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Girl Scouts double down on mobile to drive cookie sales

By
February 22, 2013

The Girl Scouts of the USA are using mobile in a few unique ways to help the organization sell its much-loved cookies this year.

The Girl Scouts have revamped its Cookie Finder mobile application to incorporate GPS that lets users find nearby cookies. Mobile payments are also being used as well as a company-wide mobile commerce site.

“The Cookie Finder app is the natural extension of our cookie Web site, www.girlscoutcookies.org,” said Amanda Hamaker, manager of product sales at Girl Scouts, New York.

“Along with other functionality, the app extends the geolocation tools present on the site to consumers, wherever they may be,” she said.

“This is important because according to consumer surveys, the No. 1 reason cited for not purchasing Girl Scout Cookies is that potential consumers don’t encounter a Girl Scout during the local sales period.”

Mobile cookies
The Cookie Finder app is available for iPhone and Android devices.

The app uses a consumer’s built-in GPS to find a nearby Girl Scout booth.

Additionally, consumers can learn more about each cookie flavor by swiping through a photo gallery. Users can vote for their favorites and share content via Facebook, Twitter and email.

The app gives consumers tips on how to buy cookies from Girl Scouts. Videos from the organization’s YouTube are also incorporated into the app.

The Girl Scouts have also launched the ecommerce store GirlScoutShop.com, which is optimized for mobile commerce.

The store is incorporated into the app to let consumers buy Girl Scout gear. Users first create an account and can then check-out directly from the app.

Mobile past
The Girl Scouts have been building up its mobile repertoire over the past year.

In addition to the mobile app and commerce, the organization has also invested in mobile payments to help members process cookie orders while on the go.

Last year 30 Girl Scout councils representing more than 40,000 troops partnered with Sage Mobile Payments on an initiative that lets scouts accept credit or debit card payments via an attachment for mobile devices. The technology helped the troops sell up to four times more cookies (see story).

Additionally, the Girl Scouts of Northern California recently leveraged mobile ticketing to streamline registrations for its recent Winterfest 2012 event (see story).

The common theme around the Girl Scouts mobile initiatives is that everything ties back to the organization’s values.

“The app teaches the consumers what Girl Scout Cookie Program is all about – the largest girl-led business that teaches five essential life skills,” Ms. Hamaker said.

“When it comes to payment, many girl scouts do utilize the mobile payment app and credit card readers to take credit card payments while learning important people skills,” she said.

“We are also piloting a membership registration mobile app that will allow existing members to renew and new members to sign up.”

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is associate reporter on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York

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