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Girl Scouts’ Digital Cookie to boost mobile sales

The Girl Scouts of the United States has introduced Digital Cookie, a new digital platform that reimagines how the organization sells cookies while teaching young saleswomen about online marketing, mobile application usage and ecommerce. 

The Girl Scout Cookie Program has provided young girls with professional experience for more than a century while raising much-needed funds for its programs. The  new digital platform will help propel scouts towards the new standard of marketing, which includes a strong use of mobile while also lending more autonomy.

“I think it’s a great idea,” said Paula Rosenblum, managing partner at RSR Research, Miami. “It’s so much easier for the parents of the Girl Scouts, who don’t have to schlep cookies into their offices to fill orders.”

A revolutionary move
Up until this point, the Girl Scouts have relied on mobile as a mere influencer to help consumers find physical locations where cookies are being sold.

The Girl Scout Cookie Finder mobile app shows the nearest booth locations and contact information for users’ local Girl Scout Council.

Digital Cookie will allow customers to purchase cookies through two separate digital sales platforms depending on the market area. Some Scouts will market their online cookie business by inviting customers via email to visit their personalized cookie Web sites. Consumers can then order cookies from any location.

The other platform will involve Scouts taking in-person orders using a mobile app that allows credit card processing and direct shipping, in addition to access to a non-personalized Web site where cookies can be purchased.

The Girl Scouts organization uses its cookie program to teach Scouts five essential skills, such as goal setting, decision making, money management, people skills and business ethics. A new digital component will help to modernize that skillset.

The majority of the 112 Girl Scout councils nationwide are participating in Digital Cookie during the 2014–2015 cookie season with additional councils expected to be on board by the end of 2015.

Slow mobile integration
While the Girl Scout Cookie Finder app has been around for years, a mobile commerce factor has not been a part of its selling strategy until now.

In 2013, The Girl Scouts used mobile in a few ways to help the organization sell its much-loved cookies by revamping its Cookie Finder app to incorporate GPS that let users find nearby cookies.

Mobile payments, as well as a company-wide mobile commerce site were also integrated at this time. Users can purchase Girl Scout gear through the site but are not able to purchase cookies through this channel (see story).

Since the Girl Scouts cookie program hopes to give young girls a head start in adulthood, its newest innovation will continue to grow the overall effort by using modern mobile capabilities.

“I also like the idea of just taking orders and have them directly fulfilled by the Scouts themselves,” Ms. Rosenblum said. “Overall, I think this is a stellar example of how a 21st Century supply chain can work to a retailer’s advantage, even if those retailers are 10 years old.”

Final Take
Caitlyn Bohannon is an editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York