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Girl Scout Cookies Will Soon Be Just A Click Away

In this undated photo released by the Girl Scouts of the USA, Girl Scouts Bria and Shirell practice selling cookies on one of two new digital platforms. It's the first time the organization has allowed the sales of cookies using a mobile app or personalized websites.

Thin Mints, Do-si-dos and Samoas just became easier to buy: Girl Scouts will now be able to use Digital Cookies to sell the treats online.

"Girls have been telling us that they want to go into this space," said Sarah Angel-Johnson, chief digital cookie executive for the Girl Scouts of the USA. "Online is where entrepreneurship is going."

Her comments were reported by The Associated Press.

About 1.6 million Girl Scouts, out of a total of about 2 million, sell cookies each year. The program nets about $800 million. The Digital Cookies program is expected to complement that effort.

Scout councils were given the option of using either personalized websites or a mobile app for sales of the boxes that cost between $3.50 and $5.

The AP has more on how the website and app will work:

"For Web-based sales, scouts customize their pages, using their first names only, and email prospective customers with links to click on for orders. They can also put up videos explaining who they are and what they plan to do with their proceeds.

"The mobile platform offers tabs for tracking sales and allows for the sale of bundles of different kinds of cookies. It can be used on a phone or tablet."

The websites will be invitation-only, and the personal details of both the Girl Scouts as well as their customers will be protected. The app will allow credit-card processing and direct shipping, The New York Times reported.

The program, which begins this month, is limited to 51 participating councils. It will go national in January, when most of the 112 councils start their cookie sales.

Reaction on the Girl Scouts' Facebook page was mixed.

One woman wrote: "Soon the girls won't have to interact with anyone. Not sure this is a great thing."

Another added: "LOVE this!! We have lots of family and friends that want to support my daughter, but I spend more on shipping than her troop got credit for the sales."

Some Girl Scouts echoed those sentiments.

"I love going around my neighborhood, my parents' jobs and my grandfather's job," Bria Vainqueur, 13, of Somerset, N.J., told The Times. "I've been selling cookies since I joined Scouting when I was 6, including setting up a booth at our local Stop & Shop. But the digital option is going to make it easier to reach a lot more people and to take and keep track of their orders."

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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