?Boutiques are in an exclusive position to really get creative with their displays and promotions. What might seem out of place or over the top in a traditional retail store can make a boutique interesting and unique. Use this fact to your advantage when you are creating your displays. You might just find that certain merchandising tools, such as mannequins, can help you to brand your image, sell your clothing and accessories, and help you to make a lasting impression on your customers. Actually, an interesting window display can bring in a lot of new customers on its own. To create an exceptional display utilizing mannequins, you need to first consider your store image. If you want your boutique to be recognized for its individual style and unique décor or standards, then you need to make sure that your displays communicate this message. Having an ordinary display can make your boutique appear dull and boring. This is the last thing that you want when you own a boutique. Shoppers are interested in boutiques for many different reasons. They love the charm, the interesting decorations, the personal service, and the unique products and brands that boutiques usually offer. You can use your window display to quickly communicate to passer bys that you, in fact, offer just the things they're looking for. For example, you can display signs or window clings provided by the companies whose brands you carry. This tiny form of advertisement will attract people looking for those hard to find brands that you carry. You can then attract people looking for personal service by advertising your services. A small sign should be sufficient. Have it communicate the unique services that you offer, such as free alterations, personal styling, custom fittings, whatever the service may be. Nothing in your window display is as important as the mannequin display. Mannequins communicate to customers the atmosphere and attitude of your boutique. People connect with mannequins on different levels as soon as they lay eyes on one. This marketing phenomenon has mad mannequins the number one selling tool in retail for decades. Customers rely on their first impressions to determine if they trust the business. They need to trust you in order to decide to buy. They need to see what you're offering, imagine themselves owning, using and wearing your products, and be able to determine how that would make them feel. If a customer does not go through this process within the first few seconds of looking at your display, then they are not likely to enter the store or buy anything. Use this knowledge to your advantage. Set ups female mannequin displays to attract women. Use mannequins that are specifically designed for your products, for example, use a dress mannequin for dresses. Be sure to select clothing and accessories that communicate the style of boutique that you run. If you use mannequin displays and window displays to accomplish that positive first impression, your sales could really increase and your customers will stay interested and loyal. About the Author: Ron Maier is the Vice President of S & L Store Fixtures, a leading online resource for retail displays, including mannequins, dress mannequin forms, female mannequins, gridwall and slatwall store fixtures. For more information, please visit .