Using Action Mannequins In Apparel Stores - A Smart Visual Merchandising Technique
Nowadays, mannequins apparently overlook models by their increasingly diverse aspect. We face a trend that has appeared as a consequence of the development of visual merchandising and the intention of store owners to deal with the advance of online shopping.
The main reason for which we see such a diverse amount of mannequins is connected with the fact that people still have this need to see exactly what they are about to purchase, go to stores, try something and return it instantly if they don’t like it. Physical stores still have this advantage of being closer to customers than any other virtual store would do, by keeping the relation between the salesman (with his / her experience and knowledge) with the customer.
A virtual interface has the major disadvantage that the offer is presented all at once, without taking into account that some elements of surprise are also important, such as the stories about the other people that were interested in that particular item, their opinions, and so on, things you cannot get but from the salesman only.
Mannequins = More Than Just "Window Dressing"
Mannequins have become more than just “window dressing”. Mannequins are the quintessence in visual merchandising, an aid for the shop assistant; what (s)he is unable to communicate, the mannequin does it easily, because the salesman might not always be around to tell you things you want to know about that certain item of clothing, or other stuff you are interested in. Mannequins are central for retailers trying to lure online customers back into stores.
Technology is forcing retailers to adjust the inside store experience, making it more compelling; many retailers understand that the mannequins are a very important tool for doing that. Therefore, they’re getting a makeover: no longer just slim sizes and inexpressive faces.
They have a shape and a size that would mimic a real person’s body. Many stores widened the sizes of their mannequins to fit every customer’s interest. Now, the customers are able to see how an item of clothing could look on them and not only imagine how it could look. Some companies have gone even further, displaying very true-to-life mannequins, depicting human’s everyday activities.
This interest that retailers display leads to an important development of mannequin manufacture in terms of shape, material and use. We deal with a true increase of a new kind of art, mannequin manufacturers struggling to cope with the need of more and more diverse approaches to the strategies of visual merchandising. Action mannequin is one of the main products that appeared as a consequence of this increase of the demand for special types of mannequins. It is a relatively new trend, although some features of an action mannequin were used before by the important brands as a way to differentiate themselves from other fashion houses in the desire of being more interesting and looking more creative.
Action Mannequins - More Than A Few Choices
There are a few types of action mannequins, according to the type of activity and posture they suggest and the company that sells them:
- jogging mannequins,
- dance pose mannequins
- moving mannequins
- sport mannequins
- celebrating mannequins.
These figures and the inspiration for them are connected with the so-called aerobics craze, a response to that new sensation of the early ’80s MTV videos. Back then, the mannequins had to relate to pop culture and what was happening at that time; the trend has grown nowadays to a new level, that lead to a thriving industry of mannequins.
So...where and how do we use them?
Action mannequins are a must in specialized stores, like sports or apparels that sell different types of equipment. The main reason is that there is a strong desire to realize a proper definition of the collections. It is one of the principles of visual merchandising that many retailers follow, that you need to adjust your collection according to the type of it, in order to bring in as many customers as possible.
People know that the market is free and that they can go somewhere else, so the best way to make that choice be in your own advantage is by applying some marketing strategies that will captivate them get inside your store.
So the best way to define your collection is by using proper mannequins, and action mannequins are the best solution for a more dynamic and alluring display. It is advisable to take into account the fact that a store layout is not only made-up of cases, lights, items of clothing, but of much more than that.
Never forget that the layout of a store is a significant factor for the maintenance of a thriving business, which can help advance sales and profitability.
In the mean time, check out our best selling mannequins - you can spot quite a few action mannequins as well!
- George Blitzer