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The internet makes it easy to sell digital products to customers around the world, but the security of those products can be a major concern. If you sell digital products like ebooks, software, workout plans, or any of the many options out there, you may (rightfully) worry about customers sharing those products with others, or even individuals trying to make money off of your intellectual property.

Today we’re exploring some of the best ways to keep your digital products secure. We’ll also dig into three services that Selz provides to help you sell digital products securely and build a thriving business.

How to Sell Digital Products and Keep Them Secure

1. Set Limits for Downloads and Streaming

2. Stamp and Watermark PDFs

3. Utilize License Keys for Software and Apps

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Pinterest graphic for how to sell digital products and keep them secure from Selz the ecommerce platform to grow and scale your digital products business

1. Set Limits for Streaming and Downloads

Perhaps the most obvious concern for digital downloads is that your customer will share your product.

Whether they share a download link or a streaming link with friends, coworkers, on the whole internet, this can have a deeply negative impact on your sales. It’s a real problem because while businesses traditionally grow by word of mouth, digital products are more likely to be “shared” than physical ones.

To keep this problem in check, you can set products to stream rather than download for certain file types, and also set limits for streaming and downloading your products.

This is a simple process to manage with Selz. Go to Settings > Digital, and adjust limits through there. This prevents the same video from being accessed and streamed endless times, as well as preventing infinite downloads using the same link.

The Selz download limits page allows merchants to set boundaries for customers when they sell digital products.

Remember, most customers are not trying to overshare and distribute your products. They are honestly excited about what you have to offer, and willing to pay for it. Setting overly strict downloading and streaming limits can be counterproductive.

Customers may simply have browser issues, or may not be able to locate the downloaded file within their computer. The key here is to find a balance. Set secure, yet customer-friendly limits, and encourage buyers to reach out to you if they have any issues accessing their purchases.

If a customer has issues with the limits you’ve set, this powerful option makes it simple to grant access again. For example, let’s say that a customer waited too long to download the product they purchased. This is actually very quick to correct.

As a merchant, you can see the customer journey to check whether or not the product has been downloaded, then easily access their order and manually adjust it. Just let them know you’ve given them access again, and the problem is solved. 

A winding road with a sign indicating a speed limit of 40 mph, shows how setting limits for streaming and downloading can also be useful if you sell digital products.
2. Stamp and Watermark PDFs

PDF is perhaps the most common type of file that Internet users download. Whether you’re selling an ebook or a meal plan, you’re likely offering this file type as a download option to customers.

One common concern merchants have is that their PDFs won’t just be shared, but that the files will be exploited. It is technically possible for someone to replicate a PDF, upload it, and resell the PDF, without the creator’s consent. This doesn’t happen often, but if you’re worried about this, we have a solution.

A screenshot of Selz options to sell digital products. Selz makes selling digital products online simple and powerful.

Stamping and watermarking is a great way to prevent this issue from occurring.

PDF stamping with Selz means that when your customer, John Doe, buys a PDF from you, Selz automatically stamps every single page with his name and order number, preventing your file from being anonymously duplicated.

Watermarking allows you to essentially mark each page of a document when you are ready to sell it. The watermark does not interfere with the readability of the text. What it does is give the creator the ability to imprint the PDFs with attribution and contact information.

Selz safeguards your PDF products from being duplicated and resold without your consent.

A banker stamping a physical document represents PDF stamping and watermarking, whch can help protect your business when you sell digital products. Selz is the ecommerce platform to grow and scale your business.

3. Utilize License Keys for Software and Apps

If you’re a developer using Selz to sell software or apps, you’re probably already familiar with license keys. These handy tools apply to other types of digital businesses as well, so we’ll dig into them briefly here.

A license key is a code that can typically be used only once to give a user permission to install and use a downloaded software. Anyone else trying to use the product will be prompted to enter a license key and will be unable to access it, effectively protecting your intellectual property from illegal sharing.

Selz makes it quick to utilize license keys, ensuring that your sales only grant access to a single buyer. When adding a product, you will notice that the default setting for a digital download is “no license key,” but you can easily change this.

Opt for “automatic” license keys, and Selz will automatically generate the license keys at purchase. If you already have a list of license keys, choose “list” and Selz will pull from that as buyers make their purchases. You can also integrate a “remote” existing system, by providing an appropriate URL. To learn more about developers’ options for API, click here.

We created Selz specifically with the needs of digital entrepreneurs in mind, and these security features are only one reason that Selz is the best ecommerce platform to sell digital products.

Each of these features is intuitive and easy to use, but always feel free to reach out to our 24/7 customer service team if you hit any barriers. With these tools in hand, you can build your ecommerce empire with complete confidence.

About the author

Tara Storozynsky

Tara lives in Portland, Oregon. She writes about the intersection of creativity and entrepreneurship, after a decade of working in the food, tech, and wellness industries. Her work has been featured by American Artists Watercolor Magazine, Salon.com, and others. Aside from writing content and copy, Tara is also a social media strategist.

2 comments

  1. Shanel

    A customer can just lie, and say they haven’t gotten their download. How do I know if they’re telling the truth? I sell weight loss meal plans, and don’t want my customers sharing the pdf with all their friends.

    1. Tara Storozynsky

      Hi Shanel, thank you for sharing your concern on this topic with us. With Selz, you can easily view each “customer journey.” This enables you, the merchant, to know exactly if and when a file has been accessed. This tool gives you insight into your customers’ histories, enabling you to make more informed choices about granting them access to products. Have a great day, and thanks for reading FounderU!

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