Merchant Innovation

Is Digital Marketing About To Become The Girl Scouts' Newest Merit Badge?

Thin Mint enthusiasts will no longer have to seek out a live Girl Scout to get a fix because the Girl Scouts and their delicious cookies are going digital.

After years of banning internet sales, the Girl Scouts of American have had a change of heart and approved "Digital Cookie," a platform designed to help scouts of all ages sell and ship their signature confections nationwide.

Girl Scouts already sell door-to-door, run booths outside of supermarkets and conscript their parents into carrying order forms into work and dutifully doling out cookies to co-workers.  Before the great digital upgrade, Girl Scout Cookies are an $800 million annual business - money earned one $4 cookie box at a time.

“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.”

"Digital Cookie," will give each scout access to their own cookie website, which customers can only gain access to with a password sent to them by their scout supplier.  No identifying information about the scout will be visible publicly from the site.  There is also a mobile option that allows cookies to be purchased via credit card through the mobile app and shipped directly.

The digital program will be in a sort of beta this month in the few areas nationwide where cookie sales are already underway, and will launch nationally  in January to coincide with the heart of the 2015 cookie season.

Not everyone is ready to abandon traditional sales methods for digital scouting.

“I love going around my neighborhood, my parents’ jobs and my grandfather’s job,” on scout told The New York Times. “I’ve been selling cookies since I joined scouting when I was 6, including setting up a booth at our local Stop & Shop.

“But the digital option is going to make it easier to reach a lot more people and to take and keep track of their orders,” she said

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