Girl Scouts Go Digital With Cookie Sales
Credit: abstrakone
December 2, 2014

This is a natural -- because a lot of the adults I know love Girl Scout cookies, but just don't know any Girl Scouts. And if you're ordering your food online, you're not going to see those cute little girls in uniform who are selling them at the local supermarket:

Girl Scouts are adding digital marketing to their formidable arsenal of charm, cuteness and perseverance to sell millions of boxes of Thin Mints, Samoas and other longtime cookie favorites.

After years of prohibiting Internet sales, the Girl Scouts of the U.S.A., the group’s national organization, has approved “Digital Cookie,” a platform for scouts to sell and ship the colorfully boxed cookies to friends and relatives around the country.

The expansion beyond traditional selling strategies like operating booths outside supermarkets, sending order forms into their parents’ workplaces and door-to-door canvassing is expected to increase the nearly $800 million raised in annual cookie sales. More than 80 percent of the two million girl scouts sell cookies every year, for about $4 a box, the national organization said.

“Girls across the country now can use modern tools to expand the size and scope of their cookie business,” said Sarah Angel-Johnson, who directs the digital cookie effort, “and learn vital entrepreneurial lessons in online marketing, application use and e-commerce.”

Under the program, each scout may have her own cookie website, which customers can gain access to only if the scout sends them an emailed invitation. No identifying information about the scout may be posted so that it is visible publicly. Another option is a mobile app that includes credit card processing and direct shipping.

The digital program begins this month in a limited number of areas where scouts have started cookie sales, and will start nationally in January when most of the 112 Girl Scout councils begin the cookie sales season.

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