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With Digital Cookie 2.0, Girl Scouts Double Down On E-Commerce Push

After a year of falling sales, the Girl Scouts updated the Digital Cookie platform to more easily sell cookies online and via mobile apps.

With Digital Cookie 2.0, Girl Scouts Double Down On E-Commerce Push
[Photo: Copyright Girl Scouts of the USA. All rights reserved. Used with permission.]

The Girl Scouts on Tuesday rolled out an update to the Digital Cookie program, launched last December in an effort to increase access to the organization’s popular cookies. The new and improved Digital Cookie 2.0 simplifies the mobile app and makes the website customizable–an upgrade that the Girl Scouts hope will boost declining sales and membership numbers.

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Girl Scouts’ CEO Anna Maria Chávez talks with a Girl Scout about the educational tools on the new Digital Cookie 2.0 platform.Photo: Copyright Girl Scouts of the USA. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

“Digital Cookie marks a strategic turning point in updating the business and financial literacy skills girls learn–and the way they learn them–to align with our digital world,” Girl Scouts CEO Anna Maria Chávez, one of Fast Company‘s Most Creative People last year, said in a statement. “Last year, nearly 160,000 Girl Scouts participated in Digital Cookie. We listened to their feedback and made changes that both addressed what the girls said they wanted, and expanded what they could learn.”

On the website, for example, Girl Scouts asked for games; the organization addressed this request, Chávez says, by developing one game “to help them further develop decision-making skills” and another in which the girls could “practice setting short- and long-term goals.”

Over the past few years, sales of cookies have raised almost $800 million yearly and comprise a major component of the Girl Scouts’ fundraising budget. But in 2015, despite adoption of the Digital Cookie program, overall cookie sales fell to 194 million boxes–about $776 million in sales. (Update 12/9, 12:30 pm ET: A Girl Scouts spokesman pointed out, however, that 2015 sales vastly surpassed the organization’s projected target of 184 million boxes. The Digital Cookie program alone sold 2.5 million boxes and generated 10 million in revenue. )

Meanwhile, the Girl Scouts are also dealing with a larger challenge–a pattern of falling membership over the past decade. This has led the organization to embrace new activities for members, including a slew of science, technology, and coding-oriented activities.