Exploration of the Role of Visual Merchandising (Mannequin) on Women’s shopping Behavior through the Moderating Role of Type of Store and Customers’ Intention: An Experimental Research Approach

Document Type : Research Paper


1 PhD Student, Department of Business Management, Qazvin Branch, Islamic Azad University, Qazvin, Iran.

2 Associate Professor, Department of Business Management, Science and Research Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran.

3 Assistant Professor, Department of Mathematics and Statistics, Qazvin Branch, Islamic Azad University, Qazvin, Iran.


Objective: Given their ability to attract potential customers, mannequins have been regarded as an element of effective visual merchandising in providing appropriate information to customers in clothing stores. Visual merchandising refers to a retail strategy that maximizes the aesthetics of a particular product to increase sales rate; it is the art of displaying the product in an attractive way for customers. Mannequins, especially in shop windows, can play a significant role in creating brand identity in the mind of the consumer with the intention of attracting consumers to the store, brand, or product that may lead to purchase. The aim of this study was to investigate the role of the mannequin type (with head or headless) on intention to buy through the moderating role of store type and customers’ intention among female students.
Methodology: The research was performed using an experimental method and 2 × 2 × 2 factor design based on text- and image-oriented scenario. Data were collected from a sample of 240 university students and were evaluated using variance analysis method. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of three explanatory variables (independent & moderator) on intention to buy. These explanatory variables include the type of mannequin (with head or headless), the type of store (physical or online store), and customers’ intention (purchasing or siteseeing) as nominal scales; besides, the dependent variable, the intention to buy, was regarded as a five-point continuous scale from very little to very much.
Findings: The results indicated that the type of mannequin could have a significant effect on the intention to buy, so that mannequins with heads could lead to greater intention to buy among customers. In addition, the type of store and customers’ intention could also moderate such effects. Moreoer, the average intention to buy was higher in a physical store compared to an online store. In general, results of interactive effects have shown that the highest rate of intention to buy was observed in the following situations: a) the customer intends to buy and the mannequin has a head, b) the customer intends to buy in a physical store, c) the physical store and the mannequin has a head, and d) the physical store, the mannequin has a head, and the customer intends to buy.
Conclusion: The use of mannequins with a head in both physical and online stores increases the intention to buy among all customers compared to headless mannequins. According to the statistical population, the result could be generalized to ordinary customers as well


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