Mannequins are often called silent shop assistants because they attract customers and make them enter the store.
However, how effectively mannequins can generate such sales depends on many factors.
1. How does your shop look like?
Make a list of adjectives which describe your brand. Your mannequins should reflect your brand concept.
A mannequin made of chrome or clear material, for example, can be ideal for a store with an elegant European vibe. And a bright-colored mannequin is suitable for a youth-oriented store.
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2. Who are your customers?
Mannequins should look like them.
For example, if your clients are teenagers, then the mannequins should also look like teenagers.
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3. Do the mannequin need to have shoes on?
This will help you determine the type of the mannequin stand. Some mannequin stands fit into the foot of the mannequin, so shoes cannot be placed on the mannequin. But these stands are very stable if you place the mannequins outdoors, for example.
If you need to put shoes on a mannequin, you will need a shoe that goes into the mannequin’s calf. Some older mannequins have a stand with a rod that goes into the buttocks of the mannequin.
So while you can put shoes on the mannequin, you can’t put pants on it. Usually, when people buy a mannequin in this style, they put evening dresses on the mannequin.
Speaking of coasters, do you need a metal or glass coaster? Glass is preferred in expensive stores, but it is more fragile.
By the way, some mannequins have shoes on their feet, which are preferred by high-end clothing retailers. This way they don’t have to look for shoes for the mannequin (especially if they don’t sell shoes in their store) and the mannequin doesn’t look “barefoot”.
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4. What is the average price of things in a store?
The more expensive the clothes are, the more expensive the mannequin should look.
For the retailers who have a luxury type product like Gucci but an “H&M” budget, we recommend to get designer mannequins that will make your clothes look more expensive.
Such mannequins can be found at major brands that regularly update their designs and get rid of old equipment at affordable prices. This is how we keep up with the modern eco-agenda, and at the same time keep the design of our clothing store.
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5. What type of clothes should mannequin wear?
It depends on the style of your shop. If you sell sportswear, a mannequin should also look active in sportswear.
Mannequins in lingerie or swimwear should look more sexy and casual.
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6. Do you need a full-length mannequin, a mannequin torso or a dress form?
Only the body of the mannequin or the shape of the dress will be much easier to dress, but such “non-mannequins” look completely unrealistic, unlike a life-size mannequin. Merchandisers ususally place them on the high shelves, and such mannequins show just one item (for example, jeans or just a top).
If you sell clothing, jewelry, shoes, hats, or accessories, you’ll definitely need a full-size mannequin with a head to show all of these items.
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7. Will you transport the mannequin to trade-shows or to photo-shoots?
In this case a dress form would be preferable – if you are going to move the mannequin to different places.
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8. Where and how many mannequins do you want to use?
Usually window display mannequins have faces and draw more attention. The mannequins in the store are more utilitarian.
Have you already measured your shop window to see if it is tall and/or wide enough to accommodate mannequins in different poses and heights?
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9. What mannequins do competitor brands use?
Do you want to mimic what they do or do something completely different?
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10. Which posture works best?
The best poses for mannequins are a relaxed pose for casual wear and a sexy pose for lingerie.
A wide-legged pose is fine for showing off pants, but not for a tight pencil skirt. If you’re displaying jewelry or other accessories on a mannequin, then your posture may show this—for example, a raised arm or one hand on your hip instead of a mannequin with arms down.
And when you buy multiple window display mannequins, it’s a good idea to display them in different types of poses – sitting, lying, and standing.
A good visual merchandising trick is not to display ALL your mannequins in the window at once. Vary how many mannequins you use from week to week to make your window displays more interesting.
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Other factors to consider when choosing a mannequin are: Do you want the mannequin to wear a wig? Wigs require effort to maintain, but they make the mannequin look more human. And by wearing wigs of different styles and colors, you will give the impression that you have different mannequins – and that’s good.
If you don’t want a wig, then do you want the mannequin to be bald or combed? In addition, you can make creative “temporary” heads or unusual hairstyles with your own hands from improvised materials.