Shelf Help: What does "path to purchase" mean and when do I build it into my strategy?

Weekly Q&A for CPGs aiming to capture digital share of wallet at retail

Welcome to Shelf Help! The weekly series by @Grocery_Girl, tackling the industry's most pressing retail ecommerce questions.


"Social media manager here. This feels silly to ask but what does 'path to purchase' mean and when do I build it into my strategy?"


Path to purchase - sometimes abbreviated as "P2P" - refers to the path from or brand media to

In other words, paths to purchase bridge offsite brand media and onsite where-to-buy experiences (e.g. store locators) to the digital shelves of retailers like Target, Walmart, and local retail stores.

At Pear, we talk to a lot of brands trying to fix broken paths to purchase. These often include shoppable tools - like store locators - that aren't using daily inventory scanning, which results in customers hitting out of stock links or broken experiences when they eventually bridge over to

Accurate paths to purchase are especially important when it comes to paid media. If you're spending marketing dollars to send a shopper to their preferred retailer's cart, you'll want to ensure:

  1. the product is actually in-stock at that retailer
  2. the experience is seamless (with minimal clicks) to avoid dropoff in the shopper journey

If either of these factors are missing, you've lost your one shot at capturing the customer.

This increased importance on frictionless experiences is why many brands are moving to shoppable tools that not only scan inventory daily, but can integrate that technology directly into the ad unit to eliminate extra steps.

Pear Connect by Pear Commerce creates "mini where-to-buys" within the ad units on all major platforms. Proprietary technology scans inventory daily to ensure the most up-to-date retailer data, serving the product and retailer combination that's most likely to be selected by shoppers in each geo. Plus, Pear Connect reduces the path to purchase at down to a single click, creating the customer journey with the fewest number of clicks:

Get in touch with the Pear team to schedule a demo and learn more →
Retail ecomm for omnichannel brands
Get in touch to learn more!
Schedule a demo

Explore related articles

Ready to capture greater share of wallet at retail?

Level up your retail ecommerce experience and unlock shoppability, insights, and performance marketing with Pear.
Get started
exit button
exit button

The Retail Ecommerce Playbook by Pear Commerce

Your guide to capturing greater share of wallet at retail.

Five years ago, retail ecommerce didn’t exist. Today, supporting the channel is table stakes for consumer packaged goods brands.

This playbook is designed to guide CPG brands from the stages of awareness to purchase at retail. Whether you’re interested in retail ecommerce as a new channel opportunity or looking to level up existing efforts, The Retail Ecommerce Playbook covers tools, tips, and examples to help your brand succeed.