Okay, unless you're Victor Frankenstein, you probably won't be able to bring an inanimate object to life. However, there are simple steps you can take to make your store's mannequins look more lifelike. You may already know some of these techniques, but chances are there others that will surprise you....
Benefits of Using Lifelike Mannequins
So, what's the purpose of creating lifelike mannequins? It's the same as using any mannequin in a retail environment: to encourage shoppers to buy the presented product. Mannequins affect shoppers on a subconscious level, creating a theme to which they can relate. When you display several new shirts on a rolling rack, shoppers are unable to view themselves wearing the shirt. But when you present these same shirts on a set of mannequins, shoppers can see exactly how they look on the human form, which encourages them to buy it.
Use The Right Mannequins
The right mannequins can make a world of difference in whether or not they look lifelike. Torso-only mannequins, for instance, tend to lack the same level of visual appeal as full-body mannequins. Sure, they are still effective at displaying garments, accessories and other products, but they aren't lifelike, which can hurt your sales in the long run. Opting for a full-body mannequin, such as the one shown in the image to the right, is naturally more lifelike and therefore will have a more positive impact on shoppers.
Don't underestimate the importance of props when designing your mannequin displays. If you are trying to achieve a lifelike appearance, you should add relevant props to the surrounding area. Whether your mannequins are being used in a window display, in-store display, near the checkout lanes, or anywhere else, you should enhance them with props. The primary goal in doing so is to make them more realistic, which is typically accomplished through the use of a "theme."
Retail store owners can make their mannequins look more real through the use of accessories. Even if your store doesn't sell or offer accessories, consider adding them to your mannequins for the realism it creates. Things like sunglasses, necklaces, watches, handbags, bracelets, earrings, and hats are all excellent ideas.
These are just a few of the many ways to bring a mannequin to life. Feel free to experiment with other techniques that aren't listed here. After all, the only way you'll know if something works is by trying it for yourself.
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