Mobile Commerce Insider Featured Article

December 02, 2014

Looking for Your Thin Mint Fix? Girl Scouts Enact Digital Cookie for Online Sales

Girl Scout cookie sales have long been the staple of offices and neighborhoods everywhere, but it's long been something of a puzzlement to some why this American institution has never made the jump to the Internet. But now, that particular issue has been settled, and the Girl Scout cookie will step into the online sales arena thanks to Digital Cookie, a new platform that will open up Girl Scout cookie sales to the Internet.

It wasn't a matter of oversight that kept Girl Scout cookies from becoming as as easy to order as a book on Amazon, according to reports, but rather that the national organization behind it all, Girl Scouts of the U.S.A., had actively prohibited online sales. Indeed, one enterprising Girl Scout with a website developer father took Girl Scout cookie sales online, and the full organization demanded its removal, calling it unfair to the other local Scouts who didn't have such access. Famous Girl Scout Alana “Honey Boo Boo” Thompson of “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo” and “Toddlers and Tiaras” fame took to Facebook to drive cookie sales, prompting another objection that such sales didn't teach the desired lessons of handling money and delivering cookies.

But with this change in policy, Girl Scouts will be able to go beyond the standard strategies of lying in wait outside supermarkets, enlisting parents into the selling process, and going door-to-door, a measure that's expected to substantially boost sales up from the current impressive level of about $800 million annually.

Digital Cookie calls for each Girl Scout to have access to her own website, which can only be accessed via the aid of an emailed invitation. There's no identifying information posted publicly, only a means to access the sales system and place an order for the desired treats. There's also a mobile app, which comes with credit card processing systems and direct shipping mechanisms. The program has been rolled out on a test basis, and is expected to go wide in January. However, despite the new tools, Girl Scouts will still be using the more standard tactics as well, helping to ensure that sales remain brisk.

This is probably a move that was long overdue. After all, the idea of young girls going door-to-door in this day and age would seem to be a move that practically screams headlines of horrible news, and some workplaces have gone so far as to ban Girl Scout cookie sales for the impact it was having on morale and productivity, with some even firing moms and dads who try to push cookies at work. While it's certainly appropriate to teach the young behaviors that might be of benefit later on, like the entrepreneurial spirit and perseverance, it's also important to note that the practices of entrepreneurial spirit have in many cases gone online anyway. Why forbid a valuable tool like the Web? But with this move, the Girl Scouts now all have access to the same tools, making the practice safer for all concerned and yet still move the cookies that help the organization carry on.

One big thing about business is having the ability to adjust to changes in the marketplace, and with this move, the Girl Scouts will finally learn that lesson as well; a lot of business is online these days, and now, those famous Girl Scout cookies are no exception.




Edited by Maurice Nagle




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