Miva Merchant - in it for the long haul
Updated December 09, 2014

Miva Merchant - in it for the long haul

Gordon Currie | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Software Version

5.5

Modules Used

  • 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).

  • Based on a templating system. Almost every part of a page is built from templates, that can not only be customized, but contain HTML. JavaScript and a subset of the Miva Script language for powerful and responsive dynamic page experiences.
  • 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.
Third-party development programs are not good or non-existent. That is a HUGE warning sign.
Frankly, we periodically review what is available, and while there are many companies popping up all the time, there are just as many winking out of existence. With how easy it is to 'create' a basic platform and a company these days, I would recommend anyone give serious weight to 1. how long a company has been selling 2. overall and especially CURRENT customer satisfaction and 3. growth potential.
In general, unless someone has a tiny business, or expects minimal growth (and why are they in business? is it a hobby?) - I would recommend Miva Merchant. They are solid out of the box, support has gotten very good after a number of years of improvement, and there is room from growth - so you don't have to switch systems when your business grows faster than expected, or you go through a significant change (such as B2C moving to B2B etc.). Miva Merchant is very scalable.