The Sky’s the Limit…
The Shop! MaRC Program is the industry’s only globally recognized credential that keeps retail individuals current on retail environments and experiences. This extensive and intense certification program encompasses the strategic and tactical aspects of being a supplier to the retail industry to give participants a competitive edge.

Defining MaRC
As the trade association focused on enhancing retail environments and experiences, Shop! is committed to providing relevant, high quality, career-enhancing professional development programs that directly address the specific needs of our industry.

Although the career paths may be diverse—ranging from sales to purchasing, store planning, shopper marketing and more—a foundational knowledge of the way our industry works is essential to each.




Successful completion of the MaRC credentialing process demonstrates understanding of all phases of the Shop! Value Cycle, which outlines the full spectrum of activities that drive shopper purchases at retail.

The Certification Process

Register for the MaRC Program

  • Register for the MaRC program ($150 for Shop! members, $250 for non-members).
  • After you register, you must wait six weeks before taking the exam.

Purchase the Exam Prep book

  • Purchase and download the official program text, MaRC Examination Prep.
  • The textbook is delivered electronically. Upon purchasing the book ($150 for Shop! members, $250 for non-members), you’ll receive an email with the instructions for downloading and opening the book.
  • The MaRC exam is based on the contents of this textbook, which was authored by retail industry subject matter experts. Preview the book’s Table of Contents here.

Register to take the Exam

  • Six weeks after you register for the MaRC program, you may register for the exam. ($300 for Shop! members, $400 for non-members). After you have submitted your payment, the Shop! Education Manager will contact you to schedule your exam window.
  • The exam is offered in February, May, August, and November.

Please download the MaRC Candidate Handbook for more detailed information about the MaRC application process.

About the Exam
The MaRC certification exam includes 100 questions based on the content of the 2017 edition MaRC Exam Prep book.  The Exam Content Outline is distributed equally among five domains of Research, Design, Build, Market, and Evaluate.  Candidates must achieve an overall score of 80% or higher to pass the exam and achieve the MaRC certification.

The exam is closed-book and two-hours in length.  The exam is delivered and proctored online by Shop! vendors QuestionMark and ProctorFree.  Once you’ve registered for the exam and confirmed your exam window dates with Shop!, you may login to the ProctorFree system to take your exam at any time during your assigned exam window.  Your computer must meet ProctorFree’s “system check” requirements, including an onboard camera and microphone.

For more information about the online exam session regulations and requirements, please download the document, “Taking your MaRC Exam.”

Why Become Certified?

MaRC Recertification Process

Already MaRC Certified? Click here for the MaRC Recertification Process and to submit a summary of your earned PDUs.

MaRC Frequently Asked Questions

Does an applicant need to be a member of Shop! to pursue the certification?

While Shop! offers substantial discounts to its members, one does not have to belong to the association in order to seek certification.

What is the basis for the MaRC credential?

This extensive and intense certification program encompasses the strategic and tactical aspects of being a supplier to the retail industry to give participants a competitive edge. The competencies, based on Shop’s Value Map, focus on its five domains: Research, Design, Build, Market, Evaluate and attempt to exam the candidate’s knowledge and skills associated with each area.

For whom is the certification designed?

The MaRC program is designed for individuals in the retail industry who want to differentiate themselves by having an understanding of the key elements of the industry confirmed by an independent third party.

What are the pre-requisites for the program?

There are no pre-requisites for the credential. Shop membership is not a requirement for certification.

How is the program structured?

The program uses the MaRC Exam Prep text as its basis. Subject matter experts from all segments of the retail industry have authored chapters on the knowledge, skills, and abilities they believe necessary for success working in today’s retail environment.

What are the costs involved in pursuing the MaRC certification?

1. One Time Application Fee $150/$250
2. Text (Digital Format/PDF) $150/$250
3. Initial Exam Fee $300/$400
4. Re-exam Fee $150/$250
5. Triennial Recertification Fee $300/$400

Where are the exams offered?

Shop! has engaged Question Mark, a global provider of professional development services, as its exam provider. The candidate must submit the completed program application, exam registration form and appropriate fees at least six weeks in advance of the examination date. Examinations are delivered through a computer-based, secured server website during the four designated examination windows throughout the year.

When are the exams offered?

Candidates are able to take the MaRC certification exam anytime during the month it is offered. Currently, the exam is offered quarterly as outlined below. Candidates will be notified if a testing window changes.


How long is the exam?

The closed-book exam is two hours long.

“The MaRC certification is a culmination of my professional experience in such a dynamic environment. Personally, it has assisted in building my brand within the organization and professionally, this serves as an extension of my knowledge, expertise, and willingness to adapt to the ever-changing marketing-at-retail landscape and shopper behaviors.”

Tracey Dougherty, MaRC, Account Manager, Menasha

“We value the MaRC program as a part of our career development program. To advance at Rapid and to provide the greatest value to our clients, we encourage our employees to prepare for and pass the MaRC as it confirms our understanding of all aspects of in-store marketing.”

Peter Kornhaber, MaRC, VP Sales and Marketing, Rapid Displays

Shop! would like to thank Menasha Corporation for being our education benefactor.


For questions regarding the program, textbook or credentialing process, please contact

Melissa Campbell | Education Manager