After years of prohibiting Internet sales, the Girl Scouts of the U.S.A. has approved Digital Cookie, a platform for scouts to sell and ship their notorious girl scout cookies to friends and relatives throughout the country. 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.
“Girls across the country now can use modern tools to expand the size and scope of their cookie business and learn vital entrepreneurial lessons in online marketing, application use and e-commerce.”
said Sarah Angel-Johnson, who directs the digital cookie effort.
However, as a precaution, Girl Scouts will be the ones initiating all sales. So in other words you won’t be able to order cookies online unless you’re directly contacted by a Girl Scout. This does not change typical cookie season timelines, either.
The program is supposed to help teach girls five skills: goal setting, decision making, money management, people skills and business ethics. As a bonus, it’s also meant to give girls experience in using apps and online marketing in order to keep up with our times.
These newly introduced digital sales are intended to enhance, not replace, the paper spreadsheets used to generate an estimated $800 million in cookie sales a year — at anywhere from $3.50 to $5 a box, depending on scout council.
For the last several years, the national organization, which makes policy but does not receive revenue from cookie sales, has been asked to modernize sales, which began in 1917 in Muskogee, Okla.
“A lot of people have asked, ‘What took you so long to get online?’ We spend a lot of time thinking how do we make this safe, scalable and smart,”
Kelly M. Parisi, chief communications executive for Girl Scouts of the USA, said at a recent demonstration for select media.
There are 2 million Girl Scouts, and more than 80 percent sell cookies every year, bringing in almost $800 million annually. Each scout will be able to create her own website, which can only be accessed by invitation and will not include any personal information. Girl Scouts can reach out to people by email, and only that recipient can access the girl’s profile. If the email is forwarded, the link to the Girl Scout’s profile will be broken.