Girl Scouts in Baton Rouge, New Orleans, and other areas across the country have identified a new way to boost sales of their beloved cookies by embracing the Sage mobile app and card swiper.
As you probably already know, Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA ) have been an integral part of American culture for over a hundred years. The Girl Scouts works to empower young girls with opportunities that girls don’t always have, while instilling in them real world skills that are essential to leadership and success.
Since 1917, members of the GSUSA have been selling cookies door-to-door as a primary fundraising effort to support their other activities. Local Girl Scout units sell cookies to neighbors, friends, relatives and others in their town or city. Girls who participate in the Girl Scout Cookie Program, one of the largest girl-led businesses in the country, can earn prizes for their efforts.
In addition, those girls who participate in the program learn vital skills needed to succeed in life and make the world a better place, including general life skills like communication, teamwork and goal setting, as well as business skills like sales and marketing, money management and business ethics.
Sage Mobile App Boosted Cookie Sales
Now, through a partnership with accounting and payment systems giant Sage North America , more than 30 Girl Scouts councils across the country, representing more than 3,800 local Girl Scouts troops, have been able to add mobile payment via credit or debit card as an option for sales of Thin Mints, Tagalongs, Samoas and eight other cookie varieties, Sage announced in a press release .
This partnership has been pivotal in helping the Girl Scouts boost their cookie sales.
Mobile Technology Boosts Girl Scout Cookie Sales
“Many people don’t carry cash or checks, so accepting credit cards allows Scouts to sell cookies to a lot more customers,” Alisha Moore, chief customer experience officer with Girl Scouts Louisiana East  in New Orleans, explained.
“Cookie sales for the troops in our council using Sage Mobile Payments increased by 13 percent, and the per-girl-average in those troops increased from 156 boxes to 177 boxes.”
Cumulatively, more than a million boxes of cookies were sold in the Louisiana-East Council, alone, in 2015, Moore announced  last year. The Girl Scouts-Louisiana East council covers 800 troops in 23 parishes, including East Baton Rouge and Orleans.
Sage Mobile Payments  (PDF) is a Payment Card Industry (PCI)-compliant mobile payments application that comes bundled with a Sage merchant account. The accounting and payment software company says the mobile payments app allows organizations like the Girl Scouts to securely and seamlessly process credit and debit card transactions on mobile phones and tablets — anywhere and everywhere.
According to Sage, the Girl Scouts Cookie Program generated more than $780 million in sales nationally by using its app. On average, the Girl Scouts councils that used the Sage mobile app averaged five boxes of cookies per transaction in 2015, up one box from a year ago, Sage said in the news release.
The Girl Scouts, for their part, say using the mobile payment system helps expose its young scouts to a growing technology, allowing the girls to learn about different sales and payments tactics.
“As the girls learn about the world of business, they experience first-hand the advantages of evolving technologies like these. They enable more spontaneous purchases, and provide a more secure — virtually cash-free — sales environment,” said Hezron Gurley, chief financial officer of Fresno, Calif.-based Girl Scouts of Central California South.
It goes to show technology can be a powerful tool to promote businesses and increase sales, even among budding young entrepreneurs.