There are many types of female mannequin and it would be a mistake to try and use a generic mannequin for all the different niches in female fashion retailing. Mannequins are an important element in a retailer's marketing strategy. They -
Differentiate your store from the competition;
Establish a connection with your target customers;
Communicate with the marketplace.
Positioning and Image
The type and style of the mannequin determines who you are pitching your image and product to, and should be considered in conjunction with your overall marketing strategy. Boutique, high-end fashion, funky style, vintage - the style of female mannequin you choose basically states 'this is who we are'.
Style, Shape & Age Demographics
Choose mannequins that are a match for your target demographic, and survey your target public to find out how they see themselves. I know of one instance where a marketer was pushing a 'flirty', 'sexy' image, but when they finally did a survey they found out that their target public actually perceived themselves as more conservative and 'nice'. So all their previous promotion was a waste of time.
To target a certain market sector you present the image that sector considers themselves to be - DON'T GUESS. The mannequins need to forward that image as well.
Mannequins Should be Unique!
The ideal mannequin is one that is individually styled to your target demographics in so far as shape style, attitude, mood and finish. But the best mannequin are customized further. They are sculpted to the cut and style of clothing that is to be displayed, so that no pinning is necessary and the garments are shown in the best possible manner. This makes then far more attractiveness to potential buyers.
A Female Mannequin Can Up-sell Your Customers
The female mannequin acts as a point of sale aid that not only enhances the garments but shows immediately how pairings of different items of clothing actually look together. It can be hard for customers to try and envisage this. Displaying garments on a mannequin illustrates immediately how they actually work together and facilitates the customer's purchasing decision.
In addition, accessory items such as shoes, hats, scarves, gloves etc. can all be displayed on a mannequin, providing a complete outfit. This increases the chance of customers buying further items, which makes mannequins a very effective sales aid.
A female mannequin and how it is dressed can provide a complete visual image of new fashion ideas and concepts, and sell the target audience this.
A female mannequin can also be used to advertise the store by capturing the passing customer's attention and enticing them to enter and inspect the items for sale. Naturally the mannequin needs to be considered in conjunction with the shop's entire visual-merchandising strategy. It can either enhance or detract from this, so make sure your mannequins match and enhance the background and design of the store.