?Use mannequin displays to show customers what an outfit looks like when it's on, but also satisfy the needs of their subconscious that control whether or not they buy. Shoppers today are bombarded by images, ads, outfits and displays that are pleasing to the eye. Aesthetics are thought to have an 85% impact on whether or not a customer buys. Think about how much time and money is spent on packaging, photography, commercials, image and branding. It doesn't have much to do with the actual product, but with the aesthetics of the product. The goal is always to make the customer feel a certain way when they see and use the product. Customers associate quality with visual and psychological cues. They will generally decide to purchase something if all areas of their conscious and subconscious appetites have been satisfied. For example, they may go shopping for a shirt. They are not simply looking for a piece of cloth to cover their torso. They want to get a shirt that fits them in a flattering way. They want a shirt that says something about their personality. They feel the need to wear a shirt that makes them feel a certain way, whether it be comfortable, powerful, professional, hip, lovable, cheerful, friendly, superior or any other array of emotions. They may base their decision to buy a shirt based on over one hundred conscious and subconscious factors. Shoppers associate quality with their impression of your store or web site, but let's talk about price. If a price is too low, then the customer will most likely automatically assume that there must be something wrong with the shirt. Either its quality is bad, or the imaginary world of peers that have looked at this shirt before have decided, for some unknown reason, to pass it by. This fear of "making a social mistake" will turn a vast majority of customers away. The same goes for pricing items too high. Customers will be let down or put off that they cannot afford or wouldn't pay a high price for something that they were considering buying. They will get a bad impression about your boutique. Either the store management thinks they can pull one over on people, they think that they are too good for us, or they think that the boutique is doing so poorly that they have to charge high prices to make their bills. You never want your customers to think that you're doing poorly. This brings them back to the feeling that their imaginary peers have overlooked you for some imaginary reason. Keep your displays, promotional displays and garment racks full. Displays that are too empty make the items look like they are being discontinued or clearanced out. Keep your mannequin displays changing. You want them to make customers comfortable, like putting a face with the idea of wearing the clothing. Imagine that the mannequins are there to make your first impressions. They are promising your shoppers, on a subconscious level, that they would definitely wear this outfit, that it will look this good, and that it will make the customer feel like the mannequin feels. It is so important to give your mannequins feeling by using their position, location, and creating display situations. Using your mannequins to display and satisfy the aesthetics that your customers are looking for is a very effective way of marketing your boutique and your merchandise. The more of those one hundred reasons to buy you can satisfy, the better your chances are of making a sale. About the Author: Ron Maier is the Vice President of S & L Store Fixtures, a leading online resource for retail display cases including mannequins, mannequin forms, gridwall and slatwall store fixtures. For more information, please visit .