What are Mannequins ? - Purpose and its Importance in Retail Industry

Visual Merchandising plays an important role in increasing the sales of any retail store. The presentation and display of the merchandise play an important role in attracting the customers into the store and prompting them to buy the products.

Mannequins in simpler words also called as dummies play an important role in visual merchandising.

What are Mannequins?

The artificial dolls used by the retailers to display their merchandise (can be anything) are called as mannequins. The mannequins help the customers to know about the latest trend the store offers without sometimes even bothering the sales representative. It is the attractive mannequin which pulls the customer into the store.

Purpose of Mannequins

  • Mannequins are used to highlight the unique collections of the store.
  • Mannequins display the latest trends in fashion and influence the customers to buy the particular merchandise.
  • Mannequins attract the customers into the store and thus increase the revenue and profit.
  • Mannequins are also responsible for up selling at the retail store.

What is Up Selling?

Up selling is a sales mechanism where the sales representative strives hard to convince the customers to buy extra items or expensive merchandise and thus increases the revenue of the store. The entire credit goes to the sales representative in case of up selling who influences the customers to take home additional and expensive merchandise in addition to what they are already buying.


  • A customer goes to a retail store to buy a watch worth x rupees. The sales representative through his unique presentation skills convinces the customer to buy another model worth y rupees where y > x.
  • A customer might go to purchase a single pair of footwear. It is upselling when the sales man influences the customer to buy two pairs instead of one.

How do Mannequins help in upselling?

Mannequins help the customers to understand what would look good on them. The customer might not understand how a particular bag would look with a particular dress or for that matter which fashion jewellery would add elegance to a particular outfit.

The retailer must smartly decide the entire look of the mannequin.

Sandra went to buy a nice dress for her office party. The mannequin wearing a blue dress at a retail store immediately caught her attention and she decided to buy it. The retailer had sensibly also added a blue neckpiece and a trendy clutch to the mannequin for the complete look.

Sandra was not very sure what she wanted to wear along with the dress. The moment she saw the mannequin she knew what would look good on her. Not only did she purchase the dress but also the neckpiece along with the clutch. An example of upselling.Sometimes you can’t decide what all would look good on you; a mannequin helps you decide the same.

Points to be considered while choosing a Mannequin

  • Make sure the mannequin is not too heavy.
  • The shape and size of the mannequin must be according to your target market.
  • The mannequins must not act as an object of obstacle.
  • It should never be kept at the entrance or the exit door as it blocks the way of the potential buyers.
  • The clothes should look properly fitted on the mannequin. Avoid using unnecessary pins.
  • Carefully select what you want your mannequin to wear.
  • Change the position of the mannequins frequently.
  • The mannequins should not be dirty or have unwanted stains.
  • The clothes on the mannequins should be according to the season and changed at regular intervals to avoid monotony.

Types of Mannequins

  • Abstract Mannequins
  • Headless Mannequins
  • Realistic Mannequins
  • Tailors Dummies
  • Display Forms

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