The COVID-19 pandemic has, of course, been devastating for many brick-and-mortar stores that have seen drastically reduced foot traffic. Online sales have most likely been a lifeline for your brand — but you no doubt want to boost sales at local outlets, too.

To accomplish this key goal, you need innovative marketing might for your brand — but you also need to be careful about spending. A recent report found that more than one-third of businesses (35%) have reduced marketing budgets while only 8% have increased them. One option for your marketing spend is to try geofencing.

Geofencing technology allows you to reach and direct a smartphone using customers at or near your store locations easily and inexpensively. In a nutshell, geofencing creates a virtual "boundary" around your business location using GPS- or RFID-enabled software.

One example is a circle outlining a certain number of feet around a Google Maps spot. When your customers enter the boundary area, they receive information or advertising from your business they can use immediately, according to Tamoco.

A cool thing about geofencing is that you have flexibility in terms of how you target your audience within the technology. For example, you could open up the radius that your retail store might draw a geofence around to attract new customers who happen to be in a shopping center or in a parking area near it. You could narrow your approach to trigger mobile alerts for customers who have downloaded your app and happen to nearby to conveniently send them to your location in real time.

Geofencing can also be used to deliver key sales information to potential customers if your business is located in a competitive area. You can send your customers enticing price comparisons, so even if they check out that rival appliance store or car dealership nearby, they know that your business is offering them a better deal.

How can you use the technology to your greatest advantage? Focus on the following key points:

Software specs.

Do a deep research dive so you know what your best options are for integration into your apps. Data from G2 indicates that quality geofencing software must integrate via an API or SDK, and should produce analytics dashboards and reports based on location data. G2 finds WebEngage, MoEngage, Radar and PlotProjects to be among the best choices on the market.

Marketing plan coordination.

Make sure your geofencing capabilities are fully known to your customers so they can expect notifications that will make their purchasing easier. Ad content across your social platforms that lets your audience know they can be directed on the spot to a location that carries their favorite products is a powerful convenience tool.

Using geofencing to link up your brick and mortar stock with your online inventory.

Make sure your product is readily available anywhere your consumer happens to be seeking it out. Backordered or sold-out stock is the fastest way to derail your efforts, so plan in advance and don't let it happen.

Privacy and security.

Make sure consumers know that the geofencing strategy you use does not put their data or location at any form of risk. Then, safeguard scrupulously to keep this promise.

Positive messaging.

Geofencing-based ads should be upbeat, brief and to the point. You want your customers to be happily surprised that you are meeting their needs in the spot with this technology. That message of convenience will earn their loyalty and help your brand do better.