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DotActiv Academy is a social category management community with learning at its core. Open to the public, if you’re interested in learning about category management, we invite you to join.


Powered by features such as social Forums, a live Newsfeed and the opportunity to connect with category management professionals, DotActiv Academy offers you all you need to inspire innovative thinking and further your retail career.

And it’s free. There is no cost to you to join the community. No matter where you are in the world, if you’re interested in learning about and adding value to the topics of category management, you’re welcome to join.

There’s power in conversation and everyone’s invited.

DotActiv Academy


Be inspired by a digestible newsfeed that includes the latest category management debates, connections, posts, comments and more, all in real-time.



Post questions and ideas and join the latest debates around any category management topic or feature.

DotActiv Academy Social Forums


Connect with like-minded category management professionals and have one-on-one conversations with them away from forums.

Connect With Professionals
DotActiv Academy


To get the most out of DotActiv’s software, you need to learn everything there is to know about each and every feature. By the time you have completed all six mastery levels, you’ll be confident in your ability to implement category management best practices using DotActiv’s leading software.

All six of DotActiv's software mastery levels are free to access for anyone who registers an account on DotActiv Academy.


Level 1: Data
Analytically evaluate data to design product assortments, planograms, and floor plans.
Level 2: Clustering
Characterise clustering and implement the methodology.
Level 3: Assortment planning
Implement assortment plans so that you can build profitable product ranges.
Level 4: Planograms
Learn how to design and critique data-driven planograms.
Level 5: Floor planning
Understand the value of floor plans and the information required to create one.
Level 6: Analysis
Analyse and interpret your retail data before and after planograms.


Software training is essential so that you know how to use DotActiv’s software. It’s just as crucial that you learn the theory behind category management too.

Listed below are the courses that are currently available at DotActiv Academy. We continually add and update courses to our learning platform.

Academy Theory Training


This short course gives you a thorough introduction to retail with a specific focus on product planning and pricing design.

By the end of this course, you’ll be able to, among other things, classify the various types of brands; identify factors considered before pricing; and discuss the primary considerations when placing stock on the shelf.

Introduction to Retail


This short course teaches you the basics of merchandising, best practices for the placement of products on shelves, and visual merchandising methods.

By the end of this merchandising course, you’ll be able to, among other things, identify and apply key merchandising principles; and know-how to create a visually appealing planogram that captures shoppers’ attention.

Advanced Merchandising and Display Techniques


We have fielded many questions about the DotActiv Academy as well as the courses therein. Below, we've unpacked the top 10 questions that we are asked the most.



1. Who should join DotActiv Academy?

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.

2. Do you need to have a relevant qualification before enrolling?

The answer for any DotActiv Academy course is a resounding ‘No’. It's the same for joining DotActiv Academy to contribute to the conversation around category management.

If you’re interested in enrolling or are a retail professional, you're welcome to join.

We 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 or join DotActiv Academy and then not use your newfound 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.

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.

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?

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. Completing 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 our online store - 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.

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 program 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.

Once you register a free account on DotActiv Academy, you will receive free access to all six of our software mastery level courses.

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.

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.

9. Do you receive any form of certification once you have completed a course?

Yes. 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.

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.