- Expandable Functionality: Store functionality (gift certificates, coupons, shipping,etc) can be customized via code on the page templates, or third-party services/modules can be integrated to add features. Even better is that more and more of the third-party features are being built into the core features with new releases!
- Design: The store design can be fully customized to accommodate almost any design elements. Access to the page template code allows you to make customizations such as adding third-party code snippets (order tracking, live chat software, etc), adding if/then logic statements for dynamic customization, or to add a full custom design to the entire store.
- Security: PCI/PDA-SS compliant - There are not a lot of carts out there that are fully PCI compliant, and this is especially critical now (credit card companies are really beginning to crack down on this).
- The Miva admin area hasn't been the most user-friendly in the past. However, the admin in the the upcoming new Miva Merchant 9 Release has been completely revamped, is VERY user-friendly, and is formatted for desktop as well as mobile devices.
- Some fairly standard ecommerce functionality like Gift Certificates, Coupons, Sale Prices, etc have previously required third-party modules or template customization. However, many of these features are being built into Miva Merchant upcoming releases.
and do they have any variations/attributes (eg size, color, model #,
etc)? How much traffic does your store get monthly, or what are your monthly sales? What methods of
payment do you offer? What shipping methods do you offer for your
orders? Do you offer affiliate accounts? How custom of a design are you looking for?
Miva is very well suited for small business to enterprise level business sites or for stores that require lots of customization.
- Streamlined software updates without breaking existing design/functionality.
- Totally flexible front end UI – the sky is the limit – we haven’t run into anything we can’t do on the Miva platform
- PCI/PA-DSS compliance/certification of the platform – in lieu of recent events (Target, etc.) this is definitely a strong point of the Miva merchant platform
- Integrated social capability is currently lacking (can be added, though)
- Automated feed services to third parties is missing (again – can be added as an add-on)
- Admin could be more user friendly (I hear that will happen in PR9)
- Ongoing development. MIVA has, over the years, added features and functions to the platform that keeps it both secure and feature-rich. With recent releases, for instance, MIVA is PCI compliant and many of the most used 3rd party modules have been incorporated.
- MIVA Support. Support is responsive and can be very technical.
- Active forum of developers. This is a great resource for those times when a client has asked for a function I've not seen used in MIVA. Developers on the MIVA forums often have suggestions or solutions to share.
- The internal search function is somewhat basic. Ideally the a search would potentially use multiple data fields.
- Selling digital items for download isn't yet an option.
- MIVA isn't responsive so that it reduces nicely on mobile devices.
- The ability to quickly change the look and feel of any given page in the store. The storefront, category, product description, and all checkout pages are easily customize-able using simple HTML language.
- With minimal effort, more sophisticated changes and behaviors of the store can be modified using MivaScript, the language Miva Merchant is built upon.
- New features are very easy to add using a huge selection of 3rd party feature modules that typically sell for less that $100. Miva has so many features already built in, but if there is a major common feature not already in the code, it's almost a sure bet that there is a affordable and easy to install module that will meet your e-commerce business requirements.
- Miva corporation provides a high level of free support 7 days a week and 24 hours a day.
- The system could really use a better order reporting and management system
- Robust shipping functionality for UPS, USPS, and Federal Express should be included in the system if possible.
- Softgood/secured content delivery would be a welcome added feature.
As we are a Miva Merchant Partner, we provide workflow and add-on tools for the Miva Merchant platform. In addition, we run our fulfillment, licensing, and CRM systems on Miva Merchant as well. We are able to keep all our systems 'in-house' without excessive use of third-party SAAS and clunky PHP.
While Miva Merchant can be used as an online cart, it is much more - especially since it is customizable on two different levels - a fairly simple high-level templating system that allows for reasonable customization, and a lower level compiled language (Miva Script) that allows for extremely powerful customization.
Of course, you get what you pay for. If you expect champagne at beer prices, look elsewhere (and please let me know when you find it).
- PCI compliance and overall security. Miva puts significant effort into the security of their platform.
- Room for growth. A business can start out using only base capabilities, and fairly easily add more as their business needs grow.
- Training and documentation. Miva Merchant is fairly complex, and while they continue to make good progress in providing resources for all levels of expertise (beginner to expert), there are still a number of gaps. To take the step beyond the initial levels of online storefront requires expert assistance for most businesses (unless they have some substantial IT/technical resources available).
- Market for add-on and add-in products. (Note: this is significantly biased by our own business experience selling workflow and feature products for Miva Merchant.) The long-term goal for Miva has been stated to essentially involve having integration partners (selling their time) and larger companion product partners (selling products that work with, but usually NOT within Merchant). There is clearly a gap of potential customer needs that they are attempting to build into the core platform. Of course, no one can cover all needs! While Miva Merchant is not hostile to third-party product companies, neither do they have an explicit place in their long term roadmap. It is my opinion that their strategy of minimizing third-party add-on developers may be throwing the baby out with the bathwater, and I shudder to imagine a time when all significant features only come from the developers within Miva. As good as they are (quite good) they suffer from the inevitable myopia that ALL companies have - they are NOT their customers!
- The ability to use commercially available modules is a big plus for MIVA Merchant. It has helped me create websites that have more advanced features such as rewards programs, custom shipping settings and checkout fields.
- MIVA Merchant has been around for a long time and it has a very helpful community.
- The software is very stable - I've run into very few problems with upgrades.
- The user interface (UI) of the admin area is quite antiquated. There have been some slight improvements in recent years, but this really looks like an app that has been around since the 1990s.
- While designing a website to use MIVA Merchant isn't terribly difficult for an experienced designer, it has been surpassed by just about everything else out there. It doesn't have a clean, standards-compliant theme engine like WordPress, etc.
- MIVA has moved hosting for their software to their own service, which isn't cheap. And their hosting accounts come with very little disk space (although it is PCI compliant).
- This is not a content management system (CMS). For anything that a client wants to update, I usually try to pair MIVA Merchant with a WordPress powered main site. Editing page content in MIVA is a very old-school task. It doesn't even come with a WYSIWYG editor, though you can buy one from their module store.
- Doesn't appear that too many new modules are coming out these days.
However, I think it's probably not the best solution if you just need a small, simple store. There are other software packages out there that can do the job a little more efficiently and cheaply.
- Miva Merchant is extremely robust and has very few limitations unlike most other shopping carts.
- Offers the most bang for your buck! You can run a multimillion dollar online store using their smallest package at $50 per month with ease. No joke!
- There are many 3rd party modules available for added flexibility.
- Support staff is great and you can find answers to many questions in their forum (where senior techs tend to hang out). Video tutorials are available too!
- There is a learning curve and newbies must have patience when setting up a new store out of the box.
- I was never a big fan of the mobile layout. Fortunately a Responsive design is now available (and rocks)!
- The ability to tie into 3rd party POS systems more easily would be a nice added feature (but I guess that would require the POS system to be integration friendly as well).
Miva Training Videos: http://www.mivamerchant.com/videos
Miva's Documentation (PDF): http://www.mivamerchant.com/pdf/MivaPR8_09-01-13.pdf
Miva's Official Forum http://extranet.miva.com/forums/
- Ease of use. Very easy to set up and use.
- Expandability. With the use of various Modules already available it is easy to expand Miva Merchant. If there is not Module available, there are third parties who can make one for you for your custom application.
- Miva Merchant will work for 95% of the target audience without the need of additional Modules.
- Miva Merchant should have built in Soft Goods Downloads.
- Miva Merchant should have a built in way to make a Subscription Site to serve videos and protected content.
- Miva Merchant should have a built in way to output to a PDF to support catalogs and flyers from Miva Merchant.
You pretty much have to host with Miva Merchant it you are a reseller for Miva Merchant. They have made the licensing cost prohibitive to be a reseller for Miva Merchant.
- Ability to design the entire page from opening to close. We can implement any desired design into the package.
- A robust API that allows us to program additional features to work with the shopping cart.
- Excellent hosting capabilities, but without a requirement that users MUST host with them.
- A strong community of users who offer support and advice, as well as active participation in the forums by Miva's own employees.
- Currently there is no coupon capability out of the box. I'm excited to see this new feature that's expected to be in the upcoming release.
- Easy to use by the customer.
- Easy to use by support staff
- Easy to configure for any situation with numerous modules and built in functionality. And - its always your data.
- Safe and secure - passes all security tests
- Honestly, I am aware of no areas that need improvement at this time. The crew at Miva are always working to bring enhancements.
- Customized the platform to suit our needs.
- Aided with ecommerce strategy with their immense experience
- Aided in integration with fulfillment tools
- Adhering to predetermined timelines more accurately, account for changes in plan
- Educate organization more of the opportunities available to serve custom messaging and test in order to help optimize conversion performance
Miva 5.5 (the current version) comes with a number of standard templates, or you can create your own. Because Miva has been so widely used for so long (it was one of the very first eCommerce platforms) there is a large community of developers who can create custom templates to give your store a unique look and feel.
- Very flexible storefront design - You can use a standard Miva template or design your own. Miva dynamically produces all pages. You can add, delete, inactivate, and otherwise manage all products
- One of the things I always liked about Miva was the open API. This allows third party ISVs to create modules that extend the functionality of Miva. We used modules for coupons, gift certificates, gift messages, and advanced shipping options
- They also provide great hosting support
- There is a large community of Miva users and third party developers. There is an active forum
- Several of my customers wanted to be able to place one order, and specify products going to different locations (send the chocolate to Aunt Jean, the bath gifts to Aunt Sophie, etc.) Miva can't do this. Customers have to place separate orders for each shipping address
- General versatility, though changes commonly require the aid of a true Miva developer to implement
- Compatible with many payment gateways and a fair assortment of third-party services
- Developers employed directly by Miva to handle merchant projects are personable and responsive to most requests
- Prospective and established merchants considering the Miva platform should be warned that they've recently implemented an onerous new fee when more than one person accesses the store admin area at any given time. Specifically, Miva merchants will now be on the hook for $50 per additional simultaneous user per month. If we had remained on Miva, this would have increased our annual costs of using the platform by at least $3,000, perhaps more. The president of Miva claims this is standard for SaaS e-commerce platforms, but I know of none that do and this change makes their platform incredibly unattractive for merchants who expect their business to grow in the future. Furthermore, certain third-party services can be detected by the Miva HQ tracking system as admin users, also triggering an additional seat fee.
- Exorbitant pricing for adding some basic features that feels like a petty cash grab. For instance, we opted for the $1,000 mobile optimization package and received a bare bones mobile-friendly site with no appearance refinements aside from crudely plopping our logo at the top. They forgot to optimize a few key pages, like the product search results, and it seemed like whoever did it rushed through the work in an hour or two. Other projects they helped with went better, but there's frequently minor coding errors we've had to clean up ourselves.
- Features released with updates practically always require developer assistance to test and properly enable.
- Issues that should be treated as bugs are instead left for third-party modules to correct. For example, if a wholesale customer adds items to their cart before logging in, those items retain the standard retail price when the order is placed. We informed Miva tech support of this, expecting that they might look into fixing the problem, but were instead told that we should buy an add-on module that forces a cart recalculation at checkout. Why should this be the responsibility of an extra module to correct? It should be noted that a year or two ago Miva purchased the Emporium Plus plugin catalog, including the cart recalculation module, yet that is still omitted from the core platform.
- It has a user friendly experience when purchasing and checking out.
- It was easy to teach the client how to upload products to their site.
- It had many options for payment gateways.
- Miva Merchant has it's own language which had a high learning curve for me to understand.
- Customizing the template to match a html/css static site was difficult because you needed those Miva Merchant code pieces to be in the correct places.
- It used to let people store user's credit card information and process the payment later, which, when hacked, is really bad.
- Price Groups. This feature is beneficial to the developer and their customers because it allows creation of as many groups as needed. Developer can change the price of products based on membership in a group. They can also assign price change to all or certain products in a group. Registered customers benefit from membership discounts, which encourages customer loyalty.
- Availability Groups. This feature is excellent because it allows developer to control what categories and products customers see in the store based on membership in a group and only visible to customers who registered and are a member of that group.
- Manage Orders. End users like the Manage Orders features. Orders have various filters available such as Order Number, Date Range, Order Status, Batches and Batch Report. The most useful feature is the Batches which is a collection of orders, grouped together and given a name with just 1-click.
- Coupon capability. If end users want to offer coupon discount, they will have to purchase through a third-party. It will be an excellent feature to have.
- Product layout. The product layout from previous Miva Merchant is much better. Merchant 5.5, the product “Code, Price and Quantity in Basket” is at the bottom of the product instead of with “Colors”, “Size”, and “Quantity” on the right hand side. Custom image sizing does not display well.
- More Custom Fields/Dropdown options. Our end user has to purchase Addendum from a third-party to use the custom field.
- Some of our customers are having problem viewing our store after we upgraded to Miva Merchant 5.5. Our products page is empty.
Miva Scorecard Summary
Miva Merchant is a point-and-click online store development
and management system that allows merchants to build their online store through
a web browser, and lets developers provide aftermarket enhancements for the
Miva offers a CSS template-based system to customize the look and theme of a site and manage the WCMS elements of the site. This solution includes merchandising tools and tools that are designed to optimize the shopping and checkout experience. Additionally, the system comes with rule-based taxes, shipping calculations and live tax estimating tools.
Miva Customer Size Distribution
|Small Businesses (1-50 employees)||90%|
|Mid-Size Companies (51-500 employees)||8%|
|Enterprises (> 500 employees)||2%|
Miva Support Options
|Free Version||Paid Version|
|Video Tutorials / Webinar|
Miva Technical Details
|Deployment Types:||On-premise, SaaS|
|Operating Systems:||Windows, Linux, Mac|
|Supported Languages: ||English|