Miva Merchant - in it for the long haul
- Easy Account, StoreMan5, Easy Contact, Moogle, Edit This, Edit CSS, Optimizer, OrderMan, Go To Page, Template GPS, Inspector, Faux Order
Overall Satisfaction with Miva Merchant
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!
- Running a business in general (and this applies to e-commerce of course) involves not enough time to do too many things. Any place one can automate/streamline/ simplify some of these myriad things, you gain more time to focus on high value activities. We have found that the more we have been able to leverage Miva's capabilities (often with our own tools), the more time we can spend on marketing, sales and product development.