Mobile Payments Help Girl Scouts Sell More Cookies

March 2, 2016

The Girl Scouts of America recently began using a mobile payment processing service to sell their famous cookies during this year's big drive, and have found that people using these platforms tended to buy more than those who relied on more traditional payment methods.

Over the last few years, there has been a slow but steady trend of more people adopting mobile payments as something they can use on a regular basis. Despite expectations of a major surge of adoption, that simply hasn’t happened yet. However, cracks are starting to show in the dam, because people now seem to be recognizing that the convenience these platforms provide is unparalleled in the payments realm.

Indeed, the Girl Scouts of America recently began using a mobile payment processing service to sell their famous cookies during this year’s big drive, and have found that people using these platforms tended to buy more than those who relied on more traditional payment methods, the report said. Data from the more than 3,800 troops now using this technology suggests that sales on a per-transaction basis tend to increase by as much as 25 percent, rising from an average of four boxes of cookies sold to five. They also tend to sell more overall as a result.

“Many people don’t carry cash or checks, so accepting credit cards with [mobile payments] allows our Girl Scouts to sell cookies to a lot more people,” said Alisha Moore, chief customer experience officer with Girl Scouts Louisiana East in New Orleans. “Cookie sales for the troops in our council using [this platform] increased by 13 percent, and the per-girl-average in those troops increased from 156 boxes to 177 boxes. Just as important, using [mobile payment platforms] exposes the girls to a growing technology and helps them learn about different sales tactics and multiple payments types.”

Girl Scouts can sell a lot of cookies with mobile payments.Girl Scouts can sell a lot of cookies with mobile payments.

A huge market
Indeed, Girl Scout cookies are a major fundraiser for the group, in ways that many other such organizations can probably only drea
m of, the report said. Each year, sales of these cookies alone generate more than $780 million for the organization. There are currently more than 2.7 million girls enrolled in the Girl Scouts meaning that, on average, each one generates roughly $289 in cookie sales.

John Graves, the chief financial officer with Girl Scouts of North East Ohio in Macedonia, Ohio – who was recently recognized by Crain’s Cleveland Business as the Nonprofit CFO of the Year – also noted there are other benefits to adopting mobile payments, the report said. For instance, the money from each sale is instantly and directly deposited into the troops’ accounts. It also gives them access to potentially larger areas where they can sell the product, knowing they can quickly and easily handle a larger number of transactions.

Adoption is picking up
Now that the Girl Scouts are part of the mobile payment processing ecosystem
, and are having a lot of success with it, it seems that the ease and simplicity of adopting and using these platforms has reached something of a tipping point. As such, small businesses that have been on the fence about a similar move might be wise to get in on more or less the ground floor to establish a foothold in the market.

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