Craving Girl Scout brand Thin Mints? For the first time in nearly 100 years, the Girl Scouts are going to start having the option to sell their cookies online. And no doubt it is going to go viral. After a lot of push back from the girls themselves, the Chief Executive for the Girl Scouts finally gave the okay. Yes, that means you no longer have to go out and hunt down Girl Scouts for their addicting sweets, you can now order them from the comfort of your own home.
‘‘Girls have been telling us that they want to go into this space,’’ said Sarah Angel-Johnson, Chief Digital Cookie Executive for the organization, covering about 2 million girls. ‘‘Online is where entrepreneurship is going.”
More than 1 million scouts, ranging from Kindergarten to teens, are expected to help crank up cookie sales this month when digital sales get underway. But don’t think online sales are going to replace in-person sales just yet. The online store option is meant to be in addition to the girls selling door-to-door or in front of your favorite grocery store.
‘‘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.
Along with the important e-lessons that the girl scouts can learn by selling online, the scout officials agree that selling online will be much better at articulating and tracking goals. The girls will also be able to handle consumer money in a new way, by efficiently processing credit card information. The Councils offered the girls two platforms; web and mobile options to sell online, but the girls were not offered to use both, they will have to choose which option to use.
For the web option, not only with the girls be able to customize their own pages by using their first names only, but they will also be able to email market themselves in order to bring in prospective customers. They can also embed videos explaining who they are and what they plan to do with their proceeds. The mobile platform will offer the same tracking and sales feature, but it also allows for sales of bundles with different types of cookies. It will obviously be run on either a phone or a tablet. Either way, the reaction from the scouts show they are excited to have another avenue to sell their cookies, and more likely reach their cookie sales goals.
In order to protect the safety of the girls, the online sales options will be by invitation only. The websites will not be accessible without an email invitation, thus requiring girls to build their client list. Are we seeing the start of the next generation of leading marketers? Not only will the girls be able to generate relationships by marketing themselves online but they will also be able to gain followings for possibly years to come as long as they are Girl Scouts.
It makes perfect sense for the girls to sell their cookies online. Many would say that it has been a long time coming. With the websites being protected for the girls and the customers, the trust that comes will definitely help all scouts see a boom in sales. Not only are we seeing the Girl Scouts coming into the 21st century, but we are also seeing future leaders starting fresh and early in a tech space like so many others in this generation. The future looks very bright and very sweet.