NEW YORK: Digital marketers are missing a trick by failing to direct potential consumers to the nearest purchase location according to two recent studies.

PlaceCodes, a location-based mobile marketing company, looked at the performance of the top 100 US CPG brands in terms of advertising expenditure for its Brand Findability Audit and discovered that just 7% provided consumers with a product locator that used a consumer's existing location to provide nearby selling locations.

This was despite independent research indicating that more than four in five smartphone/tablet owners use their device for shopping activities and that up to three quarters of adult smartphone owners use their phone to get directions or other information based on their current location.

Brands are missing a huge opportunity to drive consumers to stores, where 90% of sales take place, said PlaceCodes.

Just one third of those brands surveyed provided consumers with a mobile-friendly product locator.

"Brands leave it up to the consumers to figure out where to find the products," David Ingerman, PlaceCodes CEO, told MediaPost, as he suggested campaigns running in social media could make it easier for marketers to close the loop and drive more consumers into stores.

The fact that 76% of brands required more than three clicks to get directions indicated consumers were having to search for locations on Google, Bing or Yahoo.

And – another trick missed – none served offers to consumers when they were in the process of finding directions to stores.

In related research conducted for PlaceCodes, The Consumer Mobile Product-Locator Research Study revealed that 89% of consumers having difficulty finding items were more likely to actively seek those items if provided with an effective locator function.

Consumers are frustrated by not being able to find products, it said.

"Marketers are willing to engage consumers, get them interested in their products, and then allow the consumer to click away from their branded tweet or post to a non-branded, distraction-ridden search process that is certain to slow down conversion to foot traffic."

Data sourced from PlaceCodes, MediaPost; additional content by Warc staff