotActiv Academy hosts two specific retail short courses - Introduction to Retail and Advanced Merchandising and Display Techniques. You can read more about our Advanced Merchandising and Display Techniques course here.
But we aren’t going to stop there. We have plans to unveil more retail courses every year. These courses will also be updated continuously to ensure that what you’re learning through DotActiv Academy always matches industry standards.
There is also the Software Mastery Levels 1 to 6, which focus exclusively on the DotActiv software for our clients. These are also continuously updated as our software improves and evolves to meet our client’s needs.
DotActiv Academy is DotActiv’s education portal where you can learn about all things retail and category management. From product placement and pricing strategies to merchandising techniques and the category management process, it’s there.
For more information about the various courses, visit and join DotActiv Academy for free.