Using a Mannequin as a Visual Merchandising Tool

July 01, 2016 5 min read

Visual merchandising is a marketing technique used for the sole purpose of increasing sales through the use of aesthetics. This type of merchandising is mostly used in retail stores, trade shows, exhibitions and so on. Visual merchandising is a great strategy to focus on, because it helps a lot in terms of finance and space.

Mannequins are a statement in visual merchandising when it comes to creating unique and eye-catching store and window display designs. Whether you are displaying male mannequins or female mannequins, they can really improve the look of your store.

Their role became so important due to the strong customer-friendly aspect, the fact that they reflect the human body and shapes to perfection and help customers imagine the items of clothing on themselves.

A short introduction

Mannequins represent a diverse source of embodiment: from materials to sizes, shapes, and colors, there is a wide spectrum of choices, all aimed to help you reach sales goals and create stunning visual experiences for customers.

We, the people have always been enthusiasts of the human body, therefore a need was created, that of materializing the shape through sculptures, dress forms and so on. From early times, these models were a form of art that incarnated personal beliefs, styles and visualization of the self. Since Ancient Egypt, when mannequins were the perpetual mirror of pharaohs, to the peace-makers in the medieval ages or French royalties, mannequins have become a work of art and expression.

With the industrial revolution, mannequins became advocates for both the retail stores and the customers. Beyond the glass windows, they were the link between everyday life and the fantasy and excitement that fashion entailed.

If you want to learn more about the history of mannequins or simply which is the best material choice follow this link, towards our How Mannequins are Made article.

Why the mannequin need?

Because it is a part of the value that a fashion store sells, but not exclusively. The mannequin highlights the very best collections and outfits any store has to offer. This visualization creates an important emotional connection that has the ability to influence behaviors. The visual representations stand in place of aphrodisiacs for fashion lovers. Therefore, the mannequin becomes a real fantasy, a concept made out of the human being’s desire of appraisal, of esthetic need, of peace making and a materialization likewise.

So for retail stores in the apparel sector, this aspect plays a crucial role because every manufactured good or service sells in fact a vision, a dream, a design and so on. So do mannequins due to the visual effect that influences a customer's purchase journey in brick-and-mortar stores. Merchandisers use this visual merchandising strategy in order to increase sales, brand awareness and recognition, and the internal value, by creating intricate store designs that affect both customers and employees alike.

Basically, a store uses mannequins to define offers, to showcase merchandise and boast the brand values, standards and messages that they project and want to be recognized by both loyal and new customers. 

Why a visual merchandising tool?

Visual merchandising is an effective marketing tactic as it helps maximize the sales and create a strong relationship with the customer. It is a form of communication that creates a luring atmosphere and which engages the target consumers in the visual and emotional realm.

Also, the overall aesthetics help create an image of the values of a business. The entire store should be a reflection of these values. Your mannequin choice will only add to this intimate connection/bond that is formed with the customers.

Nowadays, mannequins are so diverse in terms of style, color, poses and express so many emotions, that you are sure to find one to perfectly complement store design and brand image.

How to use mannequins in your retail store

There are a few tricks that can ease this whole mannequin purchase and use process. But, first and foremost, you have to have in mind the fact that, as mentioned above, the mannequin, as every other item in your retail store, represents the business’ value and image. So be careful to display them in the fashion that is most representative to you.

So, let’s get to the point:

Make sure to purchase a lightweight mannequin so you can dress, undress, place and pose them with great ease in any corner or spot in your store.

The size and overall aspect of the mannequin(style, shape and color) will be an advocate for your company’s values and will speak to the target group’s values, simply because they have to match and connect in order to create this relationship.

Body type ideas

The design of the mannequin is highly representative for each store in particular. A wide variety of styles, sizes and concepts are available for you and your business and that are waiting to make their entrance, setting the latest fashion trends. The spectrum is large and it embodies several representations. From avant-garde designs, to classic shapes, all colors and types, there are no limits one can image when it comes to mannequins. Male, female and children models are equally popular and the “ideal body type” stereotype has been long forgotten. You have to take into consideration all your client's body types and make them feel at ease and comfortable in your store.

You can find multiple types of mannequins, here on Mannequin Mall, that range from realistic, abstract, sports, economy and many many more. You can also check our blog for visual merchandising tips and inspiration for creating the absolute best store designs and window displays.

Another interesting style of mannequins is envisaged by Ralph Pucci with his “Art of the Mannequin” exhibition from the Museum of Arts and Design. This accounts for uncommon, futuristic-shaped mannequins, colors and shapes and an overall different approach of the mannequin form.

Dress to impress

Visual merchandising is a unique tool that can be easily used and that can raise sales tremendously if correctly displayed. Mannequins are some of the best tools in this sense. Aesthetics and appearance are the foundation of any apparel or fashion oriented store.

And remember that the mannequin is also an invitation inside the store. So, dress to impress!

If you are undecided what mannequin best fits your type of retail store we have an extensive buyer's guide to help you out. Read our 18 styles & types of mannequins and you will have enough knowledge and information to make an informed decision.

We also invite you to check out our wonderful selection of high quality mannequins where you will surely find the shape, sizes, colors and styles that will simply fit into your store. 

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