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Top 11 Sales Merchandiser Certifications

This article provides an overview of the top certifications available for sales merchandisers looking to advance their career.

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Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 17 min read

Certifications are a great way for a sales merchandiser to demonstrate their knowledge and experience in the industry. They demonstrate that the individual has taken the time to learn about the field, and has put in the effort to gain additional qualifications. This shows potential employers that they are committed to their career and have taken steps to improve their skills. Additionally, certifications can help open doors to new job opportunities, as employers may be more likely to consider someone with a certification than someone without one. Finally, certifications can also lead to higher salaries and better benefits packages, which can be highly beneficial for sales merchandisers looking to advance their careers.

The purpose of this article is to provide an overview of the top certifications for Sales Merchandisers and explain how they can help to advance a sales merchandiser's career.

What are Sales Merchandiser Certifications?

Sales merchandiser certification is a program that provides training and education to individuals who are interested in pursuing a career in sales and merchandising. It covers topics such as product knowledge, retail buying strategies, store operations and customer service. The program also helps to develop the skills needed for successful sales and merchandising.

Sales merchandiser certification can help individuals gain a better understanding of the different aspects of the sales process, including product selection, pricing strategies, inventory management, display techniques, customer service and more. With this knowledge, they will be able to make informed decisions when it comes to their own merchandise selections and pricing strategies. This can give them an edge when competing with other retailers for customers and sales.

The certification can also provide individuals with the opportunity to network with industry professionals and learn about new trends in the field. By building relationships with other professionals within the industry, they may be able to gain insight into new products or services that could benefit their business. Furthermore, having a sales merchandiser certification shows potential employers that the individual is knowledgeable about their industry and has taken steps towards developing their professional abilities.

Pro Tip: If you are interested in becoming a sales merchandiser, make sure to obtain certification from an accredited organization. This will demonstrate your knowledge and skills in the field, as well as provide employers with assurance that you have the necessary qualifications for the job.

Related: What does a Sales Merchandiser do?

Top 11 Sales Merchandiser Certifications

Here’s our list of the best certifications available to Sales Merchandisers today.

1. Certified Professional Merchandiser (CPM)

Certified Professional Merchandiser (CPM) is a certification program offered by the International Textile and Apparel Association (ITAA). It is designed to recognize individuals who have demonstrated a high level of expertise in the field of retail merchandising. The CPM program provides an opportunity for experienced professionals to demonstrate their knowledge, skills, and abilities in the areas of product development, buying, planning, analysis, visual presentation, store operations, and customer service.

The CPM certification process includes taking an online exam that consists of multiple-choice questions related to merchandising topics. To become certified as a CPM, applicants must pass the exam with a score of 80% or higher. The exam typically takes about two hours to complete.

In order to take the CPM exam, applicants must first register with ITAA and pay a $150 registration fee. After registering with ITAA, applicants will receive access to an online study guide that contains information about the topics covered on the exam. Applicants can then begin studying for the exam at their own pace.

Once applicants are ready to take the exam, they can schedule it through ITAA’s website or by calling their office. The cost of taking the CPM exam is $250 per attempt and includes one year of membership in ITAA. Upon successful completion of the exam, applicants will be awarded their CPM certification and gain access to exclusive resources and networking opportunities within ITAA’s community of certified professionals.

2. Certified Retail Merchandiser (CRM)

Certified Retail Merchandiser (CRM) is a professional certification program designed to equip retail professionals with the skills and knowledge necessary to effectively manage, merchandise, and promote products in a retail environment. It is administered by the National Retail Federation (NRF).

The CRM certification is available to anyone who has at least two years of experience in retail merchandising or management. It typically takes three to six months to complete the program, depending on how quickly you can study and complete the required coursework. The cost of the certification varies depending on where you take it, but it usually ranges from $500-$1,000.

In order to become certified, you must first pass an online exam that covers topics such as product selection and pricing strategies, store layout and design, customer service techniques, inventory control systems, promotional campaigns, visual merchandising principles, and more. Once you have passed the exam, you will receive your CRM certification.

The CRM certification is recognized by employers across the country as a sign of expertise in retail merchandising and management. With this certification under your belt, you will be able to demonstrate your commitment to excellence in retailing and increase your potential for career advancement opportunities.

3. Certified Visual Merchandising Professional (CVMP)

Certified Visual Merchandising Professional (CVMP) is a certification program designed to recognize professionals who have achieved a high level of expertise in the field of visual merchandising. It is offered by the National Retail Federation (NRF) and is the only professional certification program for visual merchandisers in the United States.

The CVMP program consists of three levels: Certified Visual Merchandiser (CVM), Advanced Certified Visual Merchandiser (ACVM), and Master Certified Visual Merchandiser (MCVM). Each level requires completion of specific coursework, exams, and/or other requirements.

To become certified at any level, applicants must first complete an online application and submit it to NRF for review. Once approved, applicants must complete all required coursework and exams within two years.

The cost to become certified varies depending on the level of certification desired. The CVM certification costs $295; ACVM costs $395; and MCVM costs $495. All fees include access to study materials, exam fees, and a one-year membership to NRF's Visual Merchandising Council.

4. Certified Retail Sales Professional (CRSP)

Certified Retail Sales Professional (CRSP) is a professional certification that recognizes individuals who have demonstrated expertise in the retail industry. It is offered by the National Retail Federation (NRF), the world’s largest retail trade association. The CRSP certification is designed to provide recognition for those who have achieved a high level of knowledge and skill in sales, customer service, and operations within the retail industry.

It typically takes about 6-9 months to complete the program requirements and obtain your CRSP certification. To get certified, you must first apply for the program and then successfully pass an online exam that covers topics such as customer service, sales techniques, product knowledge, store operations, and more. After passing the exam, you will receive your official CRSP certificate from NRF.

The cost of obtaining a Certified Retail Sales Professional (CRSP) certification varies depending on whether you are an NRF member or non-member. For NRF members, it costs $395 to register for the program; for non-members, it costs $495. Additionally, there may be additional fees associated with taking the exam if you choose to take it at a testing center rather than online.

5. Certified Selling Associate (CSA)

Certified Selling Associate (CSA) is a professional certification program designed to help sales professionals develop their skills and knowledge in the field of sales. The program is offered by the American Association of Sales Professionals (AASP).

The CSA certification is divided into three levels: Certified Selling Associate, Certified Professional Selling Associate, and Certified Master Selling Associate. Each level requires different levels of experience and competency in sales.

The Certified Selling Associate level requires successful completion of an online course that covers topics such as customer service, sales techniques, communication, negotiation, and product knowledge. This course takes approximately 8-10 hours to complete.

To obtain the CSA certification, candidates must pass a final exam with a score of 70% or higher. The cost for the exam is $125 USD. Once the candidate has successfully passed the exam, they will receive their certificate from AASP and be recognized as a Certified Selling Associate.

6. Sales and Marketing Management Certificate (SMMC)

The Sales and Marketing Management Certificate (SMMC) is a professional certification program designed to help sales and marketing professionals develop their skills and knowledge. It is offered by the American Marketing Association (AMA).

The program consists of five courses, each focusing on a different area of sales and marketing management. The courses cover topics such as customer relationship management, digital marketing, market research, product development, and strategic planning. Each course takes approximately 8-10 weeks to complete. Upon completion of all five courses, students will receive their SMMC certificate.

To get the SMMC certificate, students must first register with AMA online or through an authorized training provider. Once registered, they can then choose which courses they would like to take and pay the associated fees for each course. The total cost of the program varies depending on the number of courses taken but typically ranges from $1,000-$2,000 USD.

Upon successful completion of all five courses within two years of registration date, students will receive their SMMC certificate from AMA which is valid for three years.

7. Professional in Customer Service (PCS)

Professional in Customer Service (PCS) is a certification program that is designed to recognize customer service professionals who demonstrate a high level of knowledge, skills, and abilities related to providing excellent customer service. The program is offered by the Customer Service Institute of America (CSIA).

The PCS certification requires applicants to pass an exam that tests their knowledge and understanding of customer service principles and practices. The exam consists of multiple-choice questions covering topics such as customer service strategies, communication techniques, problem solving, conflict resolution, and more. The exam takes approximately two hours to complete.

To get the PCS certification, applicants must first submit an application form along with the required fees. Once approved, applicants will receive instructions on how to register for the exam. After passing the exam with a score of 70% or higher, applicants will be awarded their PCS certification.

The cost for the PCS certification varies depending on whether you are a member or non-member of CSIA. For members, the cost is $225 USD; for non-members it’s $275 USD.

8. Certified Retail Manager (CRM)

Certified Retail Manager (CRM) is a professional certification program offered by the National Retail Federation (NRF). It is designed to recognize and validate the knowledge, skills, and abilities of retail managers. The CRM program provides a comprehensive curriculum that covers all aspects of retail management, including customer service, operations, merchandising, marketing, finance and human resources.

The CRM program consists of three levels: Certified Associate Retail Manager (CARM), Certified Professional Retail Manager (CPRM), and Certified Executive Retail Manager (CERM). Each level requires passing an exam that tests the candidate's knowledge in each area. The exams are administered by Prometric Testing Centers located throughout the United States.

It typically takes between 6-12 months to complete the entire CRM program. To get started on the path to becoming a certified retail manager, you must first register with NRF and pay a fee of $150 for each level of certification you wish to pursue. Once registered, you will receive study materials and access to online practice exams that will help you prepare for the actual certification exam.

The cost of taking each exam varies depending on which level you are pursuing. For example, the CARM exam costs $225 while the CPRM exam costs $325. The CERM exam costs $425. All fees are non-refundable and must be paid before taking the exam.

9. Advanced Selling Skills Certificate (ASSC)

The Advanced Selling Skills Certificate (ASSC) is a professional certification program that provides sales professionals with the skills and knowledge to increase their sales performance. The ASSC is designed to help sales professionals become more successful in their roles by providing them with advanced selling techniques, tools, and strategies.

The certificate program consists of four courses: Introduction to Advanced Selling Skills, Professional Selling Strategies, Negotiation and Closing Techniques, and Sales Team Management. Each course takes approximately 15 hours to complete.

To get the ASSC, individuals must first register for the program online or through an approved provider. After registering, individuals will have access to all four courses and must complete each one within 12 months of registration. Upon completion of all four courses, individuals will receive their ASSC certificate from the American Society of Professional Salespeople (ASPS).

The cost for the ASSC varies depending on the provider but generally ranges from $500-$1,200 USD.

10. Master of Sales Leadership Certificate (MSLC)

The Master of Sales Leadership Certificate (MSLC) is an advanced professional certification for sales professionals. It is designed to demonstrate a mastery of the essential skills and knowledge necessary to be successful in sales leadership roles. The MSLC is offered through the American Association of Professional Salespeople (AAPSP).

The MSLC program consists of three courses: Sales Leadership, Advanced Selling Strategies, and Applied Sales Leadership. Each course is self-paced and can be completed in approximately four weeks. The courses are delivered online via an interactive learning platform, allowing students to access the material at their own pace.

To get the MSLC, applicants must complete all three courses with a passing grade and submit a final project demonstrating their understanding of the material. The final project will be evaluated by AAPSP faculty members, who will determine whether or not the applicant has met the requirements for certification.

The cost of the MSLC program varies depending on factors such as length of time enrolled in the program and type of payment plan selected. Generally speaking, however, it costs approximately $2,500 for all three courses plus any applicable fees.

11. Certified Sales Executive (CSE).

Certified Sales Executive (CSE) is a professional certification program designed to recognize sales professionals who have achieved a high level of knowledge and expertise in the field of sales. This certification is offered by the American Association of Professional Salespeople (AAPSP).

The CSE program consists of two parts: a three-day training course and an online exam. The training course covers topics such as customer service, sales strategies, communication skills, and product knowledge. After completing the course, participants must pass an online exam administered by AAPSP. Upon successful completion of both components, individuals will receive their Certified Sales Executive (CSE) designation.

The cost for the CSE program varies depending on the provider but generally ranges from $1,500-$2,000 USD. The program typically takes around four weeks to complete including the three-day training course and online exam. To get certified as a CSE, individuals must first register with AAPSP and then complete all requirements for certification including attending the three-day training course and passing the online exam with a score of 70% or higher.

Do You Really Need a Sales Merchandiser Certificate?

The answer to this question depends on your individual goals and the type of career you are looking for in sales. If you are looking for a job in sales, then having a Sales Merchandiser Certificate may be beneficial as it demonstrates that you have the knowledge and skills necessary to succeed in a sales role. The certificate can also help demonstrate your commitment to the profession and give employers confidence that you understand the industry and can effectively communicate with customers.

On the other hand, if you already have experience in sales or marketing and are simply looking to increase your knowledge or add additional qualifications to your resume, then earning a Sales Merchandiser Certificate may be unnecessary. Depending on your existing knowledge and experience, it could be more beneficial to focus on other areas such as customer service or management training instead.

Ultimately, whether or not you need a Sales Merchandiser Certificate is based on what kind of career path you are hoping to pursue. If you feel that earning this certificate would help open up new opportunities or give employers greater confidence in your abilities, then it could be worth pursuing. However, if you already have sufficient experience or education related to sales, then it may not be necessary for achieving your professional goals.

Related: Sales Merchandiser Resume Examples

FAQs About Sales Merchandiser Certifications

1. What is a Sales Merchandiser Certification?

Answer: A Sales Merchandiser Certification is a professional designation that demonstrates an individual's knowledge and expertise in the sales merchandising field. It can be obtained by completing a training program or passing an exam.

2. What are the benefits of having a Sales Merchandiser Certification?

Answer: Having a Sales Merchandiser Certification can help you stand out from other candidates when applying for jobs, demonstrate your commitment to the industry, increase your earning potential, and open up new career opportunities.

3. How do I become certified as a Sales Merchandiser?

Answer: To become certified as a Sales Merchandiser, you must complete a training program or pass an exam. There are many different programs available online and through traditional educational institutions that offer certification courses. Additionally, some companies may offer on-the-job training programs to help their employees gain the necessary skills and experience to become certified in sales merchandising.

4. How long does it take to get certified as a Sales Merchandiser?

Answer: The amount of time it takes to obtain certification depends on the type of program or exam taken, as well as how much time an individual has available to dedicate to studying and preparation for the certification process. Generally speaking, most people can expect to receive their certification within 3-6 months after completing the required coursework or passing the exam.

5. Is there any continuing education required for maintaining my Sales Merchandiser Certification?

Answer: Yes, some certifying organizations may require ongoing professional development activities in order for individuals to maintain their certification status. This could include attending workshops or seminars related to sales merchandising or taking additional courses or exams related to this field of study.