Chapter 2: Choosing the Right Display Height for Consumers

Next time you walk down a grocery store aisle, where do your eyes land first? Do you look at products on a middle shelf? Or do you immediately scan the lowest shelf for things to buy? If you’re like most people, you probably look somewhere in the middle first, closer to your eye level.

Products located near eye level attract the most attention, so it’s something to consider when designing your display. When you choose the ideal display height for your target customers, you can make a greater impact and help your products sell. Since people’s heights vary, we’ll show you how to choose the right size for your display based on averages and other factors.

What Is the Average Retail Shelf Height?

The typical shelf height depends on the store type and target customers. For example, convenience stores may try to keep their shelves around 54 inches high, so customers can easily reach products and be seen in the store as they shop. Grocery stores, on the other hand, often have much taller shelves to open up floor space and create a sense of spaciousness.

Retail displays are different from regular store shelves. Displays are promotional materials specifically designed to capture customers’ attention and make a product stand out from the rest. The focal point of a retail display often falls in the eye-level range. You might choose your brand’s logo, a striking image or catchy phrase as your display’s focal point. This will draw shoppers to your product, which may be placed below the focal point, closer to the “touch” level.

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What Is the Average Eye Level Height?

When something is positioned at the height of someone’s eyes, it’s considered eye level. Since most adults fall somewhere between 63 and 69 inches tall, the average human eye level is around 5 feet.

Why Do Retailers Place Products at Eye Level?

Retailers place products at eye level or slightly below because they are easier to notice and sell better. However, eye level is not the natural “buy level.” According to The Nielsen Company, eye level in the retail world is not the eye’s exact height, but slightly lower. That’s because people mostly buy from waist level, where they can easily grab products.

Overall, the best shelf location falls between waist level and eye level. It’s especially important to place new items at eye or waist level so customers don’t overlook an unfamiliar product.

How to Choose Your Retail Display Height

To choose the right height for your retail display, consider the following:

1. Display Type

What type of display are you interested in for your merchandise? If you’re considering designing a display bin, for example, you might create one that’s about 36 inches tall, so customers can grab products on the go without having to stoop or stretch. If it makes more sense to promote your products with a shelf-like floor display, you might choose a height that’s closer to eye level so you can attract attention.

2. Your Retailer’s Specifications

Your retail partner will have its own set of merchandising rules. For instance, if you look at the display guidelines for CVS, you’ll see that a floor display can’t exceed 59 3/4 inches due to building code regulations. Kroger has a similar requirement — floor stands can’t exceed 56 inches in height.

If you need help choosing a height according to a store’s specification, we can assist you. At Creative Displays Now, we stay current on major retailers’ specifications to help companies through the design and manufacturing process.

3. Your Target Audience

Consider your target audience and how you can best reach them with your display. If you’re marketing to women, your display should be around 5 feet tall to attract their attention. To target male shoppers, aim to create a display that’s a bit taller or about 5 feet 5 inches. If children are your target audience, make the display shorter or around 4 feet tall. Remember, even if children are your customers, their parents are likely making the purchasing decision.

If you want to appeal to a range of shoppers, choose a display height between 4 and 5 feet. You might also use counter displays or signs to bring your message closer to the average person’s eye level.

Still not sure which height to choose? We’re here to help you select the ideal display height to catch your target customer’s eyes. Give us a call at 1-866-244-2214 to get started!

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